Hanoi, Vietnam



Old Quarter

Hanoi's Old Quarter is a major destination for many visitors to the city - if you haven't been to the Old QUarter, you haven't visited Hanoi! Located near Hoam Kiem Lake, the history of the Old Quarter began in the 11th century when the Vietnamese King Ly Thai To decided to build his palace here. Villages were built around the royal palace and gradually occupied by skilled craftsmen and merchants. The area later gained a reputation as a major trading centre in the region.
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The Old Quarter is famous for its small artisans and merchants. At the turn of the 20th century, Hanoi comprised of about 36 streets and most are now part of the Old Quarter. During the French colonial period, the Old Quarter became a major marketplace for merchants doing business with China and as far away as India and France. Each street then were occupied by merchants specialising in a particular trade such as silk traders and jewellery. The street names today still reflect these specialisations, although few of them remain exclusively in their original commerce.  

Hanoi's Old Quarter by sputnikrent

The Old Quarter retains its original character, with its narrow winding streets and hardly a tall building to be seen. The area is still famous for its small artisans and merchants, including shops selling silk, ceramics, shoes, sandals and candies. There are also the Communal Houses representing the different guilds as well as Buddhist and Daoist temples. A lively night market is located in the heart of the district and near the Dong Xuan Market (Hanoi's largest market). The night market opens every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings, offering a variety of clothes, souvenirs and food to name a few.

Shops in the Old Quarter by Maryam Laura Moazedi

The Old Quarter is an interesting place to wander and explore. However, the area can be overwhelming with the crowd of people, hawkers and pushcarts - not to mention the hordes of honking motorbikes and cars. Beyond the shops are the prominent landmarks including the massive 900 year old Citadel, Temple of Literature and One Pillar Pagoda. If you plan to stay near the Old Quarter, there are several good hotels nearby including the Hanoi Sofitel Metropole, Hanoi Hilton Opera, Serenade Hotel and Sunrise Hotel Hanoi. There are also no shortages of local cuisine.

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