If you are looking for a place to experience the history, culture, and charm of Hanoi, you should visit the Hanoi Old Quarter. This is the oldest area of the city, where you can find 36 streets named after the crafts and products that were once sold here. You can still see some of the traditional shops and guilds, such as silver, silk, paper, and herbal medicine. You can also admire the architecture of the old houses, temples, and pagodas that reflect the influence of different civilizations over time.
The Hanoi Old Quarter is open to visitors every day, but some streets may be closed to traffic on weekends to create a pedestrian zone. You can explore the area by walking, cycling, or taking a cyclo ride. There are many things to see and do in the Old Quarter, such as visiting the Ô Quan Chưởng Gate, the only remaining gate of the ancient citadel wall; enjoying a cup of egg coffee at a hidden cafe; watching a water puppet show at Thang Long Theatre; or shopping for souvenirs at Dong Xuan Market.
To get to the Hanoi Old Quarter, you can take a bus, taxi, or Grab from other parts of the city. The Old Quarter is located near Hoan Kiem Lake, which is a popular landmark and meeting point. You can also join a guided tour that will take you to the highlights of the area and tell you more about its history and culture.
Some tips for visiting the Hanoi Old Quarter are: dress modestly and respectfully when entering religious sites; bargain politely and firmly when shopping; be careful of pickpockets and scams; and try some of the local street food specialties, such as pho, bun cha, and banh mi.
The Hanoi Old Quarter is a must-see destination for anyone who wants to learn more about the soul of Hanoi. It is a place where you can witness the past and present of Vietnam’s capital city in a lively and colorful way.