Dong Xuan Market
One of the most exciting places to visit in Hanoi is the local market. Experiencing the place’s organized chaos is one of the best ways to understand the locals and witness their day-to-day interactions.
One of the most exciting places to visit in Hanoi is the local market. Experiencing the place’s organized chaos is one of the best ways to understand the locals and witness their day-to-day interactions. Wares displayed across the ground, vendors call out bringing one unique token after another as they try to sell a souvenir or ten, a piece by which to remember Hanoi.
In the city of Hanoi, there is no other place to shop, chat, and dine with the locals than Don Xuan Market. Originally built during the French administration in the Hanoi French Quarter 1889, this colossal structure has seen its fair share of renovations after the fire of 1994.
Today, it has become the lifeblood of both the city and its locals. Its three stories are filled with stalls that sell various kinds of goods – as expected in any city market. However, in Vietnam, they do things a little differently than the rest. Surprisingly, business is conducted without the typical push and shove as visitors and locals swimmingly travel from one place to the other with speed and ease.
What to buy
- Garments such as the Non La (Vietnam’s famous conical shaped hat) or silk / leather shoes
- Kitchen accessories
- Handicrafts and souvenirs
For foodies on the go, the Northern part of Dong Xuan has enough food stalls to satisfy any specific craving. Visitors can also try local cuisines such as the Hai Phong bread, Donner Kebap, and the occasional hot pot during the colder months.
Best time to go: The Dong Xuan Market is open from 6:00am to 7:00pm. However, if you want to see the market at its peak (and make some new friends along the way), the best time to visit would be early evening.
How to get there: To get to the market, you must travel to the west end of the Hanoi Old Quarter, which is surrounded by the streets of Hang Kohai and Cau Dong. If you keep walking down Hang Ngang Street, you will be able to reach the market after four blocks. See the location on Google Maps here.