Dinh Cau Night Market is a must-visit for travellers on Phu Quoc Island, offering a plethora of dining and shopping opportunities until late. Located along Vo Thi Sau Street in Duong Dong, this pedestrian-friendly market is about a five-minute walk from Dinh Cau Rock. This Phu Quoc market caters mainly to tourists but is rather bustling with many people.
Visitors can find about 100 stalls, more than half of which sell fresh seafood, street snacks, and beverages at affordable prices. Live fish, sea snails, crabs and scallops are kept in large tanks with prices listed on the board in front of every booth. To order, just choose whichever strikes your fancy before taking your seat at the makeshift dining section.
Of course, the menu wouldn’t be complete without some sweet desserts. At the Dinh Cau Night Market there are stalls selling fresh pancake variations, with fruits, honey or Nutella. Other places offer sugar roasted peanuts and almonds, a delicacy that reminds many tourists of the Christmas markets in Europe.
But there is more. Spicy, roasted seaweed for example, packaged in nice portions and ready to be eaten as a snack. And two stalls offer an assortment of sweet soups. And as for the demand for liquids, you get the whole bandwidth of Vietnamese drinks. From delicious, refreshing sugarcane juice to iced Saigon Special.
Towers of aquariums line the road, containing a vast selection of live animals from passive sharks, to sea snails that are trying to escape the confinement of their basin. Looking around, the view reminds you of an undersea documentary, with some marine life you have likely never seen before. Mantis shrimps, oysters and clams, blue lobsters, surreal looking fish and sea monsters adorned with tentacles, straight out of an HP Lovecraft story.
All of these amazing animals can find their way into your stomach if you are brave enough to face the culinary adventure. Grilled, steamed, boiled or stir-fried, the chefs at the night market stalls prepare the seafood fresh and with great efficiency. It gets served on steaming plates and you can dig right in.
Highly recommended dishes include grilled scallops, steamed squid with fermented fish sauce, boiled sea snails, flower crab with rice noodles, and deep-fried shrimps. Drinks-wise, there’s a good mix of fresh juices, smoothies, soft drinks, local wines and beers. Prices are slightly higher than in an average local restaurant on Phu Quoc but the seafood is generally very fresh.
If you’re looking to purchase souvenirs for loved ones back home, walk further along the street to find a number of booths selling T-shirts, slippers, jewellery and handicrafts. You may find some claiming to sell authentic pearl rings and necklaces but most of the time these are actually counterfeit items. Prepacked snacks such as Phu Quoc’s fermented fish sauce, dried seaweed, black pepper and cashew nuts make ideal gifts as well.
For the safety of its many visitors, Dinh Cau Night Market is closed off to motorised vehicles from 17:00 onwards with parking available just outside the main entrance for VND 10,000.
Dinh Cau Night Market
- Opening Hours: Daily 17:00 – 24:00
- Address: Vo Thi Sau Street, Duong Dong, Phu Quoc island
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