Old Quarter



The tangled streets of the Old Quarter, which spread from Hoan Kiem's fringes, is like Hanoi's intestines. Originally a snake- and alligator-infested swamp, the Old Quarter, or 36 Pho Phuong (36 Streets), now functions as an outdoor shopping mall and stomping ground for backpackers. In the early 13th century, skilled craftsmen migrated to the area, and each of the 36 guilds claimed a street as its own, naming it after its specific merchandise. At least one temple resides on each street, although many of the old temples have been transformed into shops and homes. Dating back to the ninth century, the Bach Ma Pagoda is the area's oldest and most revered place of worship. Some of the more esoteric strips include a street lined with temple items, such as fake money and paper motorbikes, to be burned to provide the dead with transportation and funds. The more upscale Hang Gai features silk shops, embroidered items and galleries. Smack in the center of the maze-like shopping Mecca, a flower market at the end of Hang Be explodes with colors and scents. Aside from shopping, the Old Quarter sleeps and feeds most of Hanoi's budget travelers. The restaurants and shops along Nha Tho cater to a more bloated budget.

Nightlife

Papa Joes Coffee
Relax Bar

Attractions

Hom Market
Hanoi Moment

Restaurants

Garden Hanoi
Hanoi Palace Hotel Restaurant
Café des Arts (Le)
Papa Joes Coffee
Cam Chi Food Alley
Cha Ca La Vong

Hotels

Hanoi Queen 2 Hotel
Spring Hotel
Hanoi Palace Hotel

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