What to Buy at Dong Xuan Market, Hanoi’s Shopping Haven

What to Buy at Dong Xuan Market: Your Guide to Hanoi’s Shopping Paradise

Snag a worthy piece of Hanoi back to your hometown.

A trip to Hanoi, Vietnam is incomplete without immersing yourself in the daily life of its local folks. You can easily do that by visiting the heart of the capital’s Old Quarter, where Dong Xuan Market thrives with its lively and bustling atmosphere. The traditional market operates at No. 15, Cau Dong Street, Dong Xuan Ward, Hoan Kiem District, daily, from 6.00am to 6.00pm. Now comes the big question: what to buy at Dong Xuan Market? Rest assured, we’ve got you covered! Read on to learn more about the goods and much-needed souvenirs you can easily find here.

Also read: 14 Best Restaurants in Hanoi for Authentic Vietnamese Food

What to buy at Dong Xuan Market to make your trip worthwhile

1. Legumes and spices

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If you’re on the lookout for quality legumes and spices for meal preparation at your homestay or to bring home to your loved ones, Dong Xuan Market is the place to be. You’ll be delighted to find a diverse selection of quality seeds, from lentils and chickpeas to buckwheat and oats, all sold at pocket-friendly prices. 

For those with a penchant for spices, some of the common ones you can find here include cinnamon, star anise, cloves, chillies, ginger, garlic, and turmeric.

2. Fresh flowers

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Feeling romantic and in search of a dazzling fresh bouquet to surprise your partner? Fret not because Dong Xuan Market offers you a vast selection of flowers from all over Vietnam! You’ll find everything from common roses and lilies to more exotic blooms you might not find elsewhere — all fresh-cut and as vibrant as your sweetheart. 

FYI, prices at the market tend to be lower than at flower shops, especially if you buy in bulk. Plus, the market likely reflects the current season, so you might find unique flowers depending on the time of year you visit.

3. Fresh meat, seafood, vegetables, and fruits

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Fresh meats and seafood might be something that you need for a fun BBQ sesh with your travel buddies in Hanoi. At Dong Xuan Market, you can easily find items like poultry, pork, and some freshwater fish. For a much healthier choice, you can go for a vibrant selection of local greens such as the water spinach, bok choy, and pea shoots. 

Or, buy yourself some juicy tropical fruits like mango, durian, rambutan, papaya, and dragon fruit which are all commonly available at the market. Psst, you might also come across the fingered lemon, believed to bring blessings and good fortune according to the locals’ beliefs!

4. Vietnamese silk

what to buy at dong xuan market vietnamese silk

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Still wondering what to buy at Dong Xuan Market? Perhaps the ever-lovely Vietnamese silk will entice you! With a vast array of vendors, Dong Xuan Market offers a wide variety of Vietnamese silk products. You’ll find everything from clothing like dresses and scarves to fabrics by the metre for your own sewing projects.

What’s more, the market is known for its wholesale focus, which can translate to lower prices on Vietnamese silk compared to shops geared towards tourists. You can find good deals if you’re comfortable bargaining.

5. Vietnamese conical hats

what to buy at dong xuan market conical hats

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Dong Xuan Market is where you can access a wide variety of conical hats (locally known as nón lá) made by Vietnamese artisans. This means you’re more likely to find a hat made with traditional materials and techniques, like palm leaves and bamboo.

With so many vendors at the market, you’ll find hats in different sizes, colours, and styles. In fact, you might find some nón lá with embroidery, paintings, or even modern embellishments. We highly recommend shopping for these hats as you’ll get to experience Vietnamese culture firsthand and see how these hats are made and sold.

6. Vietnamese embroidery

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This lively market also offers good deals on beautifully embroidered items. Embroidery, a cherished art form in Vietnam, is not just a product but a part of the country’s cultural heritage. Buying a piece allows you to take home a tangible part of this rich heritage. 

From traditional patterns featuring Vietnamese landscapes and animals (e.g., butterflies, dragons, etc.) to more modern and trendy designs, you might find something truly one-of-a-kind. Some embroideries even look like paintings thanks to the fine detailing put into them. You may find these embroidered pieces in the form of tablecloths, pillowcases, clothing, and more. 

7. Vietnamese coffee

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A coffee lover considering what to buy at Dong Xuan Market should settle for affordable Vietnamese coffee beans sold here. FYI, Vietnam is a major coffee producer. So, it’s only wise to take home some freshly roasted beans with you every chance you get. 

You’ll find a wide variety of Vietnamese coffee beans from different regions, like the popular robusta beans from Central Highlands or the arabica beans from Da Lat. This allows you to explore and discover what flavours you prefer. Did we mention you can also find coffee filters around the market? Awesome!

8. Street food

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No trip to Dong Xuan Market would be complete without trying some delicious street food! You can find various vendors selling everything from noodles and rice dishes to grilled meats and spring rolls. Some of the more popular choices here include bún riêu (crab paste served with noodles), bánh cuốn (rolling steamed cake), and pho (beef noodle soup). 

If you want something more exotic but not too extreme, try grabbing a bowl of bún ốc (snail vermicelli noodle soup). This flavorful soup is made with rice vermicelli noodles, broth, freshwater snails, tomatoes, and chilies. It’s also a great option for a light yet satisfying meal. So, have a taste of each, and you’ll no longer wonder what to buy at Dong Xuan Market!

9. Ceramic items

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If you’re looking for affordable ceramic items during your trip to Hanoi, Dong Xuan Market is where you should head to. Despite the choices not being as extensive as those in Bat Trang Village, you can still find something nice that won’t break your budget. Some of the popular ceramic finds here include simple bowls and dishes in various colours and sizes, as well as small teacups and saucers decorated with floral or geometric patterns.

10. Dried food

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There are plenty of dried foods you can get at Dong Xuan Market. For instance, you can find a wide variety of delicious dried fruits, such as mango, banana, jackfruit, and durian. These are perfect for snacking or using in baking.

Apart from that, various dried mushrooms such as wood ear, straw, and shiitake mushrooms are also available at the market. Other dried food items that might interest you include dried seaweed, dried shrimp, and dried pho noodles.

Also read: Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh: Which City in Vietnam Should You See First?

And that concludes our top picks for what to buy at Dong Xuan Market on your next trip to Hanoi! Which of these items catch your attention the most? Whichever it is, make sure you bring them in one piece back to your hometown. Happy bargaining!

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About Author

Izzati Haron
Izzati Haron

Izzati is an author to two poem anthologies, a slam poet wannabe, and a full-time nanny to her kitties. She loves dreaming about traveling the world just like most protagonists in the movies, but more often than not, her bank account only permits her to travel to her backyard.