Scouring Hanoi for a Technicolor portrait of Ho Chi Minh complete with sound effects? Dong Xuan Market, rebuilt after a 1994 fire, is the place to go for all the items you never knew you wanted. The market is the oldest and largest of its kind in Hanoi and was once one of the busiest areas in all of Southeast Asia. Finding the perfect motorbike helmet or imitation designer handbag among its hundreds of stalls is an adventure in itself.
Dong Xuan Market, or Cho Dong Xuan, is located on Hang Dao at the northern end of Hanoi's Old Quarter. The building was constructed in 1889 and today this tourist street market spreads across an area of 600 square metres. Find everything from food and drink to souvenirs and tour packages. Part of the market's history involved fierce fighting between Vietnamese resistance forces and the French. Today, multitudes of tourists to Hanoi fight it out to get a fair price on everything from soup to sand paintings.