The party starts early in Hanoi, with locals kicking back at countless bia hoi ("fresh beer") microbars that appear on the city sidewalks after 5 pm. The street sellers hawk draft brews for the ridiculously enabling price of 2,000 Vietnamese dong (about 12 cents) a cup. The Old Quarter is the epicenter of this beery bacchanal, especially the junction of Ta Hien and Luong Ngoc Quyen streets. The bar scene is scattered and far less evolved, or encouraged, than that of Saigon. The authorities continually close nightclubs and unevenly enforce a midnight curfew on pubs. Bartenders often flout last call with "lock-ins"shuttering the door, turning down the music, and pouring into the wee hours.