Heritage house at 87 Ma May St

Heritage house at 87 Ma May St

A taste of Hanoi's past

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Dating back to the 19th century, this special house is a great example of the type of architecture that once prevailed throughout Hanoi's busy Old Quarter.

Travelfish says:

It might be hard to imagine, but Ma May Street was once located on the banks of the Red River, in the midst of a commercial harbour. The mainly wooden house at 87 Ma May was built at the end of the 19th century, when Vietnam was under French rule, as a shop and residence. It was similar to many others in the area built and used by shopkeepers that were later pulled down and rebuilt into more modern styles. Various families lived at number 87 until 1999, when the house was the first to be restored back to its original state in the Old Quarter. It was renovated again in 2013.

Looking from upstairs into one of the courtyards. : Samantha Brown.
Looking from upstairs into one of the courtyards. Photo: Samantha Brown

The narrow frontage is typical of the traditional houses from this period, with buildings and courtyards stretching back behind allowing light and air to flow through an otherwise dark space.

The shop was located at the front, with a courtyard to its rear and then another building behind containing the living area. Behind this is another courtyard and then a kitchen and bathroom are located to the rear. Upstairs is the bedroom and ancestor altar.

A typical early 20th century kitchen. : Samantha Brown.
A typical early 20th century kitchen. Photo: Samantha Brown

The house is an excellent glimpse into Hanoi's rapidly vanishing architectural heritage. The downstairs shop space is given over to, well, a shop selling good quality lacquerware, but the rest of the house is set up as it would have been back in the day, with antique furniture and other old paraphernalia.

Contact details for Heritage house at 87 Ma May St

Address: 87 Ma May St, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Coordinates (for GPS): 105º51'12.26" E, 21º2'3.85" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Admission: 10,000 dong

Reviewed by

Samantha Brown is a reformed news reporter. She now edits most of the stuff you read on Travelfish.org, except for when you find a typo, and then that's something she wasn't allowed to look at.

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