Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, is well-known not only for a dynamic and bustling environment but also for the precious cultural values. This can be easily found in every street of the Old Quarter, every typical dish of Hanoi cuisine, and every traditional market. When shopping in Hanoi, you cannot be ignored Dong Xuan Market, the largest wholesale market in Hanoi.
General information about Dong Xuan Market
- Location: 15 Cau Dong Street, Dong Xuan Ward, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
- Opening hours: From 6 AM to 6 PM daily for Day Market
- From 6 PM to Midnight on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for Night Day
History of Dong Xuan Market
Historical documents show, before 1888, there was a market in the south of To Lich River, from Hang Ca to Ngo Gach Street. In 1889, when a part of To Lich River and Thai Cuc Lake were filled, the authority at that time re-planned the market, and all the kiosks had to move to an empty area in Dong Xuan Ward, forming Dong Xuan Market. In 1889, the market was begun with five vault-like roofs and steel frames; each frame is 19 meters high and 52 meters long, covering a total area of 6500 square meters.
When the market was accomplished, the first time, there was only a market meeting every two days, but later on, because of the needs of the developing economy and commerce, Dong Xuan Market opened every day from morning to evening. There were various kinds of goods traded there, such as agricultural products (foodstuffs, vegetables, fruits…) fabric and machinery from, China, India, France.
Since the Indochina War broke out on December 19th, 1946, Dong Xuan Market had witnessed the fierce battles of Vietnamese resistance fighters against the French soldiers, outstandingly the combat of deciding-to-die soldiers (Quyết Tử Quân) to stop the French attack on the Inter-resistance Zone 1 in February 1947.
In 1990, two blocks were broken down, and three others were improved with three floors. However, in 1994, Dong Xuan Market was completely destroyed by fire; almost all the stalls there were burnt down. This has been the largest market fire in Hanoi so far. In 1995, the market was rebuilt completely with a total area of three floors of nearly 14,000 square meters with about 2000 stores.
For over 100 years, Dong Xuan Market has associated with lots of important milestones throughout the length history of Hanoi, contained the sentiment of Hanoians, which become one of the inseparable symbols of Hanoi.
Dong Xuan Day Market
Like other traditional markets in Vietnam, Dong Xuan Market has innumerable kiosks selling essential goods spread over three floors. Each floor of Dong Xuan Day Market has distinct kinds of goods, which is so convenient for you to find things you need. Shall we discover what is sold on each floor!
The first floor
Coming to Dong Xuan Market, you are able to see at one a fountain in the central position of the 1st floor. This is the place where you can sit down to relax or take photos to remember. On the ground floor of the market, like other ones, there are lots of kinds of foodstuffs such as meat, seafood, vegetables, and processed foods. The back parts of this floor sell pets like dogs, cats, goldfish, and also fresh flowers. The market also sells household appliances and electric equipment.
The second floor
Going up to the second floor, you will get to the area where fashion products are sold with hats, T-shirts, dresses, skirts, fabrics in many colors and styles, most of which are the latest ones in the market. In addition, accessories are available on the second floor with necklaces, bracelets, earrings, watches, handbags, shoes, etc. If you want to buy some souvenirs like ceramic teapots, conical hats, and decorations, the second floor will serve you. The price of most commodities here is so reasonable, so you can shop, but do not worry about your limited budget.
The third floor
The third floor is the place for parents, especially mothers with children. This is the place where there are various clothes for newborn babies, pregnant women, and children, all of which are very colorful and good-looking. Besides, there are other types of toys for children such as lego blocks, puzzle games, and stuffed animals. Most of the toys come from China, so the prices are quite cheap. Why do not you bring your children some souvenirs from Vietnam? They must be extremely excited!
Dong Xuan Night Market
Being open from 6 pm till midnight on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, Dong Xuan Night Market is not only a place for trading goods but also an indispensable destination for cultural exchanges. stretching out some key streets in the Old Quarter, Dong Xuan Night Market provides you with countless products in nearly 4000 kiosks, ranging from foods and beverages fabric, handicrafts, clothes to souvenirs. All of them reflect the specific culture and also the spirit of Hanoi.
The most common products sold at Dong Xuan Night Market are clothes, shoes, and up-to-date fashion commodities. They serve the demand of the young locals and travelers being two main groups of consumers visiting this night market. Walking around the crowded streets, you can freely choose a variety of souvenirs of Hanoi such as ceramics, pottery, wooden toys, ivory combs, T-shirt printed Vietnamese attractions, postcards. In addition, you can have an occasion to enjoy mouth-watering Vietnamese specialties such as Pho, rib porridge, sweet soup, and Banh mi.
Opening Hours and Neighborhood
Dong Xuan Night Market lasts from 6 pm until midnight, from Friday to Sunday. The location of this night market is not within Dong Xuan Night Market, but from Hang Dao Street to the gate of the day market; therefore, it is also called Hanoi Old Quarter Night Market.
Dong Xuan Night Market is located within the Old Quarter, so the surrounding area of Dong Xuan Night Market is also an ideal destination for you to discover. Just walking, you can get to Ta Hien Street to drink a cup of beer, enjoy the cultural shows at Thang Long Water Puppet Theater or wander around Hoan Kiem Lake and Long Bien Bridge to feel the bustling life of Hanoians.
Tips to Note
Unlike at Dong Xuan Day Market, at the night market, you do not need to bargain due to the quite reasonable and pocket-friendly price there.
Coming to Dong Xuan Night Market by motorbike, besides finding a parking area, you should not take in alcohol drinks or you will be fined by the police.
Besides shopping at this market, you are able to experience the cultural traits in the nearby areas, especially in Hanoi Old Quarter and Pedestrian Park at weekends. Don’t forget to keep an eye on your wallet and mobile phone, because there might be some pickpockets there.
How to Get to Dong Xuan Night Market?
From the north bank of the Hoan Kiem lake, take Hang Dao Street. Along the way, it changes the name to Hang Ngang Street, and then Hang Duong Street, finally it becomes Dong Xuan Street. You will see Dong Xuan Market on the right side of the road. The distance is about 400 meters. It is located right in the city center, it is convenient for you to go there by car, bus, motorbike and even on foot.
– Going by taxi: It is supposed that taking a taxi is the easiest and most convenient to get to Dong Xuan Night Market, especially if you are going to stay at the market late until midnight.
– Going by motorbike: It is interesting to ride a motorbike to watch the busy streets of Hanoi. However, you should use Google Map to make sure that you will not get lost or go on one-direct streets. In addition, you will need to find a parking lot in the nearby area as the Old Quarter of Hanoi on weekends is blocked off to vehicles.
– Going by bus: Buses No. 09A, 14, and 36 will take you to the nearby areas of Dong Xuan Market, then you will have to go on foot to get there.
What to Eat in Dong Xuan Market?
If you are looking for a place to discover the typical cuisine of Hanoi, Dong Xuan Market is definitely the best choice for you. Dropping by the market, you will be overwhelmed by the diversity of street foods there. you can choose numerous delicious dishes, from the Vietnamese style to the famous foods of other countries in the world. The reasonable prices and the diversity of food there make Dong Xuan market a food paradise in the Old Quarter of Hanoi, a familiar place for chatting of people of all ages. It is difficult for you to list all the must-to-eat dishes in and around the food market, let try these following suggestions!
Noodle with grilled bamboo-stuck meat (Bún chả que tre)
The first dish in Dong Xuan Market that is worth trying is noodles with grilled bamboo-stuck meat. Pork is cut into slices, added onion, lemongrass, black pepper, and some other spices, stuck in a bamboo stick, and grilled on the charcoal fire. Grilled meat is served with rice noodles, pickled vegetables such as lettuce, cucumber, and coriander then dipped into sweet and sour fish sauce. It is absolutely cheap for a delicious meal to have a plate of noodles with grilled bamboo-stuck meat that will cost you about VND 25,000.
Rib and cartilage gruel (Cháo sườn sụn)
Rib and cartilage gruel will please the most fastidious diners by the combination of rib and rice in the gruel, which is both crunchy and well-stewed. In other places, rib and cartilage gruel is made from whole rice grain, but in Dong Xuan Market, it is made from broken rice, which helps the texture to be more smooth and flavourful. Rib and cartilage gruel is usually served with finger-shaped dried bread. This dish will definitely leave a long-lasting impression on you from the first try. Just with 30,000 VND, you are able to enjoy a full large bowl of rib and cartilage gruel.
Beef jerky and green papaya salad (Gỏi xoài khô bò)
Beef jerky and green papaya salad is a sort of snack famous in the market. This special dish is made of dried and spicy beef, mixed with fine-cut green papaya, roast gizzard, peanuts, mint leaves, and coriander. The most important ingredient of this dish is the unique sauce that is made from fish sauce, sugar, lemon juice, and chili according to a certain recipe, adding an unforgettable taste to every visitor. Only with 35,000 VND, you can enjoy a plate of beef jerky and green papaya salad, which is quite worth wandering around the Old Quarter for an evening.
It is such a flaw if you get to Hanoi, but miss shopping and experiencing the local culture in Dong Xuan Market. The market is not only a famous trading center in Hanoi but also a place having precious cultural values. what are you waiting for? Let visit the market and tell us about your wonderful visit.