Consists of a maze of streets dating back to the 13th century, Hanoi Old Quarter is said to be the heart of the city and also the must-visit destination of all travelers to Hanoi. The present-day Old Quarter still remain the traces of its past that interests travelers, especially those with architectural passion.
Where is Old Quarter located?
Located between Hoan Kiem Lake and Long Bien Bridge, the Old Quarter (consisting of 36 old streets and guilds inside) started as a snake and alligator-infested swamp. It later evolved into a cluster of villages made up of houses on stilts, and was unified by Chinese administrators who built ramparts around their headquarters.
What to do in Hanoi Old Quarter?
Visiting Hanoi Old Quarter, every traveler cannot miss the chance to take a walking tour along its old streets to see their own specialized industry and observe the daily life of the locals. Hang Ma offers a wide range of shiny paper products such as gift wrappings, wedding decorations and miniature objects to burn for the dead. Hang Gai Street offers silk clothing ready-made and tailored, embroidery, and silver products. Hang Quat, the street that formerly sold silk and feather fans, now stuns the visitor by its brilliantly colored funeral and festival flags and religious objects and clothing. To Tich Street which connects the above two is still the wood turner’s street. Lan Ong Street (as its name of a famous doctor) is a sensual delight of textures and smells emanating from the sacks of herbal medicinal products: leaves, roots, barks, and powders, etc.
Along some streets of Hanoi Old Quarter, visitors can stop to visit the Communal Houses which looks life small temples to honor a local god offering your interesting stories about the history and culture of Hanoi. You also stop at the classic Old Quarter tube house at 87 Ma May Street for a close look at the special architecture of an old Hanoi’s Old Quarter.
It can be said that, taking a walking tours along the streets of the Old Quarter, you may feel as if you were in a classical-styled area in terms of both architecture and product types!
Visiting this area, you also cannot miss your way to stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake and listen to interesting legend behind the lake. From here, you also should visit Ngoc Son Temple which is one of the most picturesque temples in Hanoi.
If you stay overnight in Hanoi at weekends, don’t miss this precious chance to experience the hustle of bustle of Hanoi at night with Dong Xuan Night Market which covers Hang Ngang and Hang Dao Street on every weekend evening.
But walking is not the only way to discover the Old Quarter of Hanoi. Getting a slow-speed view of this maze of labyrinthine streets as well as the daily life of the locals with a cyclo trip seems to be another ideal experience.
Hanoi Old Quarter – the not-to-be-missed destination in every trip in Hanoi.