HANOI OLD QUARTER WALKING TOUR $1.00
09.00AM or 02.00PM: Our tour guide will welcome you at the hotel then start the walking tour to discover Hanoi’s Old Quarter which is famous with “36 guild streets” in the past time.
Nowaday, the villages were turned to streets and many of them didn’t feature the business as it names anymore. But take your time to wander along the old streets and you surely gain many exciting experience.
Tip for you – Names of some streets with typical products: Bat Su (China Bowls), Cha Ca (roasted fish), Hang Bac (jewelries), Hang Dau (shoes & sandals), Hang Gai (silk), To Tich (mixed fruits), Hang Luoc (comb), Hang Duong (candies & dry apricot), Hang Buom (banboo product). In addition, 4 walking streets Hang Dao – Hang Ngang – Hang Duong – Dong Xuan which formed “Night market” in the evening from Friiday to Sunday is also a nice place to explore. Despite the damages that Vietnam War left in Hanoi, the Old Quarter still retained much of the original traits that interests tourists, especially those with architectural passion. These houses are neither tall buildings as people normally see in cities nor stilt houses on lines of poles, which were popular in Vietnams’ mountainous regions these days. They are also called “tubular houses” which are short and narrow but have great length.
After walking around and enjoy some local specialties (excluded), continue to Hoan Kiem Lake area where you can pay a visit Ngoc Son temple or enjoy a drink at Fany Ice Cream, Thuy Ta Ice Cream or some famous café shop/restaurants nearby.
Tour ends around 12.00 or 05.00PM.
Note: Student guide requires no charges! Guests should be nice to cover all fees for guide!
- Tour guide (available with English speaking local student)
- Transfer fees (if any)
- Entrance fees (if any)
- Personal expenses (foods, drinks, tips).
Hanoi Old Quarter Walking Tour Map (modified based on Google Maps) – full version
Starting off from the beginning of Cau Go Street, passing the famous Avalon Coffee Lounge, walking about 100m, you’ll see a small lane to the left which leads to Gia Ngu Street, which is major for a variety of scarves, and underwear, in thousand sorts and colors as well as rows of clothes stores for middle-aged people.
Following the map above, you can turn right on Gia Ngu to reach Hang Be market (numbered 1), cross the street to Nguyen Huu Huan for a bowl of Xoi Xeo (numbered 2) at Xoi Yen restaurant and do people-watching.
A Bowl of Xoi Xeo will give you power for the next walk
From the Xoi Xeo crossroads, turn to Hang Bac Street and keep walking. You should stand at the middle of Hang Bac Street where your eyes are dazzled by sparking gold and silver shops. Valuable jewelers here are not a bad idea to be souvenirs for your friends.
At the conjunction (numbered 3) go straight ahead is Luong Ngoc Quyen Street – a venue of snack food-stalls with a variety of traditional cakes like Banh Day, Banh Gio or Banh Chin Tang May. At this criss-cross, there are crowd in summer and winter alike sitting and drinking beer. You may join them later in the afternoon and who know if you will make new friends?
Passing Luong Ngoc Quyen is the 208 meter-long Hang Giay Street selling Vietnamese specialty “Thit Bo Kho” (Dried spiced beef) and pottery products.
The next stop is Hang Buom Street which used to play a critical part during the resistance war against French colonists as a trading center. At present, this street still remains its old days with numbers of grocery and wine stores. Located at 76 Hang Buom Street is the ancient Bach Ma Temple (numbered 5) – one of the Four Protectors of Thang Long, which visitors are advised to visit.
Bach Ma temple – a religious haven to get away from the crowd
After finishing your trip on Hang Buom Street, turn back to the junction with Hang Giay and keep walking till you meet Hang Chieu Street. Turning right and witness one of the 21 castle gates of Thang Long: O Quan Chuong (Quan Chuong Gate). Suffering from the damage of time, the gate is still remaining its original shape with one main gate 2 two small gates in both sides.
Another indispensible destination is Dong Xuan Market whose main gate is located on Dong Xuan Street (marked 6 and 7). Howevers, tourists can enter this busy market from Cau Dong or Hang Khoai Street with just a few minutes walking from the last stop. The market was established at the beginning of 20th Century and now being the biggest wholesale market in Hanoi. Goods being sold there are very diverse, ranging from electronic household appliances, silk, clothes to fresh food like chicken, meat, vegetable. Specially, the market is a venue of Hanoi’s night gastronomy with numbers of street-food stalls.
Lively market scene at Dong Xuan market and nearby
Exit Dong Xuan Market through its main gate on Dong Xuan Street, turn right and move forward to get Hang Duong Street, where is homeland to dried sweetened fruits or vegetables called “ô mai” and “mứt” (marked 8). On this street, one can visit Cau Dong Pagoda, buit during 17th century, worshiping the Prime Minister Tran Thu Do, who made a major contribution to give birth to Tran Dynasty (1225-1400).
Passing a small street called Hang Ca to arrive at Cha Ca Street. The name “Cha Ca” of this street is named after the famous dishes “Cha Ca” which is the quintessence of Hanoi’s gastronomy. “Cha Ca La Vong” at no. 14 (numbered 9 on the map) is the birthplace of this honorable food that ones are wholeheartedly recommended to taste.
Cha Ca La Vong – A Hanoi Specialty – great for lunch!
After enjoying the delighted dish, keep moving along forward, passing Lan Ong Street where you can smell Northern medicine aroma to meet Hang Can Street. Continuing your path till you reach a venue of toys on Luong Van Can Street (marked 10); go to the end of this street and turn right you’ll see Hang Gai Street – the paradise of silk-lovers with shimmering scarves and stoles, finely tailored men’s and women’s clothes, heavily embroidered and sequined evening gowns and handbags.
It may take you 5 minutes to get Ly Quoc Su Street to the left of Hang Gai; the street is crowded with clothes shop and is the address of Ly Quoc Su Temple, erected in 1131 during Ly Dynasty which possess ancient architecture. The end of this street is the magnificent Saint Joseph Cathedral at 40 Nha Chung Street, where often hold religious activities for all Christian believers. The church was built in 1882 and designed according to Gothic architecture that still remains its original beauty.
Ly Quoc Su Street- narrow but full of things to discover
Turn right when you see the first lane to get Le Thai To Street, which is one side of the famous Hoan Kiem Lake. It would be great to take a small tour around the lake side and take some photos or watching the green water surface of it. If you are lucky enough, you may have chance to see the holy turtle turning up.
Reaching the fountain on Dinh Tien Hoang Street is also the finish of this walking tour. Although there are still some old streets we haven’t looked at like Hang Ngang, Hang Dao or Hang Ma Street, passengers are suggested to save them for the night trip because Hanoi’s night is most wonderful on those streets, when the busy trading stores giving their seats to street-food stalls and souvenirs stalls, adorned by twinkling red lanterns on Hang Ma Street.