What does a traditional Vietnamese market look like?

14 November 2010 at 10:00 4 comments

The Interior of Dong Xuan Market

By:  Tran Chau, KF13, Viet Nam

Modern shopping centers and supermarkets are new to Vietnam.  They are frequented mostly by the small and powerful middle class, have western products, and carry western price tags.   For the rest of the nation and for those who favor the established ways of the east, traditional open air and partially enclosed markets are full of activity from morning until night.

A third party logistics service infrastructure is recognizable in the mornings.  At the Dong Xuan Market in Hanoi, small trucks packed full of bulging polypropylene bags pull into a receiving area.  Motorbikes and people on foot swarm the truck and the bags are extracted and delivered to their rightful owners in what can be described as an orderly frenzy.

Inside the market are items which will be ruined if they get wet when rain falls from above.   Vendors selling shoes, socks, ties, hats, coats, wallets, bags, luggage, toys, accessories, etc. are packed in tightly.  There are no monopolies in this layout.   Tens to hundreds of competitors are seated next to one another in areas organized by the products that they sell; it is a delicate recipe which can produce best friends or mortal enemies.

On the outer edges of the market, vendors sell knick-knacks, preserved seafood, and a colorful array of fruits and vegetables.   Food vendors reside across the streets and also are scattered throughout the surrounding area.  They make lunchtime deliveries to their customers and return later to retrieve their dishes and utensils.

The photos below depict what I describe above.  Your loans have the potential to help Kiva entrepreneurs through liquidity constraints, allow for larger and cheaper purchases of inventory, and pave the way for greater overall flexibility and improved standards of living.

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Tran Chau is a Kiva Fellow (KF13) currently based in Ha Noi, Viet Nam.

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Entry filed under: KF13 (Kiva Fellows 13th Class), SEDA (Binh Minh), Vietnam. Tags: , , , , .

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4 Comments

  • 1. Trang  |  8 December 2010 at 14:20

    Hello Tran, I am very interested in your project. I would like to find more information about it, and potentially interview you to understand the situation of these female entrepreneurs in Vietnam. Please contact me. Thank you for your work.

    • 2. Tran Chau  |  12 December 2010 at 06:48

      Hello Trang, thanks for reading and thanks for your message…how do I contact you?

    • 3. Trang Pham  |  28 February 2011 at 12:39

      Hello, sorry for this late reply. Please contact me at ttpham9@gmail.com.

      I have a project on Street Vending Documentary Film in Vietnam, and I will present to the national conference in a month.

      We should talk on collaboration. Would love to hear from you!

      Trang Pham

  • 4. Jeff  |  14 November 2010 at 17:39

    Thanks for the interesting photos, Tran.


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