Hanoi Old Quarter- the soul of the city

When mentioning Hanoi, the Old Quarter is the first thing comes to tourist’s mind. Throughout the long history, Hanoi’s the Old Quarter has changed a lot but it still remains its ancient beauty. Now the Old Quarter is impressive place to discover with bustling streets and historical values.

Kim Ngan Temple

The first place if you want to find out more about historical values is Kim Ngan temple at 42 Hang Bac Street. This place keeps the essence of the well- known Ha Thanh’s jewelry and Ca Tru is held regularly here. Kim Ngan communal house is located at 42 HANG Bac Street with old architectural and religious structure. It was built in the post Le Dynasty period (15th-18th century). It is considered as one of the oldest, most ancient communal houses in the Old Quarter and also a demonstration of the process of formation and development of Hanoi Old Quarter. It is also a place where many cultural activities such as Ca Tru, take place on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday nights.

Kim Ngan Temple via Flickr

Hanoi old houses

Beside the busy and noisy lifestyle, Hanoi still has the ancient unique beauty with the pavilions, relics and especially the old houses. One of the reasons attracts tourists when they visit the Old Quarter is some old houses where most people have been living in the old quarter for centuries and remained there for generations and the families live on top of other families. It has become a unique characterize of the Old Quarter. Famous for its traditional architectural, the house in Ma May Street is a place if you’re a big fan of old structures. To be reconstructed as living space of the middle class in Hanoi feudal time, it is one of 14 old houses still remaining in Hanoi which was built at the end of the 19th century. The main structure of this house is made of wood, ying- yang tile roofs with wooden truss structure and decorative motifs. The house has been renovated with the traditional architectural with 2 floors and many suites. The first floor is where gather many familiar things to your childhood. The second floor is worship and bedroom. The rooms are integrated together because of the demand that time, they didn’t need to have private space like today. Nowadays, the house attracts a lot of visitors as a point of providing information of Hanoi’s history.

Dong Xuan Mararket

Dong Xuan Market via Gotadi.com

Another attractive point in the Old Quarter is Dong Xuan Market. To be honest, this is a place you can’t skip when visiting Hanoi. Since its establishment, Dong Xuan has been the busiest trading center of the capital city. It was born and associated with commercial development of the ancient Hanoi. This is not only a trading place but also has cultural and spiritual values which reflects Hanoi’s life in the past. It is a real heaven for shopping and trying street foods.


Besides visiting some famous places in the Old Quarter, one of the most impressive experiences you can’t miss is take a cyclo around and enjoy street foods. Cuisine in Hanoi in general and foods in The Old Quarter in particular are always the pride of Hanoians. Starting new day with a bowl of Pho and a cup of coffee or tea in the morning, satisfy your hunger by some bread sticks on the pavement in the late afternoon is really valuable feeling when you visit here. If you’re in a big group when traveling, nothing is worth more than sitting on a small chairs, enjoy beer in Ta Hien Street or a cup of lemon tea in St. Joseph’s Cathedral and look at people passing around.

The Old Quarter has many interesting things waiting for you to discover. If you’re so excited about this, don’t forget to follow us  to understand more about destinations in the Mekong.