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Although located in the heart of the Old Quarters, the market is fairly young compared with the surrounding streets. It used to be an empty lot in front of Huyen Thien pagoda. Old Hanoi residents gradually developed trade activities here because of its proximity to the river, which made it convenient for transportation of goods.
On the night of July 14th, 1994, a fire has brought down the whole market, causing a damage of 300 billion VND. The market you see today was recently built modeled after the architecture before the fire.
To local residents, Dong Xuan is mostly reserved for bulk sale and distribution points for many retailers in Hanoi. Main products include electronic devices, household equipments and clothing. At the back of the market is the trading place for animals (puppies, kitties, birds, fish, etc.) and plants (mostly Vietnamese bonsai). Suppliers for the market come mainly from North Vietnam with many Chinese blends.
The Northern end of the market holds mainly eating venue, serving both day and night time. It is a wise decision to stop here for local cuisines such as “Bun Cha”, “Bun Rieu” or chipping in a hot pot in a fall/winter night.
How to get there
Dong Xuan market is at the West end of Hanoi Old quarter, surrounded by Hang Khoai street and Cau Dong street. If you keep walking down Hang Ngang street, you will reach the market after 4 blocks.