If you’re currently planning a trip to Hanoi, you may want to have your travel dates overlap the weekend so you can check out the popular Hanoi Night Market a.k.a. Dong Xuan Night Market that only opens 3 days a week.
On every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the whole stretch of road from Hang Dao Street to Dong Xuan Market (see map below) is pedestrianised and transformed into a night market from 6.00pm to 11.00pm. A large number of vendors/traders will set up shop to display their goods for sale. Here, you can find a plethora of stuffs from clothing, toys, souvenirs, homewares to fashion accessories, gadgets, crafts and more.
The night market extends till Dong Xuan Market (turn right from Point B). There’s also things to see on the horizontal streets that intercept the main night market route above – street food stalls, street performances, buskers, etc. You can just literally walk around the Old Quarter which is made so much more lively with the presence of the night market and of course, the revellers and shopping crowd.
Barricades will be put up at the start of Hang Dao Street to close the road to traffic (vertically from point A to B on the map). However when you’re walking down the night market and crossing the horizontal streets, you still have to be careful of oncoming traffic – especially the scooters/motorbikes that are always travelling in a haphazard fashion.
Well, I shall let pictures do (more of) the talking.
Shades are priced at 50K VND (SGD3.15) and 100K VND (SGD6.30) – cheap! And there are many different designs to choose from including branded replicas.
Bose speakers in the background – fake ones, I’m sure. They seem to be quite the ‘IN’ thing to have here. Even the grandpas who exercise by Hoan Kiem Lake in the morning or some random cyclists/trishaw riders would play music from these Bose brand speakers.
Hand-crafted boxes and decorative knick-knacks – because these are hand-made so the quoted prices are on the higher side but you can definitely try bargaining to what you’re willing to pay.
These 3D pop up cards are also popular souvenirs as they are sold in many gift shops/roadside stalls around the Old Quarter. The designs mainly depict scenes of the Vietnamese culture.
Doesn’t this look like a huge bouquet? Made up of fresh and preserved fruits.
Street food! These ladies are grilling meat on skewers.
Cuttlefish snack, anyone?
This is how you can spot a sugarcane juice seller.
One of the unique things to buy from Vietnam is lacquerware.
Beautiful bowls. I’m not sure if these lacquerware are safe for holding food but they sure make pretty decor pieces for the home. Can just buy an assortment and put them up on the wall.
Korean-style street food – it was my first and only time coming across it while in Hanoi.
Hello Kitty fans, you will like these.
Wide range of ladies’ lingerie.
Fashion jewellery and accessories.
Selfie sticks are big here for some reasons.
On the Dong Xuan market side, there are sit-down local food options.
If you’re into those ‘I Love Vietnam’ kind of t-shirts, several stalls are selling such touristy t-shirts for only 50K VND (SGD3.15) each and if you buy 10 of them, you’ll get 1 free.
This pizzeria front looks just like a pizza brick oven.
Woman roasting corn and sweet potatoes by the roadside.
Local cultural performance.
While walking around, don’t forget to check out Ta Hien Street which is also known as the Beer Street in Hanoi.
Beers in Vietnam are probably the cheapest in the world. You can get local beer ‘Bia Hoi‘ for just 5,000 VND (SGD0.30).
This is just one of the ways to spend the weekend in Hanoi. The locals would just sit by the roadside with a glass of beer and enjoy street performances/music like this local rock band – it’s basically free entertainment with cheap beer. How good is that? See that little boy in the picture above? He was dancing with the music as his parents looked on from the side, lol.
Overall, I really enjoyed the night market experience. Things were generally cheap here but you can still do a little bargaining at those stalls without fixed prices. Street food variety, however, was a little disappointing. Most of them were repeats of grilled sausages and meat skewers. But I loved the whole atmosphere here because the Old Quarter just came to life at night and as the weather was cool, it was a pretty nice stroll to have after dinner as well.