After the insightful trip at Vietnam Military History Museum, we made our way to Dong Xuan Market, or Cho Dong Xuan. Being the oldest and largest market in Hanoi, it practically sells anything and everything with piles of goods on display. From dried food, fruits, vegetables, meats, clothes, shoes, souvenirs to home appliances. And I am sure there are so many more that I missed out.
I didn’t come here to buy stuff but merely to experience a Vietnamese market. There’re lots going on in the market, plenty of activities and it was really crowded. Be prepare to sweat…a lot…there’s no aircon which it can get a little uncomfortable after a while at Dong Xuan Market.
Looking at it, the market seems to operate more like a wholesale market where most of the buying was in bulk.
I spotted one interesting dried food shop near the market with very interesting stuff on display. Just look at these!!
Long Bien Bridge
Not far away from the market is Long Bien Bridge or Cau Long Bien as the locals call it. A good old-fashioned iron girder bridge which spans the Red River built during the period of French rule. And the bridge designer was none other than Gustave Eiffel. Yes, the same fellow who built the renowned Eiffel Tower.
About half of Long Bien Bridge was actually destroyed during Vietnam War but was restored to what we see today. I can’t really link both Eiffel Tower and the bridge together though…especially with the rugged rusty look.
A single railway track runs in the middle, other traffic on the bridge consists of motorcycles and bicycles but no cars. There’s a sidewalk for human traffic too but it’s not very well maintained and rather narrow.
Passengers heading to Northern parts of Vietnam will board their trains from here.
Cha Ca La Vong
Dinner was at the well-known Cha Ca La Vong which I came across during my trip research. Somehow, the eating place has a bag of mixed reviews but leaning towards the negative zone, decided to be my own judge to find out. Its external looks very unassuming and signage can be improved. Upon entering, we were given a card that reads “Only one dish in our restaurant. Grilled fish. Price: 170,000 VND/ person (not including drink)”, it’s really a one-dish-wonder restaurant.
So here’s my take – the marinated fish is not bad but nothing to shout home about and the portion per person is really small. There were 4 of us and we requested for more fish, at additional cost. Not bad for an experience but for that portion at S$10, I ain’t coming back.
The rest of the evening was spent wandering around the streets near to our hotel and more beer of course! :D