Old Quarter - #1 Destination Visiting Hanoi

The Old Quarter has been there for centuries and been one of the most visited spots in Hanoi among foreigners. It has the history, culture, activities, etc. generally the charisma that no other place has with all the narrow rustic street corners, small -lively souvenir stores or magnificently delicate handmade crafts such as the conical hats or colorful lanterns. To local citizens, they embrace this area enjoying it as much as foreigners do. It is, undoubtedly, the number one destination that no visitor should miss out in Hanoi.

Old Quarter - #1 Destination Visiting Hanoi

As its name suggests, the Old Quarter is indeed old, it has been there since the Ly – Tran Dynasties, one of the most prosperous and vibrant dynasties in Vietnam. The Old Quarter was the most bustling and compact trading area in Thang Long – The Soaring Dragon – name of Hanoi back then. Through renovation and expansion, the Old Quarter now is located between the Sword Lake and Long Bien Bridge, consisting of 36 old streets. Travelers must be curious why streets here almost always start with the word “Hang”, which can be understood as “Stores” in English. There are Hang Ma, Hang Ga, Hang Bac, Hang Bo, Hang Thung; the list goes on until it reaches number 36. Hang Ga was the place selling poultries then, Hang Bac used to trade only silver, people once went to Hang Quat to buy fans of all types. The names of the streets were originated after the products that the streets’ residents sold then, although these names are not so correct at the moment since they currently sell diverse goods and provide different services to meet the demands of tourists from all over the world.

Since the area was constructed hundreds of years ago, its architecture is another remarkable feature captivating visitors. No need to go to the outskirts of Hanoi, this is one of very few places in the heart of the city where you can witness the beauty of old architecture of Vietnam with brick walls and mossy tilted roofs, narrow apartments of hundred-year-old blocks standing not in line with one another, going all the way deep into the streets. Nowadays, modern concrete houses prevail in order to secure better lives for dwellers there and facilitate business and tourism; however, those picturesque scenes of old brick houses with moss-covered tilts are the indeed one and truly inspiration for many Vietnamese poets, writers and painters. Besides, many Buddhist temples and pagodas in this area like Ma May Temple, Cau Dong Pagoda or Kim Co Pagoda also make the Old Quarter more well-known for its unique architectural features.

Old Quarter - #1 Destination Visiting Hanoi

Seeing is not enough, there are countless activities that visitors could take part in at this place of 36 old streets. Sword Lake, Ba Dinh Square, Dong Xuan Market or Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre is all great spots you should pay a visit in daytime, with little or no fee at all. At night, do not think that you could be bored for a moment. Thought the pace of life in other parts of Hanoi slows down, the Old Quarter never sleeps. To give out the best services to visitors from different countries, discos, clubs, bars and karaoke with different themes and designs have been mushrooming here, and many of them open 24/7. These spots are full of guests at night, Vietnamese or foreigners, students or office workers; they all come here at night to relax after a hard working day. If you get hungry, food stalls are set up at almost every corner here selling both local and foreign food. You can choose Vietnamese famous delicacies like banh my or pho, or foreign cuisine like spaghetti or pizza.

The trip to the Old Quarter will be memorable, with no moment of regret as you walk through the old streets with rusty historic residences, bright colorful souvenir shops and cheap but hygienic food stalls popping out every corner. Proudly carrying the reputation of being the most stunning, breathtaking and touristic place in Hanoi, the Old Quarter is, without a doubt, a must in your to-visit list if you do not want to miss all the fun in this city.

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Dear Mr. Thang, Happy New Year!! We have now returned back to Australia and the chores of work! – We have very pleasant memories of the sights, sounds, food and people of Vietnam….. We shall treasure for a lifetime I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of our
Robert Mariotti