Nov 09 2011

Hanoi’s 36 streets: Hang Dieu

Published by at 9:13 pm under Hanoi's 36 streets


Hang Dieu comprises a strange melee of stores. Running north from the six-way junction at Duong Thanh until it turns into Hang Ga, it sold cigarettes in the 19th Centure and, more recently, leather shoes and sandals.
No sign of a Mars bar

No sign of a Mars bar

Neither of these wares are in evidence anymore and now I think of it as “bedding street”, in reference to the fact that it’s home to at least a dozen shops selling mattresses and bed linen. Some shops are only just wide enough for a double bed, but they sure do cram in the goods.

Bedspread anyone?

Bedspread anyone?

If a nice set of flowery bedding, complete with love hearts and teddy bears, hasn’t made it onto your shopping list then don’t despair: Hang Dieu is also home to a range of other shops, restaurants and hotels which might press your buttons.

At the southern end, Bun Bo Nam Bo (No. 67) is a well-known street kitchen selling just what it name suggests: southern noodles with beef. It’s a cramped, grimy spot — the floor covered with used napkins and the banana leaves used to wrap the pork nem that you can order as an addition to the noodles – but the food is delicious and cheap and it’s a great place to experience eating like the locals.

Don't let appearances put you off

Don't let appearances put you off.

Both the sweet and the savoury are catered for as over the road, at number 76, is a shop selling che, the Vietnamese sweet snack or dessert, and other shops along the street sell Vietnamese tea, sweet fruits, cakes and candy. Or stop off at number 77 for nuoc mia or sugar cane juice.

If none of this sounds like your cup of tea then help is at hand: BBQ Chicken has an outlet at the northern end of the street.

Always a back-up

Always a back-up.

The several clothes shops on Hang Dieu cater more to Vietnamese than Western figures, so certainly don’t go on in after the bun bo nam bo and the che. Two exceptions are Boo Skateshop, a store selling clothes and shoes in Western sizes at reasonable, if not cheap, prices; and Made in Vietnam, which sells seconds of named brands.

Finallly, being quite central, Hang Dieu is also a good place to stay. Art Hotel and Hotel Rendezvous both get good reviews and are worth a look.

Bun Bo Nam Bo
67 Hang Dieu, Hanoi

Boo Skateshop
84 Hang Dieu, Hanoi
T: (04) 3923 1147

Art Hotel
65 Hang Dieu, Hanoi
T: (04) 3923 3868
hanoiarthotel.com

Hanoi Rendezvous Hotel
31 Hang Dieu, Hanoi
T: (04) 3828 5777
www.hanoirendezvoushotel.com

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