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Hanoi's Old Quarters - A Reflection of the Past and Present

 
 

Hanoi's Old Quarters - A Reflection of the Past and Present

If you are looking for a city that is a shadow of the past, then you should visit the capital city of Vietnam during your Vietnam tour. Hanoi is bustling with activity and displays modernity, but within the heart of the city is the Old Quarter that represents the glory of the past. The Old Quarter is comprised of thirty-six antique streets and guilds that seduce a huge number of tourists that want to fascinate themselves with archaic architecture and check the history of the city. The classic setting of the city is also the main reason why travel companies include Hanoi in their Vietnam tour packages.

Hanoi's Old Quarters - The Past

The origins of the Old Quarter can be traced back to year 1010 when it was founded by King Ly Thai To and decided to make Thang Long (Hanoi) as the capital of the country and it became one of the most active and crowded city of Vietnam in the 15th century. As of now the streets as well as the undying charm of 15th century architecture that can be seen in the Old Quarter is more than a thousand years old and became the top Vietnam tour attraction of the country.

It is obvious that this part of the city is named the "36th Old Streets or simply "Old Quarter" due to its old age. In the past, the magnificence of the "Old Quarter" has encouraged skilled artisans to immigrate in the city and sell their goods. This explains why most of the streets are named after the crafts they have sold such as Pho Hang Ma (paper product), Pho Hang Bac (silver), etc.

Although the "Old Quarter" is also referred as "Old 36th streets", the actual streets are more than thirty-six. The issue about how this part of Hanoi got its nickname remains a mystery. Some researchers conclude that the number 36 represents the guild location rather than streets. There is also a theory that number symbolizes an abstract concept. For Asian people number 9 is a symbol of the word "plenty" and multiplying it by four is equal to 36 which mean many streets.

Hanoi's Old Quarter - The Present

Strolling around the intertwined streets of the Old Quarters during your best Vietnam tour will surely amuse you. Some of the streets narrow down to smaller alleys then lead you again to wider pathways. It may sound funny, but the tax systems of the city are the reason why the area is crowded with unusual tube houses or tunnel houses. The tax rates of the city is based on the width of the frontage of the house and that's why the local residents build houses with smaller front width but try to gain space by making their houses longer. Before, the citizens of Vietnam are prohibited to build more than two storey houses in respect of the king when the country is under the feudal law. However, today there are already 7-8 storeys buildings standing erect at the Old Quarter but most of the houses are still limited to one or two storeys.

You can begin your Vietnam tour in the Old Quarter by choosing the historical Ngoc Son Temple as a starting point. After you have crossed the extraordinary red Huc Bridge, you can take a rest and have a quick glance of the Martyr's that is erected to honor the Vietnamese people who have died fighting for the independence of their country. After that, you can continue walking and make your way to the north. Once you reached Pho Hang Dau, you can either entertain yourself by watching an interesting show at the Water Puppet Theatre or continue walking and be surrounded by shoe shops that are selling a variety of meticulously designed footwear that you can purchase as souvenirs. There are still lots of historical landmarks and spectacular buildings that can fill your eyes with amazement so if you really want to see all of them you need to plan your route carefully when you decide to make the old quarters as your Vietnam tour destination.

If you are looking for a city that is a shadow of the past, then you should visit the capital city of Vietnam during your Vietnam tour. Strolling around the intertwined streets of the Old Quarters during your best Vietnam tour packages will surely amuse you.


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