Hanoi The Old Quarter
Vietnamese people say that Hanoi has 36 streets and guilds such as Sugar Street, Jam Street, Salt Street and so on. Inside a dynamic and modern city, there is an ancient quarter, the Hanoi’s Old Quarter– the represented eternal soul of the city. Nowadays, most Vietnamese and Westerners people are always familiar with the phrase Hanoi – 36 Old Streets, Ha Noi – thirty-six districts or Hanoi’s Old Quarter, the sight-seeing and top unique historical vestige of the capital, international tourist destination thanks to their mostly original state.
Hanoi Old Quarter located among the Long Bien Bridge, the Lake of the Restored Sword, a citadel wall, and a former city rampart. The Old Quarter is known as a snake and alligator-infested swamp. It used to evolve into a cluster of villages which are made up of stilts. It was also unified by Chinese administrators who built ramparts around their headquarters. This area is known as Protected South or Dominated Annam by the Chinese people.
How old are the ancient streets?
It may be a big surprise if you know that the name Hanoi’s Old Quarter started at the time King Ly Thai To selecting Thang Long as the capital of the country in 1010. The streets had a nearly a thousand-year-old history and became lively and crowded in the 15th century. Do you know what makes them unique? Some of them remain ancient architecture of the 15th century. Up to now, it has been one of the oldest continuously developed areas in Vietnam.
What are origins of Hanoi Old Quarter?
Because of their long lasting age, they are called 36 Old Streets or Old Quarter. Ha Noi’s 36 districts are Vietnam’s version of the guild concept. In the past, when artisans moved to the capital city to do business, they would gather together here to share the resources. As a result, several streets were named after the goods sold on that street such as Pho Hang Ma (Paper Product), Pho Hang Bun (Vermicelli), Pho Hang Bac (Silver) and so on.
The phrase 36 Pho Phuong or 36 Old Streets often causes much confusion for people; “Phố” in Vietnamese is a street on which traders gather together to do business, while “Phường”, a guild of artisans or a district specializing in a unique trade such as Phuong Tho, Phuong Cheo. In any case, both of them are right to some extent.
Specialized craft guilds and streets: Most visitors are eager for exploring the Hanoi Old Quater well-known for its dedicated industry. Hang Gai Street used to offer silk made and tailored, embroidery clothing products. Hang Quat, the street that sold feather and silk fans, now is stunning the visitors by its brilliantly coloured funeral, festival flags or religious objects and clothing. Hang Ma would glimmer with shiny paper products, such as wedding decorations, gift wrappings, and small paper objects to burn for the dead. Lan Ong Street used to be a smells emanating and sensual delight of textures from the sacks of herbal medicinal products such as roots, leaves, powders. If you come here, you might feel like you are in a classical-styled area regarding both product types and architecture.
36 Old Streets
It is often called 36 Old Streets in the past, but nowadays, there are more than 36 actual streets. A lot of researchers believe that the number 36 came from when there could have been 36 guild locations that were workshop areas, not streets in the 15th century. When the streets were later developed, the guild sites’ names were applied to the streets. What others attribute is that the 36 to a more abstract concept. The number 9 in Asia may represent the idea of plenty. 9 times the four directions make 36, which just means many. There are more than 70 streets in the area. Although a lot of the streets no longer sell the products that they were named after, some still have that name. Nowadays, the 36- Old Quarter has become the unique classical feature of Hanoi capital, and the inspiration of numerous poets, writers, and painters, and it is also one of the desired tourist destinations in Vietnam.
To fully explore the Hanoi 36 Old Quarter, you should prepare your feet for one day to walk street to street and then explore the local people’ daily life, the old-style houses and narrow streets, the colorful souvenir shops. You had better try some of the delicious traditional foods of Vietnamese cuisine. Joining a Hanoi Old Quarter food tour or walking tour may give foreign tourists a great experience of Hanoi Old Quarter: the history lesson, daily lifestyle, or the feast for their tummies. Tourists who like to walk around the area might want to check out the Hanoi Old Quarter walking tour, while people who want to explore the tasty traditional foods in this area. Moreover, if you like to explore more about Hanoi culture and local life of Hanoi people, a lot of Hanoi tours half-day or full day are offered to meet your demands.
Hanoi Old Quarter is the most famous historical places that you should go when you come to Vietnam. Just try is and having great experience in Vietnam.