Saturday, March 24, 2007

Where's The Beauty Of The Old Quarter

Hanoi turtle

When talking about Hanoi, people mention the beauty of the 36 classic streets with 1000 years of history. Located between Returned Sword Lake and Long Bien Bridge, these streets start with the word Hang, which means merchandise or shop, and its named for a product or service. No matter how tall and skinny a building is in the old quarter, it seems that there is always room for one more storey. This is real Viet Nam can't be seen anywhere else in the world.


Nowadays, people use its beauty and history to do business. You can hardly walk on the pavement because people are using it for their own business and motorbike parking on the street which is not very good or safe for visitors. Street police wander around shouting loudly to whoever leaves their motorbike in the wrong place. All these things can make Hanoi difficult to live in at times.

Bread Sellers

There are big markets in Hanoi but also there are thousands of people from the countryside also doing their own business by putting their stuff on bicycles or walking with stuff on their shoulders or even on their heads. The police try to stop this kind of trading constantly but it still happens and looks like it will never stop. But actually, this is the only way they can earn some money for themselves and send it home to help their family. It's also fun to watch sometimes, but sometimes, it's annoying because they keep asking tourists to buy from them or take photos then by some fruit from them which is not really nice.

Nguoi ban hoa

Any corner can be a small market where a few people sit next to each other, selling few flowers, pets or even just some candies. Where are all the traditional streets which sell their own products? There are not many of them still around such as Hang Ma streets or Lan Ong street where you can smell the Chinese medicine. Why don't Vietnamese try to preserve the beauty of our great traditions and history?


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junebee said...

Is there a story behind the name of "Returned Sword Lake"?

Is it true there is a big street vendor business in Viet Nam of selling "dog tags" (military ID tags) of U.S. servicemen from the war? (I read about this someplace. The article said some of the tags are real, some are fake but the vendors try to sell them to American tourists.)

Unknown said...

I remember walking with my daddy on a empty small street of Hanoi that lead us to Returned Sword Lake in the summer of 9 years ago. I don't know its name since I hadn't realized how beautiful it was until I came back to Da Nang. It was embraced by the trees on pavements so I could feel cool & quite. There were a few women selling melons (du*a bo*?) and that was the first time I see that fruit. I'm sure that the street has changed a lot. Hope I could find it again when I go to Hanoi this summer.

Thank you for such nice posts about Hanoi!

OhTheJoys said...

My husband and I spent a month in Hanoi and loved it. I wish I knew what it was the women selling (what sounded like san lam moi) was...they called it out in the streets all day long.

Jean said...

J'ai fait plusieurs fois cette photo du Petit Lac de Hanoi .
Ce Petit lac , c'est un peu comme ma maison , je m'y sens si bien !

merci pour toutes ce images de cette ville que j'aime tant !