25 Oct Hanoi Old Quarter in Pictures
Built over 1,000 years ago, Hanoi’s Old Quarter is perhaps the most famous, historical area of the city. It certainly seems to attract the most tourists, particularly around Hoan Kiem lake, where you can catch Hanoian’s exercising every morning and evening. We live just a 15 minute walk away from the Old Quarter and go there often, mainly to eat in our favourite cafes or pick up some groceries from one of the delicious French-style bakeries.
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The Old Quarter Hanoi
As the Capital City of Vietnam, Hanoi is a mix of modernity and tradition. In part the city is a bustling metropolis with offices, malls and governmental buildings but it’s also steeped in history and tradition. Amongst the routines of daily life in these tree-lined, traffic-choked streets lie the shadows of past struggles with colonialism and war; the body of the nation’s hero, Ho Chi Minh, lies embalmed in a mausoleum, red and gold flags line every street and you can spend days here visiting temples, museums and old French prisons.
The Old Quarter consists of 36 streets, each one specialising in a particular type of goods. Hang Dau, for example, is crammed with shoe shops while fine silks are sold in Hang Gai and there are dozens of jewellery stores along Hang Bac. The practice of having streets lined with identical shops selling identical products seemed odd to me at first, but it does make it easy to find exactly what you want; when we need school supplies like stickers or balls we visit the toy and party decoration streets.
Hanoi Old Quarter in Pictures
Here’s a snapshot of daily life in Hanoi’s Old Quarter, would you like to visit one day?
Miriam of Adventurous MiriamPosted at 14:16h, 25 October
This post brings back so many memories from my time in Vietnam. It’s many years ago now, but Hanoi doesn’t look like it has changed one bit 🙂
AmyPosted at 06:31h, 26 October
I’m glad to have inspired some reminiscing Miriam. The Old Quarter in Hanoi does feel pretty ageless and it’s a great place to spend an afternoon.
LauraPosted at 17:45h, 25 October
Lovely photos! I loved Hanoi – so chaotic, but so wonderfully different to anywhere else I’d been before! I had the best Vietnamese coffees there, too.
AmyPosted at 06:30h, 26 October
Thanks Laura 🙂 Yes, the coffee is definitely pretty good here, a couple of weeks ago we tried the famous egg coffee which was much more delicious than it sounds; a bit like a mini-dessert!
PattiPosted at 18:38h, 26 October
Thanks for the tour! I love all of the little shops and such. Hanoi seems to be a very busy alive city. Do you ever find it overwhelming, or have you been able to settle enough to feel comfortable?
AmyPosted at 10:42h, 28 October
We did find it overwhelming when we first moved here Patti but we’ve settled in now. I am starting to crave a bit of green, open space though when we finish here in May we’re planning some serious beach time in Thailand!
Gilda BaxterPosted at 22:08h, 26 October
I like the idea that each street will specialize in a particular item to sell. It makes shopping a lot easier. Lovely silk dresses. I would like to spend some time on that street.
AmyPosted at 10:43h, 28 October
I thought that was strange at first but now I agree, it does make shopping a lot easier. There are lots of bargains to be had in the Old Quarter too Gilda.
CatherinePosted at 16:21h, 27 October
Great photos! I love the idea of each street being dedicated to different products – would certainly make it much easier to find what you’re looking for. Would love to visit Hanoi one day and see for myself!
AmyPosted at 10:44h, 28 October
You should definitely visit Hanoi Catherine, it’s a really vibrant city (if a bit chaotic at times!) – it feels very different to other Asian cities I’ve visited.
CharliePosted at 20:32h, 27 October
Lovely photos! I’m really looking forward to visiting Hanoi. I’ve heard a lot of good things about it recently. Looks like a nice place to settle for a while.
AmyPosted at 10:45h, 28 October
We are finding it nice to have a temporary home base here in Hanoi Charlie, it took us a while to settle in but life is good now.
HelenPosted at 11:14h, 28 October
Great pictures, I’m looking forward to visiting Vietnam next year so this has whetted me appetite!
AmyPosted at 11:17h, 28 October
Glad you like them Helen, I hope you do make it to Vietnam next year 🙂
Anna RPosted at 15:50h, 28 October
The amount of things strapped to that moped are insane!
AndrewPosted at 02:44h, 29 October
We have seen crazier things Anna, but that one is pretty crazy. Thanks for commenting. 🙂
paper boat sailorPosted at 07:40h, 29 October
a well-informed post and a great photo essay. Viet Nam’s history is fascinating.
AmyPosted at 04:05h, 31 October
I agree, it is fascinating 🙂
EmilyPosted at 12:58h, 30 October
Vietnam, and Hanoi, have long been on my travel bucket list. I’ve only heard great things from bloggers and the travel community – it sounds like a dream 🙂
AmyPosted at 04:06h, 31 October
Let me know if you make it to Hanoi Emily 🙂
Joe LouisPosted at 02:46h, 02 November
We used to play a game to see who can find a motorbike carrying the highest number of people (kids included).
AmyPosted at 06:28h, 02 November
That game will keep you entertained for ages here in Hanoi 🙂
Natasha AmarPosted at 13:01h, 06 November
Lovely post! Took me right back to Hanoi, a city I love. Spent quite a few days by the lake and exploring the Old Quarter.
Thank you for sharing 🙂
AmyPosted at 12:25h, 07 November
Hi Natasha, thanks for commenting, I’m glad you liked our little taste of Hanoi 🙂
ShobhaPosted at 22:17h, 11 November
Great photos! I can’t believe that motorcycle can balance with all that stuff on it. You get a sense of how busy the city is. Life is happening all around you and not shut off behind closed doors.
AmyPosted at 15:07h, 13 November
It’s pretty crazy what Vietnamese people can manage to balance on their motorbikes Shobha 🙂 Thanks for reading and commenting.
Nasiema MowzerPosted at 19:59h, 01 October
Im a qualified tefl teacher from tefle world. I would like to work in vietnam
AmyPosted at 09:51h, 02 October
That’s great, good luck with the job hunt, I’m sure you’ll love it there. You can purchase our e-book about teaching in Vietnam if you want extra information: http://ourbigfattraveladventure.com/downloads/how-to-teach-english-in-vietnam-amy-blyth/