Adventures in East Asia

Hai Phong City and Ha Long Night Market

During our drive from Ninh Binh (where we took the Tam Coc Sampan trip) to Ha Long, we passed through Nam Dinh, Thai Bing and Hai Phong City. The latter is Vietnam's biggest sea port and has alot of white rock used in the manufacture of cement. Hai Phong City also has alot of coal and so altogether the place had much more of an industrial feel than previous rural areas of Vietnam that we'd already seen.

With cement and electricity factories, the industry is quite plain to see in the form of much darker, dirtier roads and buildings caused by fumes and debris rather than age and neglect. We passed through at dusk, so the town actually looked quite gloomy, backing the information our guide told us that alot of workers who come here end up with respiratory health problems through lifetimes of breathing in the pollution.

We eventually reach Ha Long and after dropping into a pretty quiet restaurant for dinner, we visited the Ha Long night market, which is right next to the bay. Today was Sunday, which I thought might be busy, but the market was fairly quiet with just a coach load or so of tourists.


Alot of the goods we saw could easily have sat in both the Hanoi or Saigon markets. Decorative goods, boxes, wooden ornaments, clothes, fabrics and laquered dishes. Our guide tells us most of it is imported directly from China since north Vietnam borders the country, and so if we are given a price of 100US$ we can get it down to 30US$. We buy two little decorative wooden boxes but I break at 50US$.


There's also a rather large karaoke stage backing an outdoor covered restaurant with many plastic tables and chairs. A couple of tables are occupied and when a brave soul gets up to sing, to me they look isolated in the expanse. Aside from the market stalls, there's also a supermarket near the entrance from which we stock up on snacks and bottled water.

A few more photos of Ha Long night market are on Flickr

This entry posted in : Shopping. Tourism. Vietnam.

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