Dong Xuan Market: The Biggest Market in Hanoi Old Quarter

Dong Xuan Market (Vietnamese spelling: chợ Đồng Xuân – 𢄂 同春) is the largest covered market on the northern edge of Hanoi Old Quarter. It’s where local businesses come to get everything wholesale and there are also a lot of retail stalls.

The day market in the building opens daily from 6 AM to 6 PM. Except for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday when it stays opens to 10:30 PM. The night market opens outside the building from 6 PM until midnight everyday.

History of the Dong Xuan Market

Dong Xuan Market 1920 - 1929
Dong Xuan Market 1920 – 1929
[ by Nguyen Tuan from Facebook ]

Dong Xuan Market started out as a local market at the east gate of Thang Long Capital City in 1804. In 1889, the French temporarily combined two other markets nearby into one Dong Xuan Market in Dong Xuan Ward (phường Đồng Xuân).

Official construction started in 1890 with five blocks corresponding to five arched gates. Many battles happened here during the First Indochina War from 1946 to 1954. For this reason, a memorial was built near the main gate in 2005.

In 1990, the market underwent renovation with the removal of  two blocks on the side, and the addition of two levels to the existing three. In 1994, a big fire basically burned down the entire market but it was reconstructed shortly afterward.

Shopping at the Dong Xuan Market

Dong Xuan Wholesale Market
[ by Jason Rost from Unsplash ]

Even though the Dong Xuan Market is mostly wholesale, it’s still easy enough to find retail goods here. It tends to be very crowded, especially on the weekends, so pay attention to your belongings when shopping here.

It’s advised to stroll around and compare prices before buying. The store owners here tend to not be up for bargaining, so make sure you know what you want before you approach them.

The Day Market

The Day Market
[ by Amasia Travel from Facebook ]

The first floor has all the daily necessities including clothes, accessories, electronics, fresh and dried produce, flowers, and a dining area. The second floor is for all things pretty. Not only do they have more high-end fashion products, accessories, decorations, pottery, but they also have wholesale fabric.

The third floor is for parents with kids. They have everything from clothes for newborn babies and pregnant women to toys for children of all ages.

The Night Market

The Night Market
[ by Michael Ong from Facebook ]

Dong Xuan Night Market opened on the occasion of the 2003 Southeast Asian Games. If you get to Dong Xuan Night Market by motorbike, you’ll need to find a parking area nearby and not drink alcohol beforehand.

The night market is the more ideal place to get souvenirs, handicrafts, and other things retail. It’s also where locals go to get some inexpensive and delicious Vietnamese foods and beverages.

While sitting by the road, you may be able to catch live traditional music performances like ‘ca trù’— a form of music theatre, and ‘chèo’ which is a form of musical storytelling.

Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 6 PM to midnight, the Dong Xuan Street in front of the market turns into a pedestrian street. It stretches all the way to the Hanoi Night Market also in the Old Quarter.

Eating at the Dong Xuan Market

Eating at the Dong Xuan Market
Some street food stalls outside the Dong Xuan Market
[ by Anne Trần from Facebook ]

The dining area on the first floor of the Dong Xuan Day Market and the stalls outside the building are where you can get some really authentic Vietnamese food. If you want to know more about Hanoi dishes and the best places to get them, it’s best to book a local guide, especially the tailored street food tours.

Bun cha Hanoi (bún chả Hà Nội), or Hanoi grilled pork noodles, is a go-to with charcoal-grilled pork and a light fish sauce. Ribs and cartilage rice congee (cháo sườn sụn) is great for the chilly night.

Beef jerky salad (gỏi xoài khô bò) is more like a snack with shredded jerky, julienned green papaya and green mangoes, peanuts, and coriander. The sweet, spicy, and savory sauce contains fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, and chilies.

You can find a special pho variation here and that’s ‘phở tíu’. It’s got just enough broth to cover the thinner pho noodle, char siu pork (xá xíu) as the protein of choice, and topped with peanuts and crispy shallot crisps.

Remember to try some fried shrimp cakes (bánh tôm chiên) with julienned sweet potatoes mixed into the batter with the beautiful golden color from turmeric. Different types of sweet soup (chè) will make for a good dessert. Also, a bunch of fried savory cakes are ideal to munch on the go.

Getting to the Dong Xuan Market

Dong Xuan Market is easy to get to since it’s in the Old Quarter in the center of Hanoi City. Check out our article on ‘25 Best Things To Do in Hanoi’ for more about how to get to the Dong Xuan Market and other places in the city.

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