At the first light of day, the car park at the Mong Cai Trading Center, informally known as Mong Cai market, is already crowded with trucks loading and unloading goods. The trading center has a modern architecture and is one of the largest border markets in northern Vietnam. The traders include both Vietnamese and Chinese from the nearby Chinese town of Dongxing.Mong Cai market is a paradise for shoppers because the products are diverse, most of them from China. They range from home appliances to ready-to-wear clothing and accessories. For men, electronics are the most sought after products here. Hang, who owns the 533 shop on the 2nd floor of the building, says: “The products sold here are much cheaper than elsewhere because they come directly from China. Our customers are mostly tourists “
Previously, the Mong Cai Trading Center was a wholesale market, but since it was rebuilt it has also served retail customers, most of whom are tourists.In this market, 90% of the shop owners are Chinese and each shop has 2 traders, one Vietnamese and one Chinese. Some vendors are bilingual. Customers can pay in Vietnamese dong or Chinese yuan. Hoang Lam, who is a tourist, says: “The merchants are friendly, even to shoppers who don’t buy anything. As a wholesale market, they do not charge exorbitant prices”.