Vietnam Hanoi: Exploring The Weekend Night Markets

Travel Period: 21 Sep – 28 Sep 2014

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Hang Dao – Dong Xuan Night Markets

We first arrived in Hanoi on a Sunday and only managed to explore a little of the night market near the hotel, after watching the Water Puppet performance. We decided to stay one more night in Hanoi to visit the Weekend Night Markets since we took the promotion of 5 night stay pay 4 nights from the hotel.

After having rested from our long travel journey from Ha Long Bay, we walked out of the hotel along an alley to reach part of the Hang Dao-Dong Xuan Night Markets. They had closed off the streets to traffic and the entire stretch became a “walking street” full of stalls set up in the middle of the roads, with a narrow pathway to walk on both sides.

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Sights & Shopping

The streets were bustling with people, mostly locals out to buy some street food and stuff. We moved along with them, looking at the wares sold. There were lots of Vietnam handcrafted souvenirs, clothing and bags.

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HanoiDay7_WeekendNightMarket03Souvenirs

At a souvenir stall, I spotted a cute keychain and a fridge magnet of Vietnam and bought them as souvenirs for our trip. As for the clothing stalls, I seldom shop those when I’m overseas, but I can’t resist buying items that are handmade or unique to the country. Most often interesting bags, cushion covers or tissue box covers are my top choices since they are so practical. Further down, I bought a set of cushion covers with the traditional design of Vietnam printed, after some bargaining. The colours ran a little when I washed it at home but still usable and silky soft. 

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Food We Tried

1. Sweet & Spicy Rice Cake with Eggs

The first street food we came across was this spicy rice cake which seemed like a “Korean” food. I’m not too sure because I hadn’t been to Korea yet. We shared it between the two of us as we walked and browse. Dar couldn’t eat spicy food so we would have to look for something else for him.

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2. BBQ Pork / Sausage

We saw this stall selling BBQ Pork (kinda like satay) and sausage and thus, sat down to eat at the side where chairs and tables were provided. The food was delicious and Vin even went to buy a few more after we finished.

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3. Coconut Drink / Rice Spring Rolls

We walked further down the market where the stalls became more of food and drinks stalls. Each had their few tables and chairs. Many were occupied and bustling with people, so we had to keep searching for a stall that still have available seats because we preferred seating down to eat.

We chose this stall further down, which were selling coconut drinks and rice spring rolls. I only found out when they served, that the skin wasn’t the rice paper we were used to, but the cooked gluey rice skin, like rice cake (they didn’t know English so it was hard to communicate). When I saw them just preparing like that with no heating function, I regretted a little (I hope it’s clean…). Indeed, they were quite cold and taste was so-so. Argh… maybe that’s why there was so few people at their stall and thus we could get a seat? Next time, we need to follow the rule that the stall with the most queue usually sell the most delicious food. Don’t patronise those stalls with nobody, even though we dislike waiting.

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We kept on walking down the whole stretch of the night markets (a lot) and only turned back after reaching the end where they started selling electronic things or handphone covers.

It was an interesting experience where we walked like the locals and experienced some Vietnam street food. 

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