Dong Xuan Market —
the proud of Hanoi
One image of Vietnam’s capital city is the lively scenes of daily hustle and bustle at the Dong Xuan market, the biggest market in Hanoi. Many visitors to the city pay great attention to witnessing the busy lifestyle of the people in the Old Quarters, while learning about the history of the Hanoians.
Located at the north gate of Hanoi, the Dong Xuan area has, for a long time, been known as a special commercial centre in the city. The area bears historical traces of the ancient city of Hanoi with its Quan Chuong gate dating back to 1749, the only one of 16 which remains intact today.
For centuries, Dong Xuan, alongside the Red River, has been a busy commercial centre of activity. The streets around the Dong Xuan market are usually every busy with vendors offering products made by the handicrafts guilds that surround the city.
The Dong Xuan market was officially built in mid-1889 during the French colonial days. At first, the building was a simple structure with five rows of houses and three entrance gates of iron, roofed over with sheet iron. The eastern side is now known as the Bac Qua market while the western side is called the Dong Xuan market.
With easy access to nearby transport, especially after the French built the Long Bien Bridge crossing the Red River, the Dong Xuan area became a busy commercial area famous not only in Hanoi, but also all over the north. The market soon attracted the attention of foreign merchants, especially those from France, Spain and India.
Ten years ago, a major blaze destroyed the ancient market and a three-storey modern market has since been built, the old front gate being all that remains of the previous structure. Dong Xuan market today is still a major trading centre for Hanoi, as well as for the whole country. Though the modern lifestyle is eagerly being adopted by those in urban areas, the market still maintains its traditional way of doing business.
Recently, the Ministry of Culture and Information issued a decision to recognise Hanoi’s Old Quarters as a national relic. The Ministry is now implementing a number of projects to restore and promote the Dong Xuan market.
The Dong Xuan market reflects the daily life of Hanoi people and is a popular place for locals and visitors to the capital city, who come not just to buy things but also to learn about the culture of the people in the city. (VoVNews)
(Sorry about the poor scan made from print developed in a Hanoi labs.)
Critiques | Translate
ChristineLe (59) 2006-07-19 14:46
Is this for real?
I used to see millions places in Vietnam that contain garbage like this, but I cannot believe local authorities of the capital allow people to 'behave' this way while Hanoi is one of the most crowdy destinations for tourists now — needless to say that there are thousands of eyes from diplomatic delegations over there...
I hope one of the Hanoians will forward this picture to the People's Committee of the city.
nicol_g (855) 2006-07-19 15:25
I'm pleased to find out about this renowned market in Hanoi. That's for the first time I see an image of this place.
I like the composition but, because you mentioned in your note about "lively scenes of daily hustle and bustle at the Dong Xuan market", I would have liked to see a more "crowded" image, a larger point of view, helping me to make an idea about the diversity (both of the people - locals/visitors - and products/goods) that characterizes this place and also for getting a stronger daily life "touch".
Thank you very much for the information in your note, very useful!