Bustling, hustling Xom Moi Market (Cho Xom Moi) is the hub of downtown Nha Trang. Here you’ll see locals shopping for fresh fruits, vegetables and daily household items. The experience is very raw and very real and your neck will be sore as you crane it at every interesting sight (and smell). Activity kicks off early so roll out of bed at 06:00 if you want to see it busy. There are also some great local eats in and around Xom Moi — grab a breakfast bowl of pho or try Nha Trang speciality bun ca, a simple noodle soup with rice vermicelli, fish broth and fish filet and/or fish paste meatballs.
Xom Moi market is located at Ngo Gia Tu and Huynh Thuc Khang, west of To Hien Thanh. Open 06:00-18:00. Venture to Xom Moi for a more laidback local experience than Dam Market.
Part local market, part tourist souvenir market, Dam Market (Cho Dam) contains everything you never knew you wanted. The two-storey concrete beast contains just about everything: sunglasses, fake flowers, paintings, cell phone covers, shoes, bags, fabric, wallets, watches, selfie sticks, back scratchers, and if you’ve bought too much, luggage. This is a tourist market so you’ll have to bargain hard to avoid exorbitant prices. The dried seafood section is especially popular with domestic tourists – Nha Trang is famous for its dried squid, shrimp and fish – but unless you want to be haunted by the smell for the rest of the day, avoid getting stuck in that laneway. Like Xom Moi, to catch any local action head there early.
Cho Dam is located in the north end of the downtown core, east of 2 Thang 4. Open 06:00-18:00. If you don’t want to take a taxi, the white and blue city bus #4 (Hon Xen – Vinpearl) gets you within walking distance of the market. Find the bus stops along Nguyen Thien Thuat. Bus runs 05:35 to 19:00, costs 7,000 VND per ride. Write down “Cho Dam,” show the fare collector and they should let you know when to get off the bus.
The night market located smack dab in the tourist centre is a dazzling display of all that is plastic and cheap. It’s worth a look and a wander but don’t expect anything knock-your-socks-off special or handmade. Here you can find branded merchandise of the latest animated film characters, T-shirts, hats, bags, Hello Kitty, souvenirs galore and novelty items. It seems nothing says “I’ve been to Nha Trang” more than a rubber chicken.