Photo: All your button and other haberdashery needs along Hang Bo.

Hanoi's 36 streets

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The 36 streets of Hanoi’s Old Quarter spread over a small area, but just try spending time here without getting lost! Here's a rundown of some of the main streets and what you can find there.

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But first, some background. Back in the day—around the 13th century, give or take—these streets became hectic with (possibly) 36 humming artisan guilds, either being established to provide goods to the emperor, or to trade with merchants, depending on who you read. Each guild was built surrounding its own temple dedicated to its patron spirit. The Old Quarter back then was gated and protected behind ramparts; only the eastern gate remains standing today.

The east gate is the only original gate left around Hanoi's Old Quarter. Photo taken in or around Hanoi's 36 streets, Hanoi, Vietnam by Samantha Brown.

The east gate is the only original gate left around Hanoi's Old Quarter. Photo: Samantha Brown

Some streets still specialise in selling certain objects, but only a few remain properly faithful to their original craft. Some of the original streets and their merchandise include Cho Gau for rice, Hang But for brushes, Hang Huong for incense and Hang Than for ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 2,000 words.)


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What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Hanoi.
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