Aside from the usual markets, some markets in Vietnam dedicated to unique commodities including insects, rats and gems.
Tinh Bien border gate market near Cambodia attracts thousands of traders, shoppers and visitors. However, the locals also call it an insect market as it sells various types of scorpions and centipedes as well as geckos and other lizards along with other regular goods.
Snake trading at the market
Le Thi Hieu, a scorpion trader said her dangerous insects were sold for VND5,000 (22 US cents). During peak season from January to May, the number of visitors to Ba Chua Xu Temple sharply increases and they could sell from 500 to 600 scorpions each day.
The children and local people go deep into the forest to catch insects to soak in liquor or eat with rice spirits.
Hanoi also has an insect market located on Hoang Hoa Tham Street. The market is 1km long and has many common creepy crawlies including worms, locusts and crickets. A kilo of insects is sold for VND250,000 (USD11). Centipedes and geckos are also sold for those who demand.
Insect market in Hanoi
Rat market in An Giang Province
A kilo of rat costs only 88 US cents
Phu Dat Market in Chau Phu District is one of the biggest rat markets in the Mekong Delta. The market opens from 5 to 9 am and about three to five tonnes of rat are sold each day. Traders claim good rats are usually found from around April to November. A kilo of rat costs just VND20,000 (88 US cents) to VND30,000. If you want your furries diced, skinned and sliced they’re VND35,000-60,000 a kilo.
Preparing the rats
About 200 out of 600 households in Binh Chien Hamlet catch and sell rats for a living. Even women, children and elderly people also participate in the process and earn from VND70,000 to VND100,000 per person.
Gem market in Yen Bai Province
Looking for gems in Yen Bai
Located in Yen The Town, the market only opens for a few hours in the morning. The market was busiest in 1991 and 1992 when a gemstone mine was discovered in Yen The. People abandoned their fields to dig gemstones and sold the stones at the market. Both raw and refined stones are displayed and sold.
Second-hand market in Hanoi
Many old and second-hand products are sold
Hoa Binh Market, a famous market for old and second-hand goods, is set up in Hanoi during 1954 and 1955. It covers parts of Hue, Dong Nhan, Tran Cao Van and Thinh Yen streets and the apartment buildings on Nguyen Cong Tru Street.
The cheapest products are sold for only VND5,000 (22 US cents) to VND10,000. There are also luxury products but sold for much cheaper prices.
Cock fighting market in Hanoi
Cocks are sold at 8 months old
Fighting cock market in Ha Dong District only opens on the fifth, tenth, 15th, 20th and 30th day of the month of the lunar calendar. Livestock and ornamental trees are sold there but fighting cockerals are its highlight. The cocks are generally sold when they are eight months old so that new owners can train them properly.
Buffalo market in Lao Cai Province
Buffalos and horses in Lao Cai
Can Cau buffalo market in Si Ma Cai District opens on Saturdays and is a well-known destination to exchange and buy buffalo and horses. Buffalos cost from VND6m (USD264) to VND10m, while white buffalos are sold for VND18m to VND20m.