Experience a different Hanoi at the Long Bien market!
- on Aug 10, 2020       By: BN
At a time when houses and shops are asleep, in a place in the heart of Hanoi, a market like no other comes alive. It owes its name to the Long Bien Bridge, a living historical witness of the thousand-year-old capital.
Usually, locals and visitors gather on weekends in the Old Quarter to experience the bustling night market, a major tourist attraction in the city. Not far away, few people know about a Hanoi by night which lives and supports its inhabitants at a particular pace. This is the Long Bien food market, a meeting place for large and small traders from different Northern provinces, which never sleeps.
Very close to theLong Bien Bridge, behind Tran Nhat Duat Street is Hanoi's liveliest food market, which has been in operation for twenty years. All kinds of local products from the surrounding area are offered in hundreds of kiosks, but also in the open air. As the expansion of activity requires, they unpack their products to the sidewalks below the bridge.
Every evening, around 200 to 300 tonnes of goods are unloaded at the Long Bien market.
Known as one of the twolargest markets in Hanoi, after Dong Xuan market, it is unique in that it does not open until late at night. At nightfall, the trucks filled with goods followed around 10 p.m. under the Long Bien Bridge. They are awaited by traders and employees who are busy, under the yellowish lights, preparing for a long night. The curious go there not for fun, of course, but to approach life in the capital, from another angle.
You can find all kinds of food here, from seafood to a variety of vegetables, but the market is particularly known for its wide variety of fresh fruits.
Seafood, poultry, groceries and especially fresh fruits and vegetables abound there to create, with the comings and goings of merchants and sellers, a painting that you have to take your time to feel. We can hear the accent of suppliers from neighbouring provinces, such as Bac Giang, Bac Ninh, Phu Tho... who rub shoulders with those from the suburbs of Hanoi, Gia Lam, Thanh Tri, Dong Anh... Every day, in summer as well as in winter, the market is bustling from 10 p.m.
The atmosphere is most impressive between midnight until 1 or 2 in the morning.
In the night, we meet men and women, covered in sweat, carrying big bags or lots of goods. Each transfer can earn them between 15,000 and 20,000 dong.
The sellers are mainly from the neighbouring provinces of Hanoi. The products offered for sale are divided into separate sectors, like shellfish, poultry, vegetables, fruits, etc.
Around 4 or 5 a.m., some people take advantage of the calm to rest before returning home.
Seen from the Long Bien Bridge, the market invites you to visit a Hanoi of night workers.
Colourful with its typical crowd and unparalleled pace, this popular place has been included in the list of the 7 most attractive markets in the world published by Condé Nast Traveller magazine. Do not hesitate to stroll there at least once during your trip to Hanoi, this night walk will leave you with unforgetable memories to complete the poetic streets of this thousand-year-old city.
Where to go for the Long Bien market?
Near Long Bien Bridge, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi.