Dong Xuan market, the unique wholesale market of Hanoi?

by Minh Hiếu">Minh Hiếu

Dong Xuan market is the oldest market in Hanoi, originally built by French people in 1889, the largest local market not only in Hanoi city but also in the Northern region of Vietnam. During the history, the market was rebuilt in 1994 after a fire which almost destroyed the market

The market is a famous tourist site when you visit Hanoi but it is not a good choice for tourist shopping

  • Dong Xuan market opening hours: Daily from 06:30 AM – 17:00 PM
  • Entrance fee: No
  • Address: No. 15, Cau Dong Street, Dong Xuan Ward, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi. (Map)
  • Nearby Attractions:
    • Hoan Kiem Lake: Located about 0.6 km southwest of the market.
    • St. Joseph’s Cathedral: 0.8 km west of the market.
    • Ngoc Son Pagoda: 0.9 km south of the market.
Dong Xuan market, a unique local market in Hanoi
Dong Xuan market, a unique local market in Hanoi

History of Dong Xuan market

From humble beginnings by the To Lich River in 1804, Hanoi’s Dong Xuan Market has woven itself into the city’s vibrant tapestry. In 1889, French colonial hands crafted its iconic architecture, still standing proud amidst the market’s bustling energy. Throughout its life, Dong Xuan has transcended commerce. It served as a vital resistance hub during the First Indochina War, witnessing history unfold within its very walls. Today, it’s not just a haven for bargain hunters, but a beating heart of Hanoi. Wander its vibrant aisles, and you’ll find echoes of the past whispering through the air, while the future unfolds with every friendly haggle and delicious bite.

Stepping into Dong Xuan is like stepping into a living time capsule, where history and modernity collide in a symphony of sights, sounds, and smells. So, come, lose yourself in its vibrant chaos, and discover the soul of Hanoi, one bargain at a time.

Dong Xuan market history
Dong Xuan market history

Dong Xuan wholesale market 

It is truly a large local market of Hanoi and Northern Vietnam, various types of goods can be easily found here for a huge volume trading. Many traders from different provinces buy good items from the Dong Xuan market to retail at their own provincial shops. Thus, the Dong Xuan market is a local wholesales trading market, the goods are cheap for wholesale buyers.

Dong Xuan market wholesale
Dong Xuan market wholesale- three stories 

You can find everything from local clothing, accessories to souvenir, household goods in this local market of Hanoi but it mostly uses for local trading, do not expect to have a wealth of options with excellent artworks or the best of Vietnam souvenir.

Structure of Dong Xuan market 

  • 1st storey: selling electronics devices, home appliances, watches, backpack, bags, wallets, souvenirs
  • 2nd storey: selling fabrics for apparel
  • 3rd storey: selling clothes for children, men, and women

The sellers are also easy to pass you by, their target customers are local wholesales buyers, you can buy some stuff of things.

You can also find some reviews about the shopping experience at this market from other travelers on TripAdvisor

Dong Xuan market- source/lonel-flickr
Dong Xuan market- source/lonel-flickr

What food should you try at Dong Xuan market?

Dong Xuan Market is a foodie paradise, offering a smorgasbord of delicious Vietnamese dishes to tantalize your taste buds. Here are some must-try options, catering to different preferences:

For the adventurous:

  • Bún chả: Grilled marinated pork served with vermicelli noodles, fresh herbs, and a dipping sauce. A classic Hanoi dish, the smoky pork and refreshing noodles are a perfect combination.
  • Bánh mì: Vietnamese baguette sandwiches filled with various savory fillings like grilled pork, pate, pickled vegetables, and chili sauce. A filling and affordable option to grab on the go.
  • Chè: Vietnamese sweet soup with a variety of ingredients like tapioca pearls, fruits, beans, and coconut milk. A refreshing and satisfying dessert, perfect for a hot day.
  • Trà đá: Vietnamese iced tea, a refreshing and ubiquitous beverage to quench your thirst while exploring the market.
  • Bánh cuốn: Steamed rice rolls filled with pork, shrimp, or mushroom and served with a dipping sauce. Light and delicate, these rolls are a great option for a quick bite.
  • Xôi: Steamed sticky rice with various toppings like mung bean, pork floss, or shredded coconut. A hearty and comforting dish, perfect for a light breakfast or snack.
Dong Xuan market- food
Dong Xuan market- food

How was a visit to the Dong Xuan market?

Definitely yes, come simply to experience a typical Vietnamese market, to observe local trading and part of local life in Hanoi. The three-story market provides many items including fresh produce, dried goods to colorful clothes, shoes… The market divides into many small stalls for wholesales and small traders.

Walk through the market, where you come to see the vibrant life of local traders. They work hard and perform busy trading for the whole day to feed their family, as what happens for most people in Vietnam these days.

Getting to Dong Xuan market from the Hanoi Old Quarter 

On foot (15-20 minutes)

Take a walk through Hanoi Old Quarter to pass by Bach Ma temple in Hang Buom str then walk ahead to Hang Ngang street, visit Dong Xuan market and walk to nearby Long Bien bridge in the afternoon to see the busy locals getting back home in traffic, you can find some interesting features of Hanoi local life, how they worship, what they eat, how they work at a local trading market, and get home after work.

Dong Xuan Market- On foot
Dong Xuan Market- Get on foot

By cyclo (5-10 minutes)

  • Hop on a traditional cyclo (rickshaw) for a fun and authentic way to navigate the Old Quarter’s maze-like streets.
  • Flag down a cyclo driver or find them gathered near popular tourist spots like Hoan Kiem Lake.
  • Tell them you’re going to Dong Xuan Market, and they’ll whisk you there in no time
a traditional cyclo to get Dong Xuan market
a traditional cyclo to get Dong Xuan market

By Grab taxi (5-10 minutes)

  • The quickest and most convenient option, especially if you’re carrying heavy bags or traveling with a group.
  • Download the Grab app (Southeast Asia’s equivalent of Uber) and book a ride.
  • Your driver will pick you up from your current location and take you directly to Dong Xuan Market.
Dong Xuan Market
Dong Xuan Market- Grab bike or taxi

By bus:

  • Hanoi’s public bus system is a cheap and efficient way to get around, but can be crowded during peak hours.
  • Several buses stop near Dong Xuan Market, including routes 1, 8, 4, 31, 14, 14CT, 18, 22A, and 23.
  • Check the route map and bus stop locations before boarding to ensure you’re on the right bus

Dong Xuan night market

The wholesales market closes at 06:00 pm every day but there would be another night market opens just in front of the entrance, on Dong Xuan street, the area of the walking street.

The night market opens on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 18:00 pm. The quarter from Hoan Kiem lake to Dong Xuan street will turn to walking streets.

The market has full of things to buy, you will find vendors selling bamboo dolls and pictures, handmade postcards, and even leather handbags. Necklaces, bracelets, keychains, and more are sold in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors.

Dong Xuan Market-Vibrant night/ source schin-mainz- flickr
Dong Xuan Market-Vibrant night/ source schin-mainz- flickr

Some locals tips when visiting to Dong Xuan market

  • The market is crowded with locals and tourists so keep your belonging in your hands carefully. You might want to go in a group or with locals to make thing easier.
  • You should bargain when buying things.
  • Getting to the Dong Xuan market on walking or taxi is the most convenient way, there is not easy access to the parking area. And, you might want to take a walk to Long Bien bridge or try street food in the nearby alleys.

Dong Xuan market is an interesting tourist site that you should visit to know about local life, observe part of our commercial trading activities and local shopping.

If you are looking for a shopping opportunity, take a walk to Hang Gai str or some other tourist shops around the Hanoi Old Quarter.

If you are looking for a local retail market with most of local fresh produces, take a walk to Chau Long market (Chau Long Street, Truc Back Lake)

Minh Hiếu

Written by Minh Hiếu">Minh Hiếu

Co-founder at OneVivu Travel & Service Co., Ltd