Dinh Cau Night Market

One of the best places to sample Phu Quoc Island seafood is Dinh Cau Night Market in Duong Dong fishing town. Travel Vietnam and be amazed!

Dinh Cau Night Market, PeanutsDinh Cau Night Market, Peanuts | photo: Frank Fox (cc-by-sa)

Right next to the Cau Temple you can sample seafood and buy souvenirs

Vo Thi Sau Street, Duong Dong Town, Phu Quoc, Vietnam

People on the Night MarketPeople on the Night Market | photo: (cc-by-sa) Frank Fox

Today, 7th of January 2016 I have read this in the news and I am shocked about the inconsiderate behaviour of certain entities: Dinh Cau Night Market to be shut down and destroyed. Pah!

After visiting Dinh Cau for one of its spectacular sunsets, you should drop by Dinh Cau Night Market, the best place on Phu Quoc Island to sample the many different kinds of seafood, fishermen haul in from the ocean on a daily basis.

Sweet Soup at Dinh Cau Night MarketSweet Soup at Dinh Cau Night Market | photo: (cc-by-sa) Frank Fox

The night market in Duong Dong town offers not just the usual souvenirs and keepsakes you might expect at a famous landmark like this. The main product of this Vietnamese attraction are the seafood dishes. We tried these grilled sea urchins, topped off with a drizzle of fish sauce, peanuts and green onions. Actually the sea urchins don't taste good and the small amount of bitter meat is probably not worth the 20,000đ you pay for each. But it is an adventure and, unless you are from one of these southern fishing towns yourself, you probably never tried them before.

More People on the Night MarketMore People on the Night Market | photo: (cc-by-sa) Frank Fox

The road is lined with fish tanks containing oysters, clams, sharks, mantis shrimps, lobsters and other deep sea monsters that should have been left deep down in R'lyeh, where they pick the growing barnacles from Cthulhu's sleeping body. The sharks make a quite depressive impression though. I mean how would you feel in a cage your size, waiting to be eaten? Sharks need to move in order to breath, so they are probably passive due to a lack of oxygen.

ClamsClams | photo: (cc-by-sa) Frank Fox

Most of the creatures I have seen before, in films made by Jacques Cousteau, but of course not in the flesh. Some of that marine life though... Have they been around forever, or did they develop recently as a result of nuclear radiation? Well, I am not a marine biologist, just a culinary adventurer, so we dig in.

Duong Dong Night MarketDuong Dong Night Market | photo: (cc-by-sa) Frank Fox

Grilled, boiled, steamed and stir-fried, Dinh Cau Night Market on Phu Quoc Island features great seafood cuisine at a reasonable price. Of course, without a dessert the meal is not complete. You can decide between sugar-roasted peanuts, a selection of fresh fruits, pancakes and traditional Vietnamese sweet soups.

Sea UrchinsSea Urchins | photo: (cc-by-sa) Frank Fox

I also bought a package of spicy, roasted seaweed for my queen. She loves seaweed and spicy food as well, so that's the perfect culinary souvenir. If you want to wash down the fish you ate, try either Saigonese beer or a cup of the wonderfully refreshing sugarcane juice they offer at various stalls.

Dinh Cau Night MarketDinh Cau Night Market | photo: (cc-by-sa) Frank Fox

Compared with other night markets, the amount of souvenirs is rather disappointing though. Some of the shells may be from Phu Quoc Island, but most of the cheaper pearls are of Chinese origin. The lacquerware is from the mainlands of Vietnam as well and the t-shirts at the night market are rather uncreative. Some of the souvenirs are real corals. Please be responsible and don't buy them. The reefs are a vital part of the marine ecosystem around Phu Quoc Island and they have a hard standing against the pollution anyway. No need to manually destroy them on top of that.

But that Dinh Cau Night Market offers the best seafood, we easily agreed on that.

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