One of Da Lats charm is the laid-back way of living of the local people. On any given day, from early morning to late at night, Da Lat’s Central market is bustling with activities. Unlike most market in Vietnam, Da Lat’s market has an open promenade where people can walk about. At the end of the promenade is a stair leading to the Le Dai Hanh Street, one of Da Lat’s major thoroughfare.
Da Lat enjoys favorable weather year round. During the winter months the average temperature in Da Lat is 10 degrees C. During the summer months the average temperature here is 18 degrees C. The locals claim that Da Lat is Vietnam’s botanical garden in the middle of a pine forest. Many of the countrie’s fruits and vegetables come from this part of the country.
When visiting Dalat, the city of mist and pine trees, tourists should be sure to experience the pleasure of visiting Dalat’s night market. Dalat city is small, the city streets are not dense and market activities happen only in Hoa Binh Zone at Dalat market. That is why the Dalat Night Market contributes to the beauty of Dalat’s cultural features.
The night market is located in the Hoa Binh Zone, in the area around Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street, Le Dai Hanh Street and Tang Bat Ho Street, within walking distance of many restaurants. On weekends walkers can stroll to the market on a pedestrian walkway that was opened in Dalat on November 2003. Tourists should note that all vehicles are forbidden on this walkway between 7p.m. to 10 p.m.
The history of Dalat Market is also interesting. Originally named “Wood Market”, the market was built in 1929 by French ambassador Chassaing and was located at the site where the Hoa Binh Theatre is nowadays. The market was made from pine wood, which is the reason people call it Wood Market. It burned down in 1937 and was rebuilt in brick. In 1958 the market was moved its present location.
A unique feature of the night market is the “shouting market” which can be found on the upper floor of the market, near the bridge, where clothes are sold. The vendors display their clothes from 4 p.m. and when the buyers start to wander in the rhythmic shouting of the sellers trying to attract their attention can be heard all around the area, giving it the name “shouting market”. The market sells mainly sweaters and jackets in many different sizes and colours at surprisingly cheap prices. Shoppers should not forget to bargain; sweaters can be purchased for anything from VND 20,000 to VND 80,000.
Leaving the shouting market, tourists can stroll past kiosks in Hoa Binh Town, and perhaps drop into a pine tree crafting shop to buy a piece of pine tree with their name engraved for a souvenir, before walking down the stairs into the Hoa Binh Zone to Dalat Market.
The street in front of Dalat night market is lighted with neon lights from the shops in the street sides. Canvas is spread on the streets to display hand-knit jumpers, woollen hats, woollen scarves, and much more. The sellers do not shout in this market but the atmosphere is also lively. Here shoppers will find Dalat ethnic fabric items with higher prices; for example, a small ethnic fabric purse will cost VND 30,000. Nevertheless, tourists will appreciate the beautiful fabrics and the variety of items available.
Dalat Night Market also has a food-corner offering dishes made from shellfish and duck eggs. Steaming hot pots of shell-fish and duck eggs are hard to resist in the colder climate of Dalat. Enjoying this special dish with hot soya milk on a cool evening is an unforgettable memory. The market also sells vegetable for tourists to buy as gifts to take home for their friends.