Hanoi Old Quarter

Hanoi, Vietnam

25 June, 2020

As the soul of Hanoi, the old quarter is a bustling area of narrow streets dedicated to one specific trade or guild . The Old Quarter contains many historic sights, such as temples, pagodas, and assembly halls.

The capital city of Vietnam, Hanoi is a fascinating blend of East and West, combining traditional Sino-Vietnamese motifs with French flair. The building boom has made Hanoi a rapidly developing city in Southeast Asia. However, it still retains an old charm brought from a thousand years of history, with many interesting cultural and historic monuments, beautiful lakes, shady parks, bustling street markets, fun shops and open air eating spots jostled in ancient houses, and historic temples adjoining colonial style structures. They offer both local and foreigner visitors an endless exploration. You might like to  stroll through the old quarter containing many vibrant streets which are named after the specific goods once offered for sale at these places. The lively atmosphere in Hanoi old quarter runs from the early hours until late at night  with many street vendors calling, horns honking, and chaotic traffic with waves of motorbikes you’ve never experienced.
Hanoi Old Quarter Map
 As the soul of Hanoi, the old quarter  is a bustling  area of narrow streets dedicated to one specific trade or guild .  The name of  old quarter is  commonly given to the historical civic urban core of Hanoi, located outside the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long. This quarter used to be the residential, manufacturing and commercial center created by craftmen  and traders,  who  have migrated from their native villages around Hanoi City  to gather in one area of their  in the north of Hoan Kiem Lake.  The crafts or guilds of each area gave the names to the streets of the quarter, and  produced  high-quality goods to supply the royals in the Thang Long Citadel, just steps away.
Today only a few streets have kept their traditions of the past to sell the same products in the past. It can be great fun to explore on foot  to explore the local life,  familial commerce or production , eating spots,  bustling markets,  food stands and  tube houses. These  typical structures  in Hanoi old quarter have narrow facades, but are built deep and high, with multiple courtyards to allow light inside. At first look, the old quarter of Hanoi with  36 streets can feel frenetic.  You'll notice bicycle vendors selling fresh flowers and ripe fruit, old friends gathering for games of checkers, and cooks doing a roaring trade in steaming  Pho and Bun Cha.
The best trail in Hanoi old quarter is from Hang Be to Dinh Liet , Hang Buom, Hang Ma , Dong Xuan Market, Hang Ma , Hang Dong, and Hang Gai.  Surely , many food stands will catch your eyes at Hang Be Market  on the vibrant walkway to Hang Bac  9Silver Street), where silversmiths once made money and jewellery for the palace, still houses jewellery stores and money changers. If you like to explore the largest indoor market of Hanoi, make a stop at Dong Xuan that offers a wide range of goods such as fresh produce, souvenirs, accessories and clothing, as well as electronic and household appliances. Keep going to Hang Ma , you see a colorful street full of religious goods and festival decorations. Near this area is Lan Ong, a fragrant street filled with traditional medicines and herbs. It is also funny to  tray your hand at bargaining while your walk along Hang Gai Street that is  fringed  with many shophouses to sell from exquisite souvenirs, painting  to silks.  
Hanoi Old Quarter
The old quarter contains many historic sites such as temples, pagodas, and assembly halls. While you explore the historic centre, keep a lookout for the many pagodas built by ancient traders. The old quarter was partially settled by Chinese immigrants who also chose it as a location to do business. To get a glimpse into the lives of these Chinese merchant families in the past, visit Ma May House, a UNESCO-protected heritage home. For a little moment of peace amid the noise, duck down the alley off Nha Tho for a breather in the quiet courtyard of Ba Da Pagoda. Here you’ll find an elaborate Phat Phat statue, regarded as one of Hanoi’s four treasures.  Standing proudly since 1886, St. Joseph Cathedral is a reminder of French colonial presence in Vietnam. From street level, the cathedral’s bold, neo-gothic motifs create a powerful impression above surrounding the houses and streets.
Close to the old quarter of Hanoi is the scenic lake of Hoan Kiem. This green body of water is nestled in the core of urban Hanoi, and is an ideal hangout spot throughout the day, but especially in the early morning and late afternoons. 
The longer you wander, the more you’ll be rewarded with moments in hidden alleyways, secluded pagodas, and cosy coffee shops.


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