Shopping for fun

A market on the western outskirts of Hanoi holds a surprise.

There is nowhere else in the city you can find fish traps and hundreds of other utensils made of bamboo like Ha Dong Market.

Bringing new vitality for bamboo products
Bamboo, rattan sectors face several hurdles
Ancestral craft villages struggle to survive

Shopping for fun

Bamboo and rattan goods at Ha Dong Market.

Located in the busiest part of Ha Dong District on the western outskirts of Hanoi, the market offers all kinds of goods, from food to clothes, and home utensils.
The people here have been on their stalls for years.

A special part of the market offers bamboo utensils that many young people would find hard to define.

Shopping for fun
Not every object is familiar.


“I have been selling bamboo utensils here since the 1990s," Vu Duc Minh told Việt Nam News. “My main customers used to be farmers. Now surrounding villages have become urban streets, locals here no longer farm for a living. Now I sell my utensils to restaurants and tourism sites for decoration.”

Minh said sometimes old people bring their grandchildren to show them utensils that were commonly used in the past, but plastic ones had gradually replaced them.

Shopping for fun
Many bamboo goods have been replaced by plastic ones. But stalls offering bamboo and rattan tools still maintain at the market.


“I want to maintain the shop as I respect what belongs to the past and hardworking farmers,” he said.

“And more importantly, these bamboo utensils still have their new role in modern society,” he said.

 

Nguyen Thi Kim Dung, a frequent market-goer, said she had lived in the area for nearly five years.

“I find everything I need here from seafood to rattan products,” she said. “The trouble is that the market is not well-organised.”

Shopping for fun
Rattan goods still have their places in modern life.


Lai Van Dinh, another customer, said he found things much cheaper than markets near his house.

“There are some rattan products that I just don't recognise, so I ask the owners for a bit of the history,” he said.

People can also find bonsai trees, pet fish and birds.

Shopping for fun
Pet birds at the market. VNS Photos Doan Tung


“I sell smaller plants now,” Nguyen Thi Hien, a bonsai shop owner, said. “People need smaller plants for their homes and offices.” VNS

Tran Hoang Nam

 
 

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