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Ancient Streets Ha Noi, Tour Vietnam

The Old Quarter and Its Tempo of Life

Ha Noi is the only city in Vietnam besides Hoi An that still retains a quarter of ancient streets that were once the old town. In Hanoi, this quarter is located in the Hoan Kiem district and is bordered by Hang Bau Street in the north; Phung Hung Street to the west; Hang Bong, Hang Gai, Cau Go, and Hang Thung in the south; and Tran Nhat Duat and Tran Quang Khai in the east.
According to historical records, this has been the core market area of the Thang Long capital for a thousand years.
An ancient Vietnamese saying goes: "Ha Noi has 36 streets (pho) and wards or guilds (phuong) including Hang Mut, Hang Muoi, Hang Duong..."
An old rhyme goes:

"I invite you to wander in the Royal Capital City, where there are Hang (Street) Bo, Hang Ba , Hang Gai, and Hang Buom, Hang Thiec, Hang Hai, Hang Khay..."

These verses mention "pho" (street) and "phuong" (ward or guild) which, in this context, many people consider to be the same thing, however, they are actually a hit different. In the Le dynasty (15th-18th century), the term "guild" referred to a group of people working in the same occupation or craft; for example, there would be a different guilds for traders in different commodities, workers, tuong opera artists, etc. It could also mean a geographical area comprising a grassroots administrative unit of the capital city.
Read More

Discovering The Ancient Streets Together

Tets begin our tour to discover Ha Noi's 36 ancient streets at Hoan Kiem Lake.
Hoan Kiem (Sword) Lake is a 12 hectare freshwater lake located in the heart of Ha Noi. Because the water in the lake is green like an emerald all year round, it was formerly also known as Luc Thuy (Green Water) Lake.
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Dong Kinh Nghia Thuc Square is located at the northern end of Hoan Kiem Lake where Hang Gai, Hang Dao, Cau Go, Dinh Tien Hoang and Le Thai To streets converge. During the French colonial period it was called the Place Negrier. In the middle of the square is a fountain which, in the past, was a round concrete tank with several tiers that provided the base for a large clock with ornamental grass planted around it. It was later changed into a fountain after the capital was liberated in 1945.
Today, Dong Kinh Nghia Thuc square is used as public space for outdoor cultural activities and art performances.

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Zone 1

Wooden Bridge Street

Cau Go Street, 250 metres long, is quite ancient and dates from the 15th century. In the past it was where rice was sold to students living nearby. The houses on the street are in the old architectural style with one storey and a mezzanine. It is named Cau Go (Bridge Street - the French called it Rue du Pont en Bois, Street of the Wooden Bridge) because it once had a wooden bridge over a small channel connecting Thai Cuc and Hoan Kiem lakes. Thai Cuc, also known as Hang Dao Lake, was filled in by the French to create land for building houses.

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Fish Market Street

This 268 metre long street runs from Hang Be to Hang Dao and is known for selling children's clothing. There is also an ancient communal house at No. 50. The French called this street Rue Tirant (Tirant was the mayor of Ha Noi in 1888), but the common people called it Gia Ngu, the Chinese-Vietnamese words meaning "fish market," which became its official name after 1945.

Oil Street

In the past, this street specialised in oil extracted from plants (peanut oil, sesame oil, cottonseed oil, etc.) that was used for both cooking and lighting. Today it sells mainly footwear produced in Vietnam and China. In the French period, it was called Rue du Lac (Lake Street) but after 1945 its name was changed to Hang Dau. The Ha Noi Department of Culture and Information is located at No. 47.

Hoan Kiem Lake Street

Ho Hoan Kiem Street is only 52 metres long and runs from Cau Go to Dinh Tien Hoang.
Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre
The Water Puppet Theatre is located at number 57B, Dinh Tien Hoang, on the banks of Hoan Kiem Lake.
Read More

Silk Street

Hang Dao Street is 260 metres long and was originally where fabric dyers and silk sellers lived and worked. Fabrics were mainly dyed red, peach flower, pink or rose, hence the name of the street. Read More

Cross Street

Until the early 20th century, there were many large silk shops belonging to the Minh HUdng people (the Chinese Vietnamese from the Ming dynasty) on 150 metre long Hang Ngang Street.Read More

Bamboo Raft Street

Hang Be is 172 metres long and used to be adjacent to the Red River where rafts carrying forest bamboo were unloaded for sale. There were so many buyers and sellers for the goods carried on these bamboo rafts that they formed a market and called it Hang Be Street (Bamboo Raft Street). Read More

Nguyen Huu Huan

This street is 450 metres long and has had several different names in the couse of history - Be Thuong, Bac Ninh, Marshal Petain, and Phan Thanh Gian. It was renamed in 1954 (once peace had been restored) after the patriotic scholar Nguyen Huu Huan, who led a late 19th century uprising against the French colonialists in the South. Read More

Ca phe Lam at 60 Nguyen Huu Huan Street
This cafe is located in a red tile house and appears to be very old and simple, but it is well known for the wide range of original pictures that adorn its walls. Read More

Bamboo Street

Hang Tre is 292 metres long, starting from Hang Mam and ending at Lo Su Street. It was previously located close to the banks of the Red River, which was convenient for loading and unloading bamboo from rafts on the river. Read More

Bamboo Basket Street.

Tran Quang Khai

Tran Quang Khai Road is 732 metres long and runs along the Red River dike, eventually turning into the Tran Nhat Duat Road. Read More

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Zone 2

Hang Duong (Sugar Street)

Hang Duong Street is 180 metres long and was created between the late Le dynasty (1533-1788) and the Nguyen dynasty (1802-1945). It features products made from cane sugar and molasses and many types of cakes and sweets are produced here. Read More

White Horse Temple

Bach Ma Temple is located at No. 76 Hang Buom Street and, according to legend, was built in the 9th century to worship Long Do, the god-protector of the eastern part of ancient Thang Long. Read More

Shoe Street

This street is over 200 meters long and was called Lataste Street during the French colonial period. Read More

Ta Hien

Ta Hien, also known as Ta Quang Hien, was a native of Quang Lang Commune, Thuy Anh district (now Thai Thuy district), in Thai Binh province. He was a military commander during the Nguyen dynasty (1802-1945) and became the leader of the patriotic movement against the French in Thai Binh during the reign of King Ham Nghi (1871-1943), the eighth Nguyen king.
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Luong Ngoc Quyen

This street is 320 metres long and was originally a series of ponds and lakes; during the French colonial period, many such bodies of water were filled in to create new streets. Read More

Silver Street

One of the oldest streets in Ha Noi, Hang Bac was formed in the 13th century and is 280 metres long. In the 16th century, there was a forge for casting silver coins and bullion for the royal court located at what is now No 58. Read More

Dao Duy Tu

Nearly 300 metres long, this street was formerly where raw and processed rice wasn traded in large shops belonging to Chinese immigrants as well as local Vietnamese.Read More

Dao Duy Tu
The street is named after Dao Duy Tu (1572-1634), a famous Vietnamese scholar of modern times and one of the highest ranking mandarins of the Nguyen dynasty.Read More

Golden Bell Theatre
The Golden Bell Theatre at 72 Hang Bac Street, was built in the French colonial period as the Thang Long Theatre where traditional tuong and cheo operas were performed. Read More

Grain Market Street

In the past this street was a 75 metre long wharf on the To Lich River. Before both nature and man filled the river in, it featured many stalls selling rice along the riverbanks and the French named it the Place du Commerce (Commercial Plaza). They also built a large roofed house here so traders would not be exposed to the elements and, gradually, the street became known by its new name, Grain Market Street.

Rattan Street

This street is 268 metres long and was composed of sections of two other ancient streets: Hang May (the section bordering Hang Buom where rattan was sold) and Read More

Brick Street

This is actually a short section of street, 130 meter long linking Hang Duong to Nguyen Sieu Street. Both Ngo Gach and Nguyen Sieu Street were built on the bed of the To Lich River after it was was filled in (in 1887). The ancient Thanh Ha communal house is now at No. 10. Read More

Nguyen Van Sieu

Like Ngo Gach, the side of Nguyen Van Sieu Street with even-numbered houses lies on the bank of the filled-in To Lich River. The 180 metre long street was named after Nguyen Van Sieu, a 19th century scholar and writer. Read More

A The Quarter of 36 ancient streets in the early 20th century.



A Hang Bo (Silk) Street in the early 20th century. V
Hang Bao (Siik) Street today.

A An old street in the French colonial time (early 20th century).
Sword Lake





A Hang Ngang (cross) Street in the 20th century.
A shop in the Old Quarter in the early 20th century.



A Hang Dau (Oil) Street today.
Quan Be Temple on Hang Buorn (Sail) Street.






The Dong Xuan Market in the eariy 20th century
The Dong Xuan Market today



Hang Khoai (Potato) Street.

O Quan Chuong (City Gate) Street in the early 20th century

O Quan Chuong (City Gate) Street today.


Conical Hat Street in the early 20th century.

Tin Street in the old days.

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Zone 3

Sedge Mat Street

This street is 280 meters long and runs from Dong Xuan Street through the Dong Ha City Gate (also known as the Quan Chuong City Gate). It is divided into two sections: Rue des Nattes en Jones (Sedge Mat Street, now 0 Quan Chtfdng Street) and Rue Jean Dupuis (formerly Moi Street, now Hang Chieu street).
In the old days, sedge mats were sold in both sections, but today they are only sold on Hang Chieu. As it is located near the large Dong Xuan market, many other commodities (imported from Dong Xuan) are sold here in addition to sedge, bamboo and plastic mats. Read More

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Zone 4

Luong Van Can

Luong Van Can Street (300 metres long) is connected to parallel Hang Dao Street, so the houses on Hang Dao also have gates on the left side of Luong Van Can. House No. 10 on Hang Dao (connected to house No. 17 on Luong Van Can) was formerly part of the famous Dong Kinh Nghia Thuc School. The houses from No. 6 to 18 were owned by Mr. Thong Sang, who established the first Tuong opera theater in Ha Noi, the Kinh Ky Hy Vien (also known as Thong Sang Theater). The former Cine Tonkinois movie house that used to show serial detective and adventure movies (now the Thang Long Music and Dance Theatre) faces the T-junction with Hang Quat. Read More

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Zone 5

Cotton Street

Hang Bong Street is 932 meters long, one of the longest in the Old Quarter, and acquired its name about 100 years ago when the French merged many small streets into one. Before that it was divided into different segments, each with their own name. Read More

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Zone 6

East Gate Street

Ciia Dong Street is over 220 metres long and the East Gate of the Thang Long Citadel was located at the end of this street during the Nguyen dynasty. Between 1894 and 1897, the French destroyed Ha Nois citadel so the gate no longer exists. Under the French, this was officially called General Bichot Boulevard, but the local people always called it Cfta Dong (East Gate) Street or Cong Tinh Road. At that time it was a modern spacious street paved with stone slabs and had brick sidewalks, shady trees, proper Sewers and street lights.
There are many fabric shops on Cua Dong Street today. Read More

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Ancient Ha Noi


CONTENTS

Zone 1

Wooden Bridge Street
Fish Market Street
Oil Street
Hoan Kiem Lake Street
Cross Street
Bamboo Raft Street
Bamboo Street

Zone 2

Sugar Street
Sail Street
Shoe Street
Silver Street
Grain Market Street
Rattan Street
Wick Street

Zone 3

Sedge Mat Street
City Gate Street
Paper Street
Potato Street
Street under the Bridge
Bean Street
Ramie Street

Zone 4

Fan Street
Trunk Street
Bamboo Blinds Street
Conical Hat Street
Tin Street
Bamboo Basket Street
Porcelain Bowl Street

Zone 5

Cotton Street
Leather Street
Tobacco Pipe Street

Zone 6

East Gate Street
Chicken Street
Bamboo Lattice Street
Fabric Street
Ceramic Street
Copper Street
Sand Worm Street
Blacksmith Street
Fish Street
Chinese Herb Street
The Street of Combs
Grilled Fish Street
Scales of Street