Historic Vestiges Old Quarter in Hanoi

The old Quarter is located north of Hoan Kiem Lake. In the past, each street used to be dedicated to one commercial activity. That is why a lot of streets name begin with the word Hang, meaning merchandise, followed by a word indicating a predicating a product or profession. For example, Hang Dao (Peach St.) or Hang Duong (Sugar St.).

Close to Dong Xuan Market is Hang Ma (Paper St.) where traditional votive products made of coloured paper are sold. Every year, on the occasion of the Mid-Autumn Festival (15th day of the 8th lunar month), Hang Ma St. turns into a toy market. Another very typical street is Hang Thiec (tin products), where the deafening sound of hammers striking tin plates can be heard all day long.

During the Le Dynasty (15th century), many Chinese were allowed to reside in Thang Long. They chose to settle on Hang Ngang St. At this period, there were gates at the two ends of the street, hence the name Ngang, meaning horizontal barrier.