OLD QUARTER WALKING TOUR (SELF GUIDED), HANOI

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We’ve all heard about the famous, the legendary Hanoi Old Quarter - it is the ultimate destination khổng lồ visit once setting your foot in the capital of Vietnam. Although the area is a popular site for tourists, Hanoi Old Quarter is super pedestrian-friendly where you can casually take a stroll và explore how time has created such an impeccable fusion of the old và the new in the burgeoning metropolitan.

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A Brief History of Hanoi Old Quarter

When Hanoi - formerly known as Thang Long - was chosen to be the capital of Vietnam more than a millennium ago by Ly Cong Uan, many people gravitated towards the place so they decided to settle here and do business. 36 guilds were established và each of which specialized in one specific type of manufacturing or commerce, hence the name Hanoi 36 Streets that the locals prefer to lớn call.

Since then, the quarter has become the commercial & manufacturing center of Hanoi. Even during the colonial period when there were major changes conducted by the French, the area was still able to retain its distinct characteristics. It is now Hanoian’s greatest pride and one can say you can never truly feel the soul of Hanoi without paying a visit khổng lồ Hanoi Old Quarter.

Major Attractions in Hanoi Old Quarter

Do expect some exercise if you decide on a walking tour because there are a myriad of attractions to lớn visit to have a full grasp of Hanoi Old Quarter.

Hoan Kiem Lake

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Hoan Kiem Lake

Famous for the legend that comes along with it, Hoan Kiem Lake was supposedly where Emperor Le Loi returned the magic sword that helped him gain victory in the revolt against the Ming. This explains the name Hoan Kiem - Lake of The Restored Sword. Locals love to lớn exercise around this area & when the weather in Hanoi is beautiful, you can join them & take a walk along the lake.

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The lake is covered in green

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On your walk, you may spot Hoa Phong Tower

Ngoc Son Temple

Address: Dinh Tien Hoang Street, Hoan Kiem DistrictOpening hours: 8 AM - 6 PMEntrance fee: VND 30,000

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The gate to lớn Ngoc Son Temple

Sitting on a small island in the middle of Hoan Kiem Lake is Ngoc Son Temple - Temple of the Jade Mountains. The place was built to lớn commemorate distinguished Vietnamese individuals, including General Tran Hung Dao who defeated the Mongols army in the 13th century.

You can easily spot the Ngoc Son Temple from afar as well as the scarlet The Huc bridge that leads to lớn the temple while strolling along the lakeshore.

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Ngoc Son Temple from afar

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The Huc Bridge leading khổng lồ the temple

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But Tower

Thang Long Puppet Theatre

Address: 57B Dinh Tien Hoang, Hang Bac, Hoan Kiem DistrictPrice: VND 100,000/ticket

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Thang Long Puppet Theatre

Just right across the street from Hoan Kiem Lake is Thang Long Puppet Theatre. Vietnamese Puppetry is an ancient art size dating back khổng lồ 2000 years ago, & water puppetry is the most chất lượng of all. There are five shows almost every day yet tickets still need bookings to guarantee a seat.

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St. Joseph’s Cathedral

Address: 40 Nha Chung, Hoan Kiem District

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St.Joseph’s Cathedral

Apart from a host of ancient structures from the feudal dynasties, Hanoi Old Quarter also boasts a great many French architectures, and St. Joseph’s Cathedral is considered the most iconic. This is the first church built in Hanoi in the colonial period, và now it is an exquisite religious site for both curious tourists và dedicated churchgoers.

Ly Quoc Su Temple

Address: 50 Ly Quoc Su Street, Hoan Kiem DistrictEntrance fee: free

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Ly Quoc Su Temple

Only a few footsteps away from St. Joseph’s Cathedral is Ly Quoc Su Temple, a sacred place dedicated lớn the Great Monk Nguyen đưa ra Thanh. He was highly respected by both the feudal government & the locals for his significant contribution lớn the Ly dynasty. The temple is a 900-year-old pagoda & many locals still come here regularly to practice Buddhism.

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A sacred place for Buddhists

Ma May Old House

Address: 87 Ma May Street, Hoan Kiem DistrictOpening hours: 8 AM - 5 PMEntrance fee: VND 10,000

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A well-preserved old house from the 20th century

This little house on Ma May Street was built in the late 20th century but still remains intact. From the structure lớn the intricate decorative ornaments, everything will bring you a feel of the Vietnamese life a hundred years ago. Forget the glistening shopping malls & skyscrapers, stop by this old house và witness how time has worked wonders on the thành phố of Hanoi.

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Witness a piece of life from the past

Bach Ma Temple

Address: 76 Hang Buom, Hoan Kiem DistrictOpening hours: 7 AM - 5 PMEntrance fee: free

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Bach Ma Temple

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Architecture from the 18th century

Believed to lớn be one of the oldest temples in Hanoi, Bach Ma Temple was originally built in the 9th century in Long vị Mountain và then moved back lớn this area in the 18th century to lớn guard the east side of Thang Long - Hanoi’s former name. Of all the ancient religious sites in Hanoi, this is the most cherished in the local’s hearts & a must-visit for international tourists.

Ta Hien Street

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Hien Street is the most bustling corner in Hanoi Old Quarter

Enough sightseeing, what about fun? Ta Hien is a small street in Hanoi Old Quarter that possesses an incredible integration of the old và the new, of the Vietnamese lifestyle and the Western influences. There are a host of food vendors of the local specialties as well as bars that serve chilled beer to lớn cool you down in case the weather gets too hot.

O quan Chuong

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An old relic that blends nicely with the modern life

Had you not known about this ancient relic before visiting Hanoi Old Quarter, you’d be taken aback as this piece of structure doesn’t seem to lớn fit the rest of the area. O quan tiền Chuong was one of the gates that led to lớn Thang Long Citadel. The gates were built in the 18th century and there are only 21 remaining today.

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Dong Xuan Market

Address: Dong Xuan Street, Hoan Kiem DistrictOpening hours: Monday - Thursday: 7 AM - 6 PMFriday - Sunday: 7 AM - 12 AM

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Dong Xuan Market

Just like the well-known Ben Thanh Market in Ho bỏ ra Minh City, Dong Xuan Market if among the favorite places for tourists to lớn find extraordinary yet surprisingly affordable souvenirs. Firstly built in 1889 by the French administration và went through numerous renovations, Dong Xuan Market is now one of the largest trading spots in Hanoi.