Hanoi Old Quarter or “Pho Co Ha Noi” is the usual name of an urban area has a long history located outside of Thang Long Imperial Citadel. This urban area concentrated on small scale industry and commercial trade, which quickly become handy craft characteristic street, perfect mix between Vietnamese traditional and the bustle of citadel. Today Hanoi Old Quarter is an attractive destination for international tourists because of its longstanding cultural values.
Hanoi Old Quarter is part of Hoan Kiem district, total area about 100 hectares. There are 76 streets in 10 wards: Hang Dao, Hang Bac, Hang Buom, Hang Bo, Hang Bong, Hang Gai, Hang Ma, Dong Xuan, Cua Dong and Ly Thai To.
The most famous feature of the Old Quarter is the street named after handy craft jobs. Craftsman from craft village surounding Thang Long came here to find a new change, brought their professional skills and knowledge with them. People who from same village or sell same kind of product quickly gathered in one area and helped each other to develop their business. Thanks for huge river system which allowed ancient merchant ships placed in the middle of the city to trading, the Old Quarter was develop very fast and became economic central of the country. The meaning of world “Hang” in almost all the street’s name in the Old Quarter is store because each street used to sell only one kind of product.
At present, some streets still retain and selling traditional products such as Hang Ma street, Hang Tre street, Hang Thiec street, Thuoc Bac street e.g. In the other hand, many streets still focus on one kind of product but very different with traditional one, for example Hang Quat selling altar and offering stuff (used to sell fan leave), Hang Buom selling candy (used to sell sails) because it’s traditional commodities are no longer popular or used.
Some famous streets in the Old Quarter:
– Hang Bong: There were many cotton houses, cotton quilts, blankets store.
– Hang Ma: In the past Hang Ma was the place people came to buy worship items, paper votive offerings and altar. Today it is very famous with traditional toys and papers for decoration.
– Hang Bac: Still selling Gold and Silver, existent after many war during history of the city
– Hang Dao: Selling very good silk and clothes. The world dao in ancient Vietnamese mean red color and became street’s name because “Dieu” silk with red color was the most popular one selling on Hang Dao street.0