Dong Xuan Market (Vietnamese: Chợ Đồng Xuân) is a market in Cau Dong Street of Hoan Kiem district. Located in the heart of the Old Quarter, it was part of an ancient hamlet of that name before it became a street. It was built in 1889 by the French colonial administration, Dong Xuan Market has been renovated several times with the latest in 1994 after a fire which almost destroyed the market.
At the end of 19th century, the Old Quarter of Hanoi had two main marketplaces, one at Hang Duong (Hàng Đường) street and the other at Hang Ma (Hàng Mã) street. In 1889, these two markets were closed and replaced by the original Dong Xuan Market which was built by the order of the French administration in 1889 as one of the principal new architectures of Hanoi, together with Long Bien Bridge which was located nearby and completed in 1902.The market was located at the Hanoi’s Old Quarter which was only 600 m north of Hoan Kiem Lake.
The covered area of the market was about 6.500m² with a large roof of corrugated galvanized iron supplied by the French contractor Poinsard Veyret.The most recognizable feature of the market was the 5-arch entrance corresponding to Dong Xuan Market’s five domes, each dome was measured 19 m in height and 25 m in width. When the First Indochina War broke out in Hanoi in early 1947, a fierce struggle between Việt Minh and French forces took place in the area of the market on February 14. To commemorate the event, a memorial was erected near the principal gate of the market in 2005.
In 1994, the market was nearly destroyed by a disastrous fire which claimed the lost of about 4.5 million USD worth of stock. After the fire, Dong Xuan Market was rebuilt in the original form and it is still the largest covered market of Hanoi. The ward to which the market belongs is also named Dong Xuan (phường Đồng Xuân), this is one of the busiest commercial place of Hanoi with about a half of the total number of households has trading activities.
In 2003, the night market of the Dong Xuan Market was opened. Dong Xuan night market has a warm atmosphere that makes visitors feel like they are on a walk or on a tour, not in a market to bargain or to buy things. Dong Xuan night market has 67 handicraft, garment and food shops. The night market adds colour to the lifestyle of the residents of Ha Noi and makes the Old Quarter more attractive to foreign tourists. The night market, which includes Hang Khoai, Nguyen Thien Thuat and Cau Dong streets, is divided into three parts. The first area has 12 stalls that sell handicrafts and souvenirs. The second area has 44 stalls that sell clothing, cosmetics, silk and footwear. In the third area, there are 11 stalls that sell food and drink. This night market is organized as a tourist attraction rather than a business place where one can buy souvenirs, handicrafts and also taste traditional foods or enjoy cultural activities such as ca trù and chèo. Performers of other traditional arts like đàn bầu or xẩm artists are also invited to demonstrate their talent in the night market.