Shake or Nod to Street Vendors
hanoi street vendor
Walking around the streets of Ha Noi, you can easily spot street vendors. They are mostly women, shabbily dressed, walking painstakingly and patiently with a heavy burden on their shoulders.These vendors are generally from different rural areas, who flock to the city to earn a living
Their goods are of all kinds, from "seasonal food" of Ha Noi like com (green rice flakes) and different fruits to the ordinary food like vendor sweet potatoes, maize and bananas, vendor flowers, vendor books... These things are rarely sold in major stores, but people can buy them at just a few thousands dong.
Each seller is like a "mobile shop". They stop temporarily on the sidewalk when a client calls.
Their clients are usually local residents, who just stand at their front door and call out for the food.
The street vendors have become familiar to Hanoians. For foreign tourists, however, the vendors are from the fancy pictures they see occasionally.
Street Vendor flowers
It is not clear when the hawkers first made their appearance, but their images have been associated with 36 old streets of Ha Noi in the postcards of the early 20th century.
Over time, the city grew. Many old jobs disappeared, giving way to a tinge of regret. For example, the paper-making villages in Buoi and the leather tanners on Hang Hanh Street disappeared. Only the vendors are sometimes seen on the streets.
People in the Old Quarters still prefer quick buying and selling with these vendors. Therefore, that old way of earning a living still exists on the busy streets.
Amidst the bustling capital city, peddlers, alongside the ancient architecture and the street names like Hang Dao and Hang Ngang, always remind one of images of an old Ha Noi.
"People think differently, but I think the street vendors are part of this city. I understand people make their living. For me, it's tradition," Josie David from Switzerland said.
That may be the reason why many foreign tourists like to take photos every time they encounter a street vendor, but for those who earn their living on the streets, it's an existence without capital or shops, their bamboo poles helping them make ends meet.
"However there are many street vendor annoying foreign tourist, event street vendor have been becoming robbers. If you first time arrive in Hanoi nowadays, walking around Hanoi old quarter you will see some street vendors following you and give you a bamboo pole with some fruits hang bananas, pineaples and taken palm leaf conical hat to take some photos, We advise you to shake your head and say strongly : No. Thanks.or It's a choice, you can just say no, walk off and ignore them if they follow you. Because alot of foreign tourist who must pay alot of money after nod to taking photos. Street vendors force you to buy their fruits with very expensive price. Moreover while you are counting your money, immediately they snatch your money and say : that's enough. For tourism who do not know Vietnamese currency, it is very hard to recognize type of Vietnamese currency" ..More information about Vietnamese currency here: http://halongtourvietnam.org/things-to-know/how-to-use-vietnamese-currency-26.html
Street vendor requesting travellers for taking fotos
On the other hand, beware of street sellers who offer themselves to be photographed. They will pose with their baskets of wares balanced on headtops to be photographed or they will pass you their pole with basket of wares for you to carry and be photographed. After that, they will ask you to pay them a fee for taking their photo or using their equipments.
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