As one of the oldest markets in Hue, built in 1899, Dong Ba Market originally consists of 4 blocks roof tiled houses arranged in square. In the middle of the market is a three-storey building with 4 big clocks in four directions put on top. It is also known as the "steeple". Undergoing over 114 years with numerous events, ups and downs, Dong Ba Market today is wearing the new appearance with thousands of booths, yet the "steeple" architecture has been preserved as a distinctive architectural feature.
The market is built on a land of charming scenery, a trade exchanging axis among localities in the region. In the early twentieth century, Dong Ba Market was an architectural works combining East and West architecture in Hue. The market then was renovated and constructed into a modern and charming synthesis service business zone, which now becomes one of new attractions in Hue attracting tourists. Dong Ba Market has long been an important convergence in the Central in general and Hue tourism in particular. It not only transports and consumes goods, but also converges the local specialties. Apart from domestic tourists, Dong Ba Market welcomes the large number of international tourists to explore Hue travel.
Far about 100m from Truong Tien Bridge to the north, Dong Ba Market retains the prime location when situated in the center of Hue city, running along the banks of Perfume River. It is not only the pride of the locals but also a place for tourists to explore ancient capital culture. Tourists participating in any Hue tours have to set foot in Dong Ba Market to explore this unique cultural features. Just taking a stroll around Dong Ba Market, tourists will find this place as a miniature handicraft town with all of the traditional villages in Thua Thien land. From "bai tho" (poem) hats of Phu Cam hat village, unique products of Hien Luong forging village to the exquisite items of Ke Mon jewelery village or Sinh paper votive village..., tourists can also find all of them at Dong Ba Market.
Here, tourists also easily caught products of once famous Phuong Duc such as urns, brass bell or souvenir items mostly serving tourists on their journey, for instance, Phuoc Duyen Tower, Ngo Mon. Tourists can comfortably admire eye-catching products of Phuoc Tich pottery village with kettle, lime pot, jar, cup, bowl in multi size and colors. Besides, it should be mentioned the bamboo furniture of Bau La village, Da Le village and Phu Thu village with baskets, curtains, beds or mats. Dong Ba Market is worth the convergence of the unique products of the localities, which contributes to attract tourists to Hue.
Going to Dong Ba Market, tourists not only have an opportunity to go shopping but also explore the rustic cuisine of dreaming Hue. Along with famous "me xung" (sesame candy) as a gift, tourists also have a chance to enjoy the spicy rice with oyster at street vendors, fine flour cake, "banh beo" with green pepper sauce... Tourists also taste Sia ricepaper, Kim Long barbecue noodles, Phu Hoa fried spring rolls, Nam Pho soup buns or Van Cu noodles... In particular, despite enjoying in many places, tourists will surely have to admit that fried shrimp cake, "nam" cake, "uot" (moist) cake, mixed drinks... sold at Dong Ba Market are the most delicious.
There is no shortage of fruits in Dong Ba such as Huong Can citrus, Kim Long "thanh tra" (a kind of fruit is similar to grapefruit), mangosteen and Thuy Bieu longan. Flowers here are abundant from marigold, lily, gladiolus... to roses with hundreds of nuances. All of them are implemented by artisans in Vy Da village, Phu Duong village and Phu Hiep village who painstakingly hybridize to offer wonderful four-season flowers.
Although it is a market, Dong Ba is not as noisy and boisterous as other commercial center but retains the unique Hue feature instead. Tourists even can also accidentally catch the image of "ao dai" (Vietnamese traditional long dress) with double baskets on the shoulders of many women traders in the market place. Along with the friendly locals with their hospitable smile, tourists seem to immerse in ancient Hue space. Dong Ba is worth a must-see attraction in Hue which tourist should once set foot on.