Fresh seafood vendors on the Cham island (just a half-hour boat ride from UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site of Hoi An) cook up fresh catches in under five minutes at rock-bottom prices.
“I’ve never seen a seafood market like the one on Cham island,” first-time visitor Nguyen Thi Lan from Hue said.
“You ask for the price and once you nod your head, the lady picks up a knife and a cutting board and in less than five minutes everything is steaming up at you from your plate,” Lan told news website VietNamNet.
Once on the island, everything becomes shockingly inexpensive.
Visitors take a hike through the jungle for free and seafood is half the mainland price and a quarter of the price at restaurants in large cities.
A tour guide said one dish of mu fish (the groupers species) costs VND300,000 ($14) a kilogram on the island but large restaurants can charge one for VND1.2 million.
A dish of Cham squid costs VND120,000-200.000 ($5.6-9.4) a kilogram, fish between VND100,000-300,000 ($4,70-14) a kilo and urchins VND30,000 ($1.4) each.
“Delicious, nutritious and cheap; cheaper than anywhere,” said Thu, a vendor.
The vendors set up a row of around ten booths and sell from early morning to dusk.
Some tourists said they visit the island several times a year.
Nguyen Xuan Anh, of Hanoi, said his family visits the island every summer.
“You get the sea and the mountains, and fresh seafood that you can enjoy without worrying about being ripped off.”