Hanoi Old Quarter is one of the most interesting places to pop in and discover the nightlife in Hanoi. With 36 old streets, Hanoi Old Quarter seems to be one of my challenges when discovering Hanoi. Each of street in this old quarter has different items, for example, cloths and silks in Hang Dao, handicraft products in Ma May, etc. It took all my two days to travel all streets in this old quarter. Approaching this old quarter on late Saturday afternoon, I started walking from Hang Dao Street where there are a plenty of different and attractive items sold such as clothes and jewelries. Going straight to Hang Ngang, I passed many souvenir shops along two sides of narrow roads, which fascinated me so much. Interestingly, on the sidewalks, many street vendors sell various kinds of tasty street food with inexpensive prices. When the night falls, old streets became more crowded. Many stalls were open, seemingly, to form a Hanoi night market or Dong Xuan night market in another name stretching from Hang Dao to Dong Xuan Market.
Through having experiences on visiting Old Street, I had a chance to discover one of the most interesting features of culture in Hanoi. That is visiting an amazing market in Old Streets. I seem to be lured into the exciting and bustling atmosphere in this area. Dropping by a small café at Hang Ngang Street to take a rest after a long time of walking, I had an opportunity to contemplate every activity happening in this special market. This market attracts a large number of foreign tourists and local people. Then, following streets in the night market, I saw many items displayed on desks, hung on walls, laid on pavements with all kinds of colors. From clothes, accessories, and toys to groceries and souvenirs, all of them looked so attractive. A series of street food is sold along streets in the night market. All unique cuisines from North to South were also sold here, which appealed me to discover Vietnamese cuisine in a different way. That was so amazing!
It seems that people come to this market not just simply for shopping, but also walking to enjoy the interesting and colorful space here. I could feel almost the atmosphere of this colorful market in Hanoi Old Quarter and the lifestyle of Hanoian. Immersing in the fantastic atmosphere, I could understand the attraction of the night market. Even though the weather is quite hot, but it did not bother me to explore this market. During the time walking in this night market, I incidentally met and had an interesting chat with a young Vietnamese. He told me a lot of information about Hanoi and this market. The night market in Hanoi Old Quarter is usually open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. It is open to meet the demand of tourists’ traveling, to vary the nightlife in Hanoi, and to create a cozy and interesting space for local people and tourists to meet and exchange.
Leaving the market for Hoan Kiem Lake, I came back to the serene atmosphere of Hanoi, but the hustle and bustle atmosphere of the night market was still in my mind. That urged me to explore more the rest of mysterious Hanoi Old Street in the next days.