In the early hours of the morning, the Tam Tien fish market in Nui Thanh District, around 45 km from Hoi An ancient city, springs to life as local fishermen arrive with their fresh catches from the sea. Over the years, Tam Tien has evolved from a simple docking station for boats to become the largest seafood market in Quang Nam province. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the bustling fish market, the daily lives of local fishermen, and how tourism has started to shape the once-secluded location.
1. Tam Tien Fish Market’s Humble Beginnings
Fifteen years ago, Tam Tien was just a small fishing village, but as the number of fishing vessels increased, it became the central distribution point for seafood in Quang Nam. The market operates mainly during the monsoon season, from April to September, when fishermen venture out to sea in search of a bountiful catch.
2. The Daily Routine of Fishermen
Around 3-4 a.m., as the first light of dawn breaks, local fishermen set sail to the middle of the sea in their coracles. They return about 12 hours later, bringing in a fresh haul of fish and other seafood. On the shore, women meticulously sort and select the seafood, ensuring only the highest quality makes its way to the markets, restaurants, and eateries in Tam Ky City and nearby areas.
3. The Thriving Seafood Market
Within minutes of reaching the mainland, most of the seafood is sold. The prices vary depending on the type of seafood; for instance, a kilogram of scad can cost between VND 50,000 – 70,000 ($2.12-2.96), while squid can fetch about VND 100,000 – 140,000 per kilo. The brisk trade and bustling atmosphere of the market paint a vibrant picture of the local seafood industry.
4. Challenges Faced During the Rainy Season
Tam Tien’s fishing operations experience a pause in October when the rainy season begins, bringing with it rough seas that force the fishing boats to stay ashore. During this period, fishermen maintain and repair their equipment while waiting for the weather to clear.
5. The Unsung Heroines of Tam Tien
At the market, one can witness local women of diverse backgrounds and age groups, ranging from teenagers to elderly women with wrinkled faces, earning their livelihood by carrying heavy batches of fish for the buyers. Their resilience and hard work play an essential role in keeping the market running smoothly.
6. Tourism’s Impact on Tam Tien
For many years, Tam Tien fish market remained hidden from foreign tourists due to its secluded location. However, things changed when the five-star Tui Blue Nam Hoi An Resort opened its doors in 2020, just two kilometers from Tam Tien beach. The resort now offers daily tours for its guests, allowing them to experience the market at dawn and gain insights into the daily lives of the local fishermen.
7. The Scenic Truong Giang River
Alongside the Tam Tien coast lies the picturesque Truong Giang River, adorned with shrimp farms. The river provides a serene backdrop to the bustling fish market, adding to the charm of the location.
The Tam Tien fish market in Quang Nam is not just a hub for seafood trade; it is a representation of the resilience and hard work of local fishermen and women. From the crack of dawn, the market comes alive with the bounty of the sea, offering a glimpse into the traditional fishing practices of the region. With the growing interest of tourists, Tam Tien is gradually becoming a hidden gem, where visitors can witness the beauty of a vibrant fish market and immerse themselves in the local fishing community.
- Are foreign tourists allowed to visit Tam Tien fish market?Yes, foreign tourists can now visit the Tam Tien fish market, especially through tours offered by nearby resorts like Tui Blue Nam Hoi An Resort.
- When does the fishing season in Tam Tien start and end?The fishing season in Tam Tien primarily operates during the monsoon season, from April to September. However, it halts during the rainy season, which starts in October due to rough seas.
- What is the significance of the coracles used by local fishermen?Coracles are small, round boats made of woven bamboo and coated with tar. They are well-suited for navigating shallow waters and are an integral part of traditional fishing practices in Tam Tien.
- What are the most popular seafood items sold at Tam Tien fish market?The seafood market offers a variety of fresh catches, with scad and squid being popular choices among buyers.
- How has tourism impacted the local community in Tam Tien?Tourism, particularly through the Tui Blue Nam Hoi An Resort, has brought visibility to the once-secluded fish market, providing opportunities for local fishermen to interact with tourists and diversify their income sources.