Tucked away between Hanoi’s Old Quarter and the Red River is the Long Bien night market. Vendors and middlemen begin gathering here around two in the morning to snap up the best of the day’s incoming food.
Long Bien night market, one of the largest wholesale fruit markets in the North of Vietnam. The market is busiest from 22:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. and then becomes quiet until 4a.m when retailers flock to buy goods. The huge quantity of fresh produce, giant piles of herbs, tons of vegetables, and tropical fruit cover the market and sprawl onto the adjacent streets.
An early morning peek inside the bustling heart of the Long Bien night market.
Ever wonder where the tangy herbs in that steaming morning bowl of pho bo (noodle with beef) come from? Have you ever marveled at the color and variety of fruits and vegetables on offer at the local wet market? You’ve only been up for fifteen minutes, but the woman who’s just sold you a kilo of mangosteens has been hard at work for hours.
You should start on the morning by climbing onto the Long Bien Bridge, which affords a wonderful vantage point down into one corner of the market. Designed by the famous Gustave Eiffel, the bridge was originally finished in 1903. Further reconstruction was necessary during the American War after numerous bombing raids. These days, this iconic landmark serves as a crossing for bikes, motorbikes, and trains.
After that you might climb down from the bridge to get a closer look at the activities within. Buyers went from vendor to vendor with baskets, pushcarts or motorbikes in search of the best quality at the best price. Wave after wave of men and women with no time to waste nudged first but pushed, if need be, to get through the thronging crowd.
Large trucks came in full and left empty. Their payload was unloaded into covered areas where dozens of women crouch and sort through the newly arrived produce. You would be definitely astounded by the quantity of tomatoes piled in one room. In other areas, entire families sat among humongous piles of green mangos. Money changed hands at a dizzying pace.
It seems that no place in the Ha Noi capital is as crowed customers, transportation and delivery vehicles at night as the Long Bien Market. Thanks to the industrious individuals who bring food to and from the Long Bien Market each day, Hanoi enjoys unbelievably fresh food, all for a good price.
A visit to this chaotic and bustling Long Bien Market is a must in my opinion for your things to do while traveling to Ha Noi, Vietnam.