In Hau Giang Province’s Vi Thanh market, vendors set up shop from 2 a.m. at fixed spots of two to four square meters each, creating a unique cultural melting pot.
The market is located near Cai Nhuc Bridge on Tran Hung Dao Street of Vi Thanh Town. According to local vendors, the Vi Thanh market has existed for more than 10 years, specializing in local agricultural products.
Vendors often squat or set up small chairs and goods within two to four square meters around themselves. Therefore, it is often dubbed “squatting” market, showcasing a unique Mekong Delta trait.
Market vendors are mostly farmers who grow vegetables or dry shrimp and fish.
Free of intermediaries, prices are typically cheaper than at other markets in Hau Giang.
Dried seafood and fish sauce paste, Mekong Delta specialties.
Goods and agricultural products are usually piled up on the ground atop canvas. Dried food is placed on top of covered buckets to avoid dust.
Coconut goby are sold from VND180,000 to VND200,000 ($8-9) a kilogram. Delicious freshwater fish are best bought here in the early morning.
Different types of vegetables can be found in the market like medicinal longan, blumea lacera, spinach and pennywort, all grown free of fertilizer.
The countryside market sells Cayratia trifolia fruit, which grows wild along the canals. The fruit is dark green, shiny, round and slightly flat, used for cooking sour soup or stew fish.
The market lasts from 2 a.m. to 10 a.m, with the busiest period being from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m.
Vinh Binh, 40, who has shopped at Vi Thanh Market for many years, said: “It is bustling, recalling memories of the south in the old times.”
Hau Giang is located at the heart of the Mekong Delta, around 240 kilometers southwest of Ho Chi Minh City. Blessed with a not-too-hot, not-too-cold tropical climate and fertile riverine alluvial soil, Hau Giang is a top rice producer in the delta, Vietnam’s “rice basket”.