Want to get a good dose of Vietnamese grassroots character in Hanoi? Than you surely should visit one of the many wet markets in Hanoi. If you have a look at Wikipedia you’ll find that wet markets are known as such because they sell meat and fish, which require actually frequent floor washing. As floor washing is relativ here in Hanoi you’ll find everything nevertheless very wet. The slippery wet floors and whole animal carcasses hung on hooks is not everyones taste to see but you should not downright avoid the markets altogether. Especially for photographers quite an opportunity of mixed colors, sights and impressions.
Wet markets in Hanoi aren’t exactly a rare sight, but due to development in recent years they seem to be on the dwindling path.
There are two types of wet markets: the indoor markets that usually come attached to a cooked food center; and the pedestrian-friendly open-air markets which you typically can find in busy side streets. In any of this markets, you’ll have your basic fruit, veggie and butcher stalls. Fresh and seasonal produce, all unrefrigerated, displayed in random colorful heaps
The meat butchers and seafood stalls are not for someone with a squirming stomach, as there is a lot of curling and wiggling on the stall tables. One thing you will experience is that absolutely nothing goes to waste here. If you’re a curious guy, you’ll have a field day. You can find different sort of fish heads, fish bladders, de-skinned toads, pigs’ ears and hearts, brains, eyes and whatever you might think of.
This build the ingredients of the food available in Hanoi's narrow alleys and produces a lively culinary scene that is both diverse and for some quite confronting. So go out in the morning and have a look yourself. If you google wet markets in Hanoi you’ll find as well some organized tours you might join if you aren’t sure where to go on your own. Have fun!