As the city’s commercial center, Dam Market is the busiest, most vibrant market in Nha Trang. It is also the largest, and a popular tourist attraction. The market takes place in a circular, three-story building, and the stalls sell a variety of things from souvenirs, tourist trinkets, knock-off brands and cheap watches, to fresh local produce and meats at the back of the market. Make sure you check out the dry seafood section to the right of the building for the usual exciting array of dried shrimp, seaweeds, cuttlefish and other well-known dried delicacies, typical of Vietnam’s coastal towns.
The market opens at 4 a.m. every morning, and is always bustling with people. We recommend keeping an eye on your bag, as in all markets across Vietnam, since busy, crowded areas are the perfect hideouts for pickpockets and thieves. That being said, don’t let that stop you! Vietnam’s markets are still safe, vibrant and fascinating places at which to glimpse the fundamental workings of the country, and shopping in Vietnam is not complete without a visit to one of its many colorful marketplaces.
Dam Market caters mainly to tourists, while nearby Xom Moi Market is frequented by locals shopping for their daily food and household supplies. This second market is not quite as big as Dam Market, and shopping here is generally a more local experience. While Dam Market is known for its hard bargains, tourist clutter and proximity to the tourist area, many people like Xom Moi Market for its friendlier stall holders and more reasonably priced products. Xom Moi Market opens in the early morning, and generally closes at 6 p.m., and is a little further from the backpacker center of town.
We recommend Dam Market to pick up some knock-off designer goods, tourist souvenirs and pretty trinkets, and Xom Moi Market for a more local experience.