Things to do in Hanoi Old Quarter

Hanoi Old Quarter is one of the most attractive tourist places in Hanoi. Walking along 36 Old Streets, tourists can find many things to learn about this interesting cultural place.

Burden Street in Hanoi Old Quarter

Hanoi Old Quarter is famous for its 36 Old Streets. It is one of the earliest developed centers of Hanoi. Its history dates back over 2000 years. Hanoi Old Quarter is considered as the eternal soul of the city. That’s why this place is always crowded with tourists, especially foreigner ones. When you are on tours in Hanoi, this is the first place you should come to. Let’s find out together what makes Hanoi Old Quarter so special.

Hanoi Old Quarter overview

Hanoi Old Quarter is surrounded by Hoan Kiem Lake, Long Bien Bridge, and the citadel wall. Since the era of King Ly Thai To in the 11th century, the Old Quarter was known as an area of crafts. The small workshop villages appeared. The craftsmen gathered to work and live within the same villages with the same business. They make and sell the similar products and services. The people in each village came from the same place and did the same business. So they created a street with a homogeneous look from the outside. Craftsmen brought their culture from where they were from to the streets. They moved their houses, pagodas, temples to their new places.

That’s why there is at least one or two temples or pagodas on each street. By the time, many of these temples and pagodas have been disappeared or hidden behind the shops or houses. But tourists still is able to recognize their roof architecture.

Hanoi Old Quarter is often called Hanoi 36 Old Streets with 36 streets equivalent to 36 guilds. The name of the streets is named by guilds. The names always start with “Hang” – “merchandise” or shop. The people add them to their products, services or located next to "Hang". We can list some of the names such as Hang Bac Street, Hang Dao Street, and Dong Xuan Street.

Some famous guilds in Hanoi Old Quarter

Hang Bac Street

Hang Bac Street in Hanoi Old Quarter

Image Source: Internet

“Bac” means silver, so from the name; it is not too difficult to know the products of the street. It is silver. In history, Craftsmen in Hang Bac started their business of making silver ingot since 1469. They cast silver bars and coins for the capital. Hang Bac is known for different types of pieces of jewellery.

Hang Dao Street

It was one of the oldest street in Hanoi Old Quarter. It is one of the centres of silk business in Vietnam since the 15th century. Hang Dao Street includes around 100 houses constructed of bricks.

Dong Xuan Street

Dong Xuan Street is the oldest and largest market in Vietnam. And also one of the business centres in Southeast Asia. It locates at the confluence of To Lich and Red River. This created the good conditions for business growth in this street.

Specialties in Hanoi Old Quarter

Water puppet performance:

Water puppet

Water puppet show is one of the traditional art with a history of thousands of years. It always brings the surprise for audiences by the cultural content and good performance of the artists. And all just through the wooden puppets. The combination of many traditional arts from beautiful wooden puppets dancing on the water surface, the skillfully traditional songs to the orchestra makes the performance unique and attractive.

Walking around Dong Xuan Street

Walking around Dong Xuan Street

Image Source: Internet

Walking around Dong Xuan Street is also a good experience for tourists. It offers a chance to learn about hundreds years history of Hanoi. If you are on a Hanoi city tour, think about a walk through Dong Xuan Street as a chance for you to experience a normal daily life of people in Hanoi Old Quarter. And you can buy yourself some kinds of gifts for friends and family.

Drinking “Bia Hoi” at Ta Hien street

“Bia Hoi” at Ta Hien street

Image Source: Internet

This is a good experience for any tourist coming to Hanoi. Spending one day walking through Dong Xuan Street then take a seat to enjoy a cup of Bia Hoi Ta Hien. This is a kind of homemade beer on Ta Hien Street. Drinking beer on the sidewalk with crowded people on plastic chairs and tables and live like you belong to this city.

Temple visiting

Kim Ngan temple

Image Source: Internet

One of the interesting activity that tourists can learn about the culture of this country. Hanoi Old Quarter is known for many temples and pagodas. And each of them was built with a unique architecture. The architecture of temples and pagodas in Hanoi respects the religious life, beliefs and values of local people in Hanoi.

For more information about Hanoi Old Quarter and other top attractions when you are on tours in Hanoi. Don't forget to check out the article all things need to know before travel Hanoi here.

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