36 street Hanoi offers the opportunity to explore the ruins of the once bustling commercial district. Visiting this historic quarter is not to be missed on a Hanoi travel. Coming here, you will admire the beauty of cultural heritage through ancient architecture and traditional shops. This is a perfect destination for travelers who want to immerse themselves in the local lifestyle and experience the unique atmosphere of the Hanoi Old Quarter.
1. The current scale of Hanoi Old Quarter
The area known as “36 street Hanoi” in the city’s Old Quarter is bordered by Hang Dau Street to the North, Phung Hung Street to the West, Tran Nhat Duat and Tran Quang Khai Streets to the East, and Hang Bong, Hang Gai, Cau Go, and Hang Thung Streets to the South.
The handicraft streets are the most famous feature of 36 street Hanoi. They were formed by the craftsmen who came to Thang Long from all over the country and settled in the Old Quarter. Each street specialized in creating and selling different products, and people named the street after its main product with the word “Hang” to signify a store or a series of stores. For example, Hang Bac Street was once a street of silver-making firms.
However, most of the streets now offer a diversity of goods instead of specializing in one product. Although there are still some streets that sell traditional products, some, like Hang Quat and Hang Buom, have shifted to selling new products.
Despite changes over time, 36 street Hanoi still maintains the cultural and historical values that make them a popular destination for tourists visiting Hanoi.
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2. The origin of 36 old streets in Hanoi
During the Ly and Tran Dynasties, the Old Quarter of Hanoi, also known as the 36 street Hanoi, was a bustling commercial hub. It was located to the East of the Thang Long Imperial Citadel, along the banks of the Red River. Nguyen Trai, a famous scholar of the Le Empire, referred to this area as a specialized trading site for exchanging goods.
As people from the surrounding countryside began to migrate to the city during this time, the 36 street Hanoi became a hub for traders from all over the world to exchange goods, forming a dynamic trading site in the North of Vietnam.
When the French colonized Vietnam, they renovated the area and turned it into an inclusive market to conduct their business, making it one of the most famous shopping streets in Hanoi.
3. Highlights of 36 old streets Hanoi
One of the best streets in the capital is 36 street Hanoi, known for its tube house architecture, sloping tile roofs, and commercial facades. These structures were primarily built during the 18th and 19th centuries, and although they may appear small and dilapidated, the locals have cleverly arranged them to serve the material needs of a standard household.
To truly experience Hanoi’s rich cultural traditions, a trip to 36 street Hanoi is a must. This historic area is home to over 100 ancient architectural structures, including temples, pagodas and guild halls. The Bach Ma Temple, located in Hang Buom, is particularly noteworthy as one of the four sacred temples of the ancient capital of Thang Long.
Despite the crowded streets and tightly packed shops, the area’s unique cultural identity is well preserved. During holidays or the Mid-Autumn Festival, visitors can witness a completely different atmosphere, bustling with activity and overflowing with market stalls and buzzing eateries. All of these elements contribute to Hanoi’s distinctive traditional cultural identity.
The 36 street Hanoi has a wide range of roadside eateries, each with its own unique flavors and charm. From Thuy Ta ice cream at Hoan Kiem Lake to Trang Tien ice cream on the streets, there is no shortage of delicious treats to indulge in while exploring the city.
The street food in the Old Quarter, including dishes like bun cha, pho, and fish noodle soup, is closely tied to traditional Vietnamese cuisine and can be found in small street-side eateries or historic houses that have stood for decades. The charming and rustic atmosphere of Hanoi’s streets is the perfect setting to enjoy these rich and unforgettable flavors.
>>> Discover more: Hanoi street food that satisfies all your craves and hungers
4. TOP well-trodden attractions in 36 old streets of Hanoi
4.1. Bach Ma Temple
- Address: No. 76, Hang Buom Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
Bach Ma Temple is among the four temples situated in the four main directions of Hanoi: Quan Thanh Temple in the North, Kim Lien Temple in the South, Bach Ma Temple in the East and Voi Phuc Temple in the West. These four temples are believed to serve as both spiritual centers and crucial defenses for the streets of Hanoi.
The exterior of the temple is adorned with antique designs, resembling an eight-story communal house. Upon entering the temple, visitors will be amazed by the splendidly decorated interiors and a stunning red-lacquered palankeen.
Additionally, there are numerous altars inside the temple, showcasing exquisite engravings along with valuable relics like paintings, imperial decrees, ancient weapons, stone stelae, metal bells, and palankeens. As an essential part of Hanoi’s cultural heritage, Bach Ma Temple is worth a visit when you explore 36 street Hanoi.
4.2. Old City Gate
O Quan Chuong, also known as the “East Gate” or “Dong Ha Gate,” is an ancient gate located on Thanh Ha Street in Hoan Kiem District, at the intersection of Hang Chieu and Dao Duy Tu Streets in the heart of Hanoi’s Old Quarter. This gate was constructed during the Le Dynasty in the 10th year of Canh Hung (1749), featuring the Nguyen Dynasty’s feudal architectural style.
The watchtower of O Quan Chuong has two stories, with three arched doors on the first floor, including the main entrance, which is 3 meters high and wide, and two side doors, which are 2.5 meters high and 1.65 meters wide. The second-floor watchtower had four roofs and was used as a lookout by soldiers in the past.
O Quan Chuong is an iconic landmark that stands as a testament to the rich history of Hanoi streets and is a must-visit spot for anyone exploring 36 street Hanoi.
4.3. Ma May Ancient House
Located in the heart of 36 street Hanoi, 87 Ma May House is a historic gem. Constructed in the late 19th century, this house offers visitors a glimpse into the daily lives of the people of ancient Hanoi. It also serves as a testament to the traditional architecture of the city and highlights the importance of preserving and promoting ancient houses.
This narrow yet deep house features layers of rooms separated by courtyards, with the ground floor serving as a shop. It is a unique example of the architecture that can be found on the shopping streets in Hanoi’s Old Quarter.
4.4. Dong Xuan Market
The Dong Xuan Market is located in Dong Xuan Ward, Hoan Kiem District. It has been a part of the capital city for centuries, experiencing numerous changes over time. The market is composed of three floors, featuring five arched doors, and occupies an area of 6,500 square meters.
The first floor is where you can find clothes, glasses, shoes, suitcases, bags, and electronic devices such as battery chargers, loudspeakers, radios, etc. The second floor serves as the wholesale and retail space for clothes and fabrics, while the third floor offers children’s items. If you are planning to visit 36 street Hanoi, the Dong Xuan Market is definitely worth exploring.
To make the trip more interesting, there are several well-known destinations in and near the Hanoi Old Quarter that are worth visiting in addition to the historic 36 street Hanoi. Some must-sees include Hoan Kiem Lake, St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Long Bien Bridge, Hanoi Opera House, Ngoc Son Temple, Phung Hung Mural Street, etc. Moreover, make sure not to miss out on VinKE & Vinpearl Aquarium, as they offer unique experiences.
Vinpearl Aquarium is one of the largest aquariums in Vietnam, with 30,000 sea creatures from different continents, making it an excellent place to explore the marine world. Meanwhile, VinKE provides a unique, play-and-learn environment for kids to learn about their future career options while enjoying a variety of fun activities.
>>> Explore the exciting world of animals with the purchase of VinKE & Vinpearl Aquarium tickets
Vietnam has a treasure trove of destinations that are sure to make you fall in love. In addition to Hanoi, other popular tourist destinations are worth visiting such as Hoi An, Da Nang, Nha Trang and Phu Quoc. These locations offer a variety of experiences and are sure to surprise you with their unique charm.
For a perfect vacation, pamper yourself with a luxurious stay at Vinpearl hotels and resorts, which offer modern amenities and high-quality service. Besides, do not forget to come to the world-class entertainment system of VinWonders, where you can relax and enjoy a range of fun activities and impressive performances.
The 36 street Hanoi is a vibrant and bustling area that showcases the city’s unique charm and culture. From traditional handicrafts to delicious street food, 36 street Hanoi offers visitors a glimpse into daily life in the city. Despite undergoing modernization, the area has managed to retain its historical and cultural significance, making it a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Hanoi.