Dong Xuan Market or Dong Xuan night market is a well-known wholesale market in Hanoi, Viet Nam. After 100 years, Dong Xuan market still remains its spiritual cultural values, reflects the life of ancient Trang An people. Here are some tips for you who are going on a tour discovering this famous market.
Monday, 17/02/2020, 03:29
Address: Dong Xuan Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
Opening hours: 8 AM – 6 PM Every day And open from 6 p.m to 10h30 p.m on weekend evenings (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) but it starts setting up around 5 p.m. It becomes very crowded at 8 – 10 p.m so you should arrange the time to go there.
Dong Xuan Market Introduction
The market was founded in 1889 by the French under the Nguyen Dynasty. Since its construction, Dong Xuan market in Hanoi has gone through a lot of historical events; the most significant of which is the massive fire occurred in 1994, which almost obliterated the market and caused about a 4.5 million USD loss for the Government. Then, it has been rebuilt in its original form and maintained to be Hanoi’ busiest commercial location until now.
How to Get to Dong Xuan Market in Hanoi
Travelers get there head up Hang Ngang Street from the junction of Hang Bo/ Hang Bac and keep going straight. The market is bordered by Nguyen Thien Thuat, Cao Thang, Hang Khoai, and Tran Nhat Duat. Or tourists can see Dong Xuan Market with a big building on the right side of the road. It is about 400 meters and 20 minutes walking from Hoan Kiem lake.
There is a bus stop in front of the main entrance of the market. You can check the list in the picture below to find the right bus to get to the market. This can be the most economical and convenient means of transportation, but remember to prepare changes for bus tickets and don't bring too many belongings.
There are numerous buses that can take tourists to Dong Xuan market
Grabbing a taxi on the road is fine, but if possible, try to use mobile apps such as Grab or Goviet (a Vietnamese app to call motorbikes) to avoid dangerous scams and get cheaper deals.
Since the market is right in Hanoi Old Quarter, it would be best if tourists can experience this local market along with other destinations nearby and save transportation money.
When to Visit Dong Xuan Market in Hanoi
The market opens from 8 AM to 6 PM daily and will mostly be crowded all day. However, due to the intense heat of the summer, coming in the afternoon or early morning might be better. On the weekends, from Friday to Sunday, there is also a Dong Xuan night market being held right on the same street, but instead of an indoor market, it is an air-opened walking market.
Opening hours for the night market: 7 PM – 12:30 AM (every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday).
Based on the nature and utility of goods, each area in Dong Xuan Market Hanoi is divided quite reasonably. Clothing, footwear, bags, watches, wallets, belts, leather purses, teddy bears, electronics, refrigerators, home appliances, dried goods … items sold by region.
Specifically, it makes it easy for customers to find the goods they want to visit or shopping as follows:
1st Floor: specializing in selling electronics, refrigeration, home appliances, watches, backpack, bags, wallets, souvenirs …
2nd Floor: Specializing in selling fabrics for apparel.
3rd Floor: Specializing in selling children’s wear, men’s fashion; women and middle age’s wear
Why you should try going there at least one time?
Located in Hanoi Old Quarter but Dong Xuan Market is different from other streets. If each street like Hang Dao, Hang Ma only specializes in one kind of goods, goods sold in Dong Xuan Market is extremely diverse from machinery, agricultural products, textiles to Vietnamese traditional food. Especially, food in here is dirt cheap (its prices from $1 to $3) which makes this market a heaven for diners to hang out with friends.
Here are 2 useful tips for you: if you want to buy kinds of stuff such as dried food, Dong Ho drawings, Bat Trang ceramics, embroideries, sand paintings, etc. in Dong Xuan Market, you should go as early as possible. But if you want to experience the crowded, busy life at night in here, 8 p.m is a good time.
What to prepare before going to Dong Xuan Market?
It can get very hot and humid fast when you walk along in the crowd in the market so a T-shirt and shorts would be an ideal couple for you, especially on hot summer days. They also sell a lot of very cute banana T-shirt and matching shorts in Dong Xuan Market, don’t hesitate to try some.
The price here is not so high, tourists can buy things with a far cheaper price on the market than the shops, and you can even bargain down further sometimes as there are a lot of vendors. So you shouldn’t bring so much money.
You should go on foot in Dong Xuan Market because after 7 p.m, this night market can be very crowded with tourists and locals.
Word of advice:
– If you go with your families: This market can become extremely busy so hold onto your kids.
– Many shops sell the same product at different prices so you should notice the shown prices before buying things. Please notice that many of them are fake and cheap stuff from China such as fake branded clothes, shoes, phone accessories, etc.
– You can buy things at “good prices” if you are willing and know how to haggle.
– Be careful with your belongings: You should keep all your valuables at the hotel and bring along a small amount of money.
What to eat in Dong Xuan Market?
Though there is not so much difference between Dong Xuan Night Market and other night markets in Asia, it is still an ideal destination for visitors, who have a strong passion with Vietnamese unique street food. You can be extremely impressed by a wide selection of exotic Hanoi dishes and they are reasonable and tasty. Here are some suggestions for you:
Noodle with grilled bamboo-stuck meat
This kind of food in Dong Xuan Market is another interesting version of Bun Cha. The fatty pork strips are sliced and clamped between young bamboo sticks instead of iron broilers. The kind of selected pork has thin skin and layers of fat which make the meat maintain its moisture. They mix the pork with salt, pepper, fish sauce, chopped onion then grill over charcoal. One of the most important factors that make this dish so famous is the dipping sauce. The sauce is a combination of sweet, sour, salty and spicy flavor. Noodle with grilled pork in Dong Xuan Market truly reflects the style of ancient Hanoian.
Rib & cartilage gruel
This dish in Dong Xuan market is only sold from 5 p.m until midnight. Gruel is cooked with stewed bone, rib cartilage, and some shredded meat or fried bread-sticks on top. When eating, diners can feel the sweetness of the meat, the crisp of rib cartilages and salty flavor of the shredded meat. What can be greater than having a bowl of hot pork-rib porridge vender on a winter day.
The stall is located on a sidewalk of Dong Xuan Market, and a bowl costs VND30,000 ($1.3).
Beef jerky and green papaya salad
Beside Banh Bot Loc, spring rolls, dried beef salad (Nộm bò khô) is a popular and delicious snack among young people in Viet Nam. A colorful dish of beef jerky salad is a combination of chili, carrots, papaya, herbs, and peanuts on top. The salad dressing which is a mixture of sugar, water, vinegar/lemon juice, and fish sauce make it have a special taste of Vietnamese salad.
At the first try, you can feel the harmony of the utter spiciness of chili, the spiciness, and sweetness of the dried beef, the pungent flavor of herbs, the nutty taste of roasted peanuts which can make you never forget. This is best served with a glass of beer especially in summer days in Ha Noi. When hanging out with your friends, you can treat them some dishes of Beef jerky and green papaya salad with a cold beer.
The price for a dish is around 30.000 VND (about $2)
Sweet soup (“Che”)
There is a famous Che shop in Dong Xuan Market – Xuka shop which is located deep inside Dong Xuan market lane. This name is inspired by the owner’s favorite character in Doraemon – Xuka. At Xuka, you can try a wide variety of sweet soup. Some popular Vietnamese traditional “Che” are the black bean, red bean, green bean, corn, pomelo, jelly and some modern flavor like caramel, sticky rice yogurt, etc.
For those who have sweet tooth, you may love adding the mixture of coconut milk, dried banana, dried coconut, and some jelly.
The price for a glass of sweet soup is around 15.000 VND (about $1).