Hanoi Old Quarter is located among Hoan Kiem Lake, the Long Bien Bridge (a historic cantilever of Hanoi) and a citadel wall. It is between the top 10 things to see in Hanoi for Hanoi’s visitors, well-known with old-styled narrow streets and full of antique brick houses.
Hanoi Old Quarter came into being at the time King Ly Thai To when he selected Thang Long as the country’s capital in 1010. As the result, many skilled craftsmen gathered around this royal palace to sell their products, creating a cluster of villages each specialized in a different type of craft. These specialized villages made it easier for craftsmen with the same skills to work together. And so the streets along the villages later were named after the crafts such as Pho Hang Bun (Vermicelli Street, for the street selling vermicelli), Pho Hang Bac (Silver Street, for the street selling jewelries), etc.
Overtime, this collection became a busy trading center, especially reached its peak during French time, when it became a well-known marketplace to trade both the local goods and those from China, France and India…
Fast forward to today, this place does not simply exist as another ‘modernized tourist attraction’ of Vietnam, but continues to be a vibrant center of life for many locals in Hanoi. That is why many tourists chose to stay here during their Hanoi trips to experience first-hand how the daily lives of Vietnamese are like.