Hanoi’s Old Quarter came into being at the time King Ly Thai To selected Thang Long as the country’s capital in 1010, that is, the streets have a 1,000-year old history and became crowded and lively in 15th century. What makes them unique is that many of them remain in their very ancient architecture of the 15th century. Up to now, it has been the oldest continuously developing area of Vietnam.
Seeing Vietnam, you should not miss the bustling and antique capital city Hanoi with a blending sensation of new and old. There is one area where you can have an insight look into the elegant and vintage Hanoi in the ancient time – that is the Old Quarter area with 36 streets specialized in different merchandises in the past.
Specialized craft streets and guilds: Most tourists are eager for exploring the old streets well-known for each one’s specialized industry. 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 connects the above two and is still the wood turner’s street. Hang Ma glimmers with shiny paper products, such as gift wrappings, wedding decorations and miniature paper objects to burn for the dead. Lan Ong Street is a sensual delight of textures and smells emanating from the sacks of herbal medicinal products: leaves, roots, barks, and powders, etc. Coming here, you may feel as if you were in a classical-styled area in terms of both architecture and product types!
Although many of the streets no longer sell the products after which they were named, some still do. Today, the Old Quarter has become the unique classical feature of Hanoi, and the inspiration of numerous writers, poets, and painters, and one of the desired tourist destinations in Hanoi.
The Old Quarter is located around the heart of Hanoi and provide easy access to major attractions in the city such as Hoan Kiem Lake, Ngoc Son temple, Ho Chi Minh complex, Van Mieu (temple of literature), One Pillar pagoda and the Old Quarter itself.
Walking around the small and crowded street to take a look at various merchandise shops as well as food vendors filled with locals might be one of the most interesting experiences. That is why many tourists staying around the area while visiting Hanoi. In response to the growing demand of accommodation, many 2 or 3 star hotels in the Old Quarter area have been built up. With the advantage of offering reasonable price, friendly staff and a local knowledge in exploring the city, the area has been up in its reputation for Cheap hotels in Hanoi.
Most of the Old Quarter Hanoi hotels are built in the colonial and boutique style. Standing on a small balcony on the third or fourth floor to look down the small streets gradually overflowing with motorbikes and street vendors one early morning and you can sense the peacefulness and aliveness gently flooding over your body and mind. To Hanoians, these mornings are like the precious still moments in their busy life for enjoying the beauty of Hanoi, especially when these early mornings happen to be on fine autumn days with a light touch of breeze and cool weather and the bland fragrance of Milk flower spreading in the air.
When you are in Hanoi, spare a moment in your busy city tours to quietly enjoy Hanoi’s beauty, smell and sensation from a small hotel balcony among the most antique area in the city.