Markets at this time were located in regions of large area with easy access to transportation such as public places in city center, street intersections, citadel’s gates, and along the river sides. A document in the 17th century mentioned the boisterous business activities in 8 big markets of Thang Long, namely Cửa Đông, Cửa Nam, Huyện, Đình Ngang, Bà Đá, Văn Cử, Bác Cử and Ông Nước. The ramification of the Red River into smaller rivers flowing through Thang Long provided convenient water ways for people from all surrounding provinces and even faraway lands to access the markets in the city centers. Bat Trang, the village famous for excellent pottery wares, is located on the northeast bank of the Red River and thus soon became a port for pottery trading activities. Besides the large and permanent markets, Thang Long also hosted numerous small and mobile markets which were easily formed by just a few vendors presenting their goods along the sidewalks or anywhere that people walked through.
Malls selling a mixture of different goods were not observed until the French colonization period. This is understandable given the limited number of workers in each family, the most common unit of business in Vietnam in those days. Focusing on a specific item allowed family members not only to produce more in a faster pace, but also to improve techniques through intensive exposure to, and thorough experience of, working procedures. The elders passed down their life-accumulating experience to the young members as family secrets, giving the new generation the advantages of having first-hand knowledge and being trained under supervision of experts.