Long Bien Market, Hanoi

Hanoi Early Morning Photography

Hanoi is among the most interesting cities in Asia for the visitors. For photographers, you will find  many opportunities of taking great photos in the city. The growing economy has been just good enough to add new varieties to the lifestyle of local residents, while the traditional way of life has basically remained unchanged for several years...

 The very first moments that you set your foot in the city, you are sure to be thrilled by exotic scenes of endless streams of traffic in crowded streets, of street food and markets, of food smells, of so many scooters honking at each other at the same time... Most of you will have the impression that this city has so much energy!

Long Bien market, view from the bridge
Long Bien market, view from the bridge

 It is no easy a job to split yourself from the comfy bed early in the morning. But there is a big reward for early risers in Hanoi as you see something wonderful that is missed by most others. On this photo tour, I'd like to show you a Hanoi full of activities at the small hours of a day, an active Hanoi just before dawn cracks. We will visit Long Bien wholesale market which supplies fruits and vegetables to retail markets and street vendors in the city. Having either a light camera with manual control or a DSLR professional camera with a walkabout lens is just good. At the market, be prepared that you will be taking photos in low light conditions and targets moving fast; cameras with high ISO sensitivity and low noise are especially useful.

Pine apple shops
Pine apple shops

 The Long Bien Market is active from after mid night to 0600 A.M every day and the gathering site is under the century-old rustic frames of the Long Bien Bridge which spans the Red River. Trucks and scooters caring agricultural produce from all over Vietnam to the market, merchants shouting at each other for trading, porters pushing their way to deliver merchandise... are few of what you will encounter at this hive of activity.

A market view from the Long Bien Bridge
A market view from the Long Bien Bridge

The market is a chaotic place with so many activities, and with traffic jams and with people pushing their way to move around... Make certain that you do not bring along jewelry or precious belongings on you. Leave your passport and important papers at the hotel. You do not need that much money at this market either. And once you are at the market, try to find and put yourself in a gap close to some corner that can have a good view of the people, because you do not only visit the market; you are taking photos of the people at work, too! 

A pine apple shop
A pine apple shop

 

 

A vegetable corner
A vegetable corner

 

 

Carrying merchandise
Carrying merchandise for delivery

 

 

Negotiating on the price
Negotiating on the price

 

 

Lichee stall
Lichee stall

 

 

a lady reading
A lady reading at work

 

 

A tangerine stand
A tangerine stand

 

 

A friendly boy with a custard apple
A friendly boy with a custard apple

 

 

A mango shop
A mango shop

 

 

A lady at work
A lady at work

 

 

The plum corner
The plum corner

 

 

A lady with a load on the head
A lady with a load on the head

 

 

Ready to go to the retail market now
Ready to go to the retail market now