"The old quarters is a big area including many other attractions. The shops, the eateries and the buzzing crowd and traffic around it make it one of the most happening area for Hanoi. If you enjoy a walk around the lake, nice Vietnamese coffee (try coconut coffee), bargaining with the shopkeepers, you will enjoy every bit of it. But there is something for everyone so it's very difficult to not like the place! ".
The Old Quarter
Hanoi - is one of the main tourist hot spots in the country. It has a French colonial architecture, a rich food culture and a long history (the city celebrated its millennium in 2010). The most famous and important districts in Hanoi's Ba Dinh District (French Quarter), where the government offices are located, and Hoan Kiem District (Old Quarter), which is considered as a business center of the city and major tourist destination.
One of the most common sights is that of Hanoi streets are filled with scooters, bicycles and cars, pedestrians like a school of fish. Then there are the many street vendors and people who simply stroll through the popular "Old Quarter". That is no exception, so a stroll through this neighborhood is more impressive than a walk in the park.
The Old Quarter is located near Hoan Kien lake. In the old quarter you will find among others, a colonial architecture, Buddhist temples and pagodas. It is the main commercial district of Hanoi. The old commercial streets are named after the original companies that were active here. So was eg. a silk street, etc. Although most of these products sold (cotton, jewelry, spices, and silk) are replaced over time by a variety of contemporary merchandise, visitors can still enjoy some of the original goods. You experience a sense of rich old Vietnamese habits here.
The shophouses along the streets are narrow and long. This was because they asked in the old days for wide shophouses high taxes Each shop is situated on the street and has several rooms to the rear.
Although a shop was meant for one family (with many generations it), it is now common, that there are several families living under one roof. You can in the Old Quarter expect plenty of trendy cafe and bars. There is also a wide variety of restaurants, bakeries, boutiques and galleries in this historic area.
Many of the main attractions of Hanoi are at or near the Old Quarter. You'll find among others the Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi Opera House, the National Museum of Vietnamese History, the Ba Dinh Square, a former mansion of the French governor-general, the One Pillar Pagoda, the Bach Ma Temple, Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre and Dong Xuan, the biggest market in Hanoi.
In Vietnam, also in this area, eating a French baguette is as common as a plate of rice or noodels. You can dine here at affordable rates. Regardless of which restaurant you step inside. You'll be surprised how tasty taste simple dishes.
The old quarter is a delightful shopping paradise and home to many artistic products from around the country, which are made by many top artists and craftsmen. Popular are fine souvenirs of lacquer, silk products, embroidered fabrics and bags, rice hats and paintings.
Although the evening is very quiet in large parts of Hanoi, but there's a bustling life in the Old Quarter. There are lots of discos, clubs and bars with live music. Compared to other major cities in Asia, the offer is not as big as elswhere, but tourists, students, office workers and expats love it here.
From a travel blog:
"The streets are so busy, and we followed the trail on Lonely Planet. The quarter is a must visit with a great mix of bars, shops and hotels. Stop for a quick coffee or milkshake on the way, and do some people watching!
Also take a look at the pagodas and the temples - since it is the New Year, many people are praying. You get a very good taste of Vietnamese culture from these old quarters."
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