Dong Xuan market - The largest local market in Hanoi capital, Vietnam
Dong Xuan market - The largest local market in Hanoi capital, Vietnam
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I, Dong Xuan market - the biggest local market in Hanoi
1.An overview of Dong Xuan market
Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital city, is well-known not only for its active and bustling daily life but for valuable cultural aspects. Tourists can easily find those cultural values in every corner of the Old Quarter, dishes of Hanoi gastronomy and traditional markets as well. Especially, one of the most famous local markets that tourists can’t ignore when visiting Hanoi is Dong Xuan market. This market has become the biggest local market in Hanoi with its precious cultural value, along with the ancient city.
Dong Xuan market has an ideal location in the heart of the capital city, together with impressive architecture and history. Therefore, the largest local market is a perfect destination for any tourists when coming to Hanoi. When going to the market, you’ll find many goods from fabric, clothing, necessities, handicrafts and street foods.
2.History of the biggest local market - Dong Xuan
A long history of the development
In the late 19th century, there were two major marketplaces in the Old Quarter including Hang Duong street and Hang Ma street. Until 1889, these markets were closed and Dong Xuan market was built under the French administration’s request. It can be said that Dong Xuan market, along with Long Bien bridge, is one of Hanoi's new architectural constructions.
As being constructed in 1889, Dong Xuan market started with 5 vault-like roofs and steel frames. Each of them has 19 meters in height and 25 meters in width, covering about 6500 square meters. Initially, there was only a market opening every two days. Nevertheless, this local market opened every day from early morning to late evening due to the needs of economic development. Tons of commodities are traded here such as agricultural products, food, vegetables, fabric, electronic appliances and machinery made from China, France and India.
Become a witness of the fierce fight during the nationwide war
Besides, this Hanoi’s largest market carries a historical significance that you can explore when visiting this Hanoi destination. As the war broke out in 1946, Dong Xuan market witnessed the ferocious battles between Vietnamese resistance soldiers against the French army. Especially the fight of Vietnamese deciding-to-die preventing the French military from attacking the inter-resistance zone in February 1947.
Dong Xuan market during the peacetime
After two blocks of Dong Xuan market was broken down, in 1990, people renovated three remaining blocks with 3 floors. However, most selling stalls here were totally destroyed by the fire in 1994. That has been the largest market fire in Hanoi until now. One year later, Hanoians rebuilt this market with a total area of around 14,000 square meters with more than 2000 stores.
With over 100 years of existence, Dong Xuan night market has undergone many significant events throughout Hanoi’s history. That makes it become one of the iconic symbols of Hanoi capital.
II. What to find in each floor of this market
As being the largest wholesale market in Hanoi, Dong Xuan market has lots of kiosks selling many goods ranging from appearances and prices. Therefore, each floor will have different types of commodities. Let’s figure out what we have on each floor.
2.1 The first floor
When coming to Hanoi’s largest market, you can easily see a fountain in the center of the first floor. This place where you can sit down and have a short break after shopping. On the ground floor of this local market, there are plenty of foodstuffs like meat, seafood, agricultural products and processed foods. It also has space for trading pets such as dogs, cats, goldfish and even fresh flowers in some corners. Besides, lots of household appliances and electronic equipment are available for sale here.
2.2 The second floor
Next, you’ll go to the second floor where many fashionable clothings are found with T-shirts, dresses and fabrics in various styles and colors. Interestingly, this market always updates the latest trends in the market. Moreover, beautiful accessories are also ready for sale with handbags, shoes, bracelets and so on. The second floor is an ideal place for you to find meaningful souvenirs such as ceramic products, conical hats, etc. The price of most goods here is pretty reasonable so you can buy without thinking of tightening your budget.
2.3 The third floor
This floor is a perfect place for parents, especially mums with children. On the third floor of this local market, there are many fashionable and colorful clothes for children, newborn kids, etc. Furthermore, various types of products for kids like toys, lego blocks and games are available for selling. That would be a great thought if you bring some Vietnamese souvenirs for your kids.
Tourists can go shopping not only within Dong Xuan local market but also in surrounding areas where there are many things to explore. Lots of stores surrounding Dong Xuan market areas where you can find handicrafts that carry specific Vietnamese traditional values. It can be named such as traditional Dong Ho drawings, Bat Trang ceramic stuff, impressive sand paintings, etc. Therefore, Dong Xuan night market is a must-visit destination if you’re seeking exciting local lifestyle experiences within Hoan Kiem Lake area.
III What to eat at Hanoi’s largest market?
Dong Xuan local market is famous not only for its variety of commodities but its yummy foodstuffs as well. You’ll have a chance to enjoy a variety of street food here, especially Hanoi cuisines. There’s no doubt when saying that Dong Xuan market is the best option for you to savour delicious dishes.
With a reasonable price and a variety of foodstuffs, this local market becomes food heaven for tourists in the Old Quarter. There are some must-try dishes for you to enjoy such as Pho, Noodles with grilled bamboo-stuck pork, rib and cartilage gruel and beef and green papaya salad, etc.
IV. Discovering the night market of Dong Xuan
Besides opening in the daytime for people to trade, Dong Xuan market also opens at night as well. It is held from 6:00 pm until midnight on Friday, Saturday and Sunday every week. This is not only a marketplace for selling commodities but an ideal destination for cultural exchanges. Spanning over some streets of the Old Quarter, Dong Xuan night market has around 4000 stores selling many products from fashionable clothes, handicrafts to foods and drinks. All of them show Hanoi’s typical cultural aspects and spirits.
There are two groups of consumers going to Dong Xuan night market including the youngsters and tourists.
V. How to get to Dong Xuan local market?
About 400 meters from Hoan Kiem Lake, you’ll go to the north bank of the lake and take Hang Dao street. Going through Hang Ngang street, then Hang Duong and finally, you go to Dong Xuan street. You’ll see Dong Xuan local market on the right side. With its ideal location in the city center, it’s quite convenient for you to get to Dong Xuan market by taxi, bus, motorbike and even go by walk.
Read more: Transportation in Hanoi, Vietnam 2020
1. By taxi
Going to the market by taxi seems to be the easiest and most convenient way for most tourists. Especially in case you’re planning to visit Dong Xuan market until midnight to explore the night market. This way is suitable for those who are not familiar with the traffic in Hanoi.
2. By motorbike
Taking a motorbike to discover bustling streets, especially Dong Xuan market is an unforgettable experience after all. Please make sure that you’re good at looking at Google Map if you don’t want to get lost or go to the one-side roads. In addition, you’ll have to park the bike in the right place because the Old Quarter on weekends prohibits all vehicles. Riding a motorbike is suitable for those who are seeking a new experience during their trip to Hanoi.
3. By bus
Taking a bus to get to Dong Xuan market is another option for tourists. You can get on the bus with the number of 09A, 14 and 36. These buses will take you to the place nearby this market, then you’ll walk to get there. Going around Hanoi city by bus is also an exciting experience for tourists.
VI. Tips for tourists when visiting this night market
- When visiting Dong Xuan market at night, you don’t need to bargain since the commodities’ prices are pretty reasonable. It’s not the same as the market in the daytime.
- Besides trading in this market, you’ll have a chance to experience the cultural identities in the surrounding areas, especially in the Old Quarter and walking streets on weekends.
- If you go to Dong Xuan night market by bike, please be aware of some traffic signs on the road.
- Finally, please keep an eye on your items including your cell phone and wallet as there may be some pick-pockets.
As being the largest local market in Hanoi, Dong Xuan market is worth visiting during your memorable journey in the capital. There’s a miss if you come to Hanoi without shopping and discovering the local cultural traits in this local market. It’s not only renowned for its massive trading center in Hanoi city, Dong Xuan local market also carries the cultural values for the city with over-1000-year history. Hopefully, that information above will help you to know more about this market before visiting.