Vietnam Travel Guide

Hanoi Old Quarter

Hanoi, lying on the banks of the Red River, is the cultural capital of Vietnam and its heart. Throughout of the thousand years of its eventful history, marked by destruction, wars, and natural disasters, Hanoi still preserves many ancient architectural works of Vietnam. It is a great place to knowledge both traditional and modern Vietnamese culture. Visiting this city, guests are promised to have an unforgettable experience by exploring many beautiful and interesting destination. There are lots of things for tourists to know, explore, do and see in Hanoi.

Long-Bien bridge

Red River and Long Bien Bridge

How to get into the city

Hanoi is surrounded by Red River, which builds up to the meaning of the name Hanoi. “Ha” means river and “Noi” means “within”. The full name “Hanoi” means “within the river”. From Noi Bai Airport, it takes about an hour to transfer by car or taxi to inside the city. Coming into the city, you are surrounded by roadside artisans, shops, and the busy atmosphere of motorbikes. In the city, you can choose to travel by meter taxi, motorbike, bicycle or cycle. All of them are convenient and flexible in this crowded city.


Noi Bai Airport

Stories of Hanoi

Hanoi old quarter is famous for its 36 streets. It was said that at the very beginning day, there were originally 36 streets in the city. Nowadays, when the country has been more developing, Hanoi has spread out to the surrounding. The 30 little streets in the quarter are each named according to the commodity sold by all shops or stores on that street. “Hang” – the first word of each street name means “store” or “shop”. And the following name is the name of good sold there. Streets here are named for the medicine, jewelry, fans, copper, horse hair, chicken, and even coffins once sold on them. This explains why the names of some of the longer streets inexplicably change after one or two blocks. As you explore, you will still happen upon entire blocks of tinsmiths, tailors, paper goods merchants, and lacquer ware makers.

Ha Noi old quarter

Hanoi old quarter

Nowadays, the commodity no longer sold there but the name has not been changed as the mark of tradition. Instead of old shops or stores, there are currently many hotels, hostels or clothes shops on those streets. But walking on these streets or sitting on a cyclo riding around the city with the historical atmosphere surely makes you feel like come back to the past of Hanoi on old days.



There are lots of beautiful and famous destinations for tourists to discover when visiting Hanoi: Hanoi Old Quarter, Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple

ngoc son temple

Ngoc Son Temple

Come to Hanoi you should spend time on visiting Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum because it is probably the most important architectural achievements of Vietnam, which preserved Uncle Ho body. The Temple of Literature and National University (Van Mieu and Quoc Tu Giam) are the next must-see visit during your trip to Hanoi. Together, they make one of Asia’s loveliest spots. The focal point of the site is the Sanctuary dedicated to Confucius, which is filled with elaborate Chinese reliquary. Live performances of traditional folk music by costumed women are ongoing during public hours.

temple Literature

Temple of Literature

Known as the heart of Hanoi, Hoan Kiem Lake has been an attractive destination for tourists coming to Vietnam. According to a 15th Century legend, a giant turtle presented Emperor Le Loi with a magic sword with which to defeat Chinese invaders. In accordance with their past, the Emperor returned the sword to the turtle after a glorious victory in battle. Thus, the lake was named Hoan Kiem, or “restored sword.” The lake itself is a living thing with a personality that changes continuously with the hour and the season. Some of your most vivid memories of Hanoi might come from the 45 minute walks you take around Hoan Kiem at sunrise, at midday, and again after dark.


Hoan Kiem Lake


At the North end of the lake, connected to the side by a foot bridge with the name “The Huc”, Ngoc Son Pagoda sits on an islet. The oldest structures in the complex dated back to 1225, though most of what you see was either built or reconstructed in the 19th century.

one pillar pagoda

One pillar pagoda

With so many beautiful visiting places and traditional culture, Hanoi is really a friendly and wonderful city for tourists to come and discover. Most travelers spend about 2-5 days on touring in the city but if you fall in love with Hanoi, you will always stay longer.

Dong xuan market

Dong Xuan market

Join Hanoi city tour with Journey Vietnam to take a chance visiting Hanoi Old Quarter.

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