Enjoy the Vietnamese kitchen: Hanoi Delights and Discover old temples: Hue Impressions

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Hanoi Impressions

See all the locations on Hanoi Google Map

Joss-sticks at Ngoc Son Pagoda, picture © ishmael 78

Listen to music about Old Hanoi:

Salt (muoi), roasted fish (cha ca), chicken (ga), beans (dau) or leather (da), baskets (bo) and bamboo (tre) or herbal medicine (thuoc bac): Whatever people used for daily life has it's own street name in the old town of Hanoi. The development of the old quarter started in the 11th century, when King Ly Thai built his palace. Craftsmen and their families settled in small villages around the palace walls. Later artisan guilds were formed. This was the birth of streets specialised in similar services. Today many guides write about "36 old streets", but actually there are around 70 streets in the old quarter. Some researchers believe that there were 36 guilds in the 15th century (read more in an article by Barbara Cohen).

What can we discover in the old quarter today? Frommer's has published a nice walking tour and we follow their route and start at the north end of Hoan Kiem Lake (Lake of the returned sword).

Den Ngoc Son (Jade mountain temple): On an island in Hoan Kiem Lake, built in the 18th century. From the shore we reach the pagooda through this gate:

Picture © marhas1

We cross the lake on The Huc (Morning sunlight bridge):

Wood is under the red painting, picture © marhas1

And we enjoy the look at this gate:

Picture © marhas1

Now smell the incence:

Picture © marhas1

Ngon Soc Pagoda, picture © iko

Hang Gai (Hemp street): Today you won't find hemp shops but boutiques, art galleries and silk tailors - and an old Banyan tree at 85 Hang Gai. There is a concentration of galleries near the intersection of Hang Gai and To Tich street (Thang Long Art Gallery and Dragon Art Gallery). Read more about shops along Hang Gai.

Tan My Design, picture © marhas1

Tan My Design is a small new shopping emporium selling local Vietnamese design as Chartage, Ha Truong, Minh Hanh, Ha Linh Thu, Huy Vo, Casa d'Oriental and Grace as well as brands from abroad.

Picture © marhas1

Picture © marhas1

Hang Gai, picture © Mimi

Silk, picture © dominiqueb

Banyan Tree, picture © Hanoi Mark

Tam Thuong Alley: Turn right from Hang Gai. Just some steps inside you discover Din Yen Thai Communal House. Read more about the Tam Thuong community. Here there used to be a palace of Y Lan, one of the most inspiring and captivating female figures in Vietnamese history (more here).

Flags during Tet in Tam Thuong, picture © Hanoi Mark

Ceremonial room in Yen Thai Temple, picture © hermmermferm

Yen Thai Street: You find yourself in a small openair market.

Yen Thai, picture © Sally Anderson.
See also picture by Optimism One and by Hanoi Jazz

Yen Thai Street, picture by 160cm

Hang Da Market (Leather Market): Here you used to find an old market from the 19th century with meat, vegetables, fruits and pottery on the ground floor, clothes and fabrics on the upper floors. See picture by Ariel Seche and Erin Armstrong. But now this building has been demolished and the construction of a new shopping complex is planned. Read "The Last day of Hang Da Market". See Mariel Bautista's photos of the old market. And read the blog of Vietnamese God about the transformation of shopping in Hanoi from old to new.

Old Hang Da Market, picture by rathmax

Hang Dieu Street (Street of pipes): It used to be the street of the tobacco- and pipesellers.

Bat Dan Street (Wooden Bowles): It was once the street of the sellers of clay bowls. See the communal house at 33 Bat Dan, temple at the corner of Bat Dan and Hang Ga

Bat Dan, picture by 160cm

Thuoc Bac Street (Herbal Medicine Street): This used to be the place for traditionel medicine. Thuoc Bac is the traditional Northern Medicine, also called Chinese traditional medicine. Read a background story by Lena Lopez. Today metallic stuff dominates the street. See street-picture by Williewonker

Thuoc Bac Street, picture by permanently scatterbrained

Hang Phen Street (Alum Street): See picture by Willie Wonker. At 25 Hang Phen you find Mr Lee's Style Shop, one of some clothing boutiques in this area. Also Bat Su has.

Bat Su Street (China Bowls Street): About the Café on 61 Bat Su writes Motormouth from Ipoh. "Look for a preserved traditional house, characterized by its low tile roofline, at no. 52 Bat Su", advises frommers.com

Read more: http://www.frommers.com/destinations/hanoi/0197010008.html#ixzz0SyEB5mJc

Pho Bat Su, picture by loveme

Architecture in Bat Su, picture by Hon Weng

Cua Dong Street: It leads you to Hanoi Citadel, the former residence of Vietnam monarchs. The Ly Dinasty constructed it in 1010 (read about the history on the World Heritage site of Unesco and Jennifer Pinkowski's article in the New York Times). The Roayal Palaces and other buildings have been destroyed by the Frech in the 19th century. Some buildings remained: Doan Mon gate, the Watchtower, the steps of Kinh Thien Palace and Hau Lau (Princess Palace). The Vietnamese military command under General Giap had its headquarters in the citadel (building D67). See pictures by ngocpq

Doan Mon:

The left gate, picture by dohuyen

From the basement up, picture by dohuyen

Doan Mon Gate, picture by ThanhTam

The Watchtower:

The Watchtower, picture by cluzzie

Dinh Kien Tien: See a video-animation on youtube.com

Phung Hung:

Picture © DucLoi

Picture © Hanoi Mark

Hang Vai (Cloth Street): You find stands of cut bamboo poles for construction. See picture by kk_wpg and eujintay

Picture © hermmerferm

Picture © vui

Picture © Alex Gooi

Lang Ong: See picture of crossroads Hang Ngang, Hang Duong, Lan Ong and Hang Buom and see picture of Lan Ong.

Picture © dainee

Pho Cha Ca (Roasted Fish Street):

Picture © Duc Loi

Hang Ca
: See picture by dopdk love you

Picture © DucLoi

Hang Duong (Sugar street):

Traffic at Hang Ma and Hang Duong Crossroads. Picture © aquanica68

Picture © Hanoi Mark

Hang Chieu (Mats street):

Stall selling fried prawn with flour, dipped in Viet sauce and eaten with vegetables in a small lane between Hang Chieu and Cau Dong street. Picture © * etoile

Picture © DucLoi

Quan Chuong Gate:

Picture © Dan

Nguyen Sieu:

Picture © DucLoi. See also picture by Yvonnechan

Hang Giay (Shoes street ?):

Picture © marhas

Picture © Alfred Wilhelm

Picture © Alfred Wilhelm

Picture © Alfred Wilhelm

Hang Buom (Sail street): The people living here made and sold sails, because there were water channels between the Red River and the To River. Later Hang Buom became the commercial and residential center of Chinese merchants. Look at the colonial buildings and traditional Vietnamese houses.

Picture © Maocho

View from Ladybird Restaurant at 57 Hang Buom, picture © handinhand

Den Bach Ma, picture © aquanica68

Den Bach Ma (The White Horse Temple) dates from 1010. What you see today is a reconstruction from the 18th and 19th centuries. Read the story of the White Horse on orientalarchitecture.com. Open from 7:30 to 11:30 am and 1:30 to 6 pm daily.

Inside Den Bach Ma, picture © marhas1

© marhas1

Ma May: At 87 Ma May you find a restored traditional house from the late 19th century. Here, for a fee of just 20,000 VND, a young guide dressed in a traditional ao dai will show you the building and tell you about the life in the past. The renovation has been funded by a UNESCO-, French- and Canadian-backed organization. 87 Ma May is a typical "tube house": These houses "can be as long as 70 meters and as narrow as two meters - this developed as an attempt to minimize taxes, as each property was taxed according to the width of the street-facing facade. To allow for sufficient light in these narrow dwellings, it was necessary to design multiple courtyards along the length of each house.", notes orientalarchitecture.com

87 Ma May, picture © Kathryn

View of the middle room from the veranda, picture © marhas 1

View across the outermost courtyard, picture © Maggie

The rear patio, picture © marhas 1

On the bed, picture © marhas1

Ma May, picture © StrudelMonkey

22 Ma May, picture © Loris Candylaftis

The Food Laboratory describes a walking tour through the old town of Hanoi, read.

One Pillar Pagoda:

Picture by Mimi

Dong Xuan Market

Cho Dong Xuan, picture by ThanhTam

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