Love for Hanoi ancient streets

Published:  14:10 Wednesday - September 11, 2013

Hanoi is the capital and also the center of politics, culture and tourism of Vietnam. Hanoi has a rich and long history with so many cultural architectures and famous vestiges, which make it to be the greatest destination of tourism for foreign guests. Tourists will be impressed not only by the hidden beauty of this ancient city but also by the elegant and taciturn aspects of 36 old streets in Hanoi.

Some one says that Hanoi is so small, but no matter people can get tired of walking around 36 old streets, they can’t go through all of these old street, taste all delicious foods and profound spice of special things like people’s emotion. ..

Hanoi old streets – where some little silent algae are remained in small quantum that no sunlight can stand over, where the roads are crowed by people and vehicles that no footprints are left, Hanoi people are still proud of memorable old streets as the special taste remained and deposited of a fast-growing city.


Early mornings in the Hoan Kiem lake

Hanoi ancient streets should be loved by everything deepened in our own minds; in our hearts that why when people are vibrated of it, they can’t easily go off because Hanoi is characterized by a very special aspect of Vietnamese which can’t be mixed or mistaken by any beauty of other places in the world.

It is the busy Hang Gai street, the gentle and quiet Hang Hom street, the colorful Hang Ma street and Hang Bac, Hang Buom streets which strongly foot in front of fast-growing lines of time that make up the beauty of ancient streets. It is the shaked yellow sunlight by the windows, the ancient aspects of old tiled roofs in Hang Bong, Hang Dao street, the condensed perfume of blackboard trees in nights, the charming beauty of girls in “ao dai” Vietnam that hang on the steps of tourists. 

You can ride a bike along ancient streets in early morning full of fogs and reward yourself  a bowl of Hue vermicelli and beef in Hang Dieu or in Hang Than street. Hanoi old streets are normally called “Hanoi 36 streets” which is the unique architectural complex combined withcharacterized cuisine culture. Cuisine culture of Hanoi Ancient Street is the various combinations between European-Asian traditional foods and between the luxurious style and commonly-street one…

People often say, when mentioning Hanoi should mention ancient streets because it is the rule that is also like when you love a girl, you should love her soul in advance. And, that ancient street is the soul of Hanoi.  People are still busy at work; ancient streets are still quiet as the paces of modern life can’t touch to the deepest alleys in it.

People in the ancient streets can live in the narrow houses where 3 generations share daily common activities, the low living style and refined style made only by Hanoi people when some flowers bought from early mornings are along ladies and girls in markets and food stalls in street packages have become the simple beauty of Hanoi.

Flowers along with touts

Ancient streets are narrow but it can also hold enough spaces for many people, it is small but it can hold “special Hanoi style” which can’t be mixed. Old and small streets which may be large enough for one people to move through hidden ancient café stores that when people peck at the special cup of coffee they can comfort themselves by relaxing and finding images about Hanoi through films smeared by time. Hanoi people often say when travelling to Hanoi everyone should taste café in ancient streets which isn’t strong but the space there can make them much warmer.

The street of lovers

Streets are also one of the beauties of Hanoi. Hanoi streets have large pavements with many big trees and flowers. When you walk on Phan Dinh Phung Street, you can fell the cool from the shade of big trees. Hoang Dieu Street is quiet. It is named "The Romantic Street" or "The Street of Lovers".

Many couples like walking on it because of its beautiful scenes. The most beautiful one is Thanh Nien Street which is in the middle of two lakes Ho Tay and Ho Truc Bach. Like other streets in Hanoi, Thanh Nien Street has a lot of tall trees and a bunch of colorful flowers. Riding bicycle or motorbike on this street, you can smell the fragrance of blackboard trees and fly your soul to feel the atmosphere in a place considered as the most peaceful destination in the world.

The extraordinariness of these ancient streets are "Tunnel Houses", those with narrow width and deep length. These houses sometimes open at the back into another street which is different from that of the front door. All houses are similarly designed the room serves as the place where goods can be manufactured and sold.

After the front room is a small open courtyard built to let the light in. It is usually decorated with ornamental rocks, small pool with a variety of fishes, plants, and flowers. The backroom is used as living quarter with the dining room and bedrooms. Most houses have one floor, few have the second floor. This second floor is generally low and has small or no windows and you can have benches to take a rest or to enjoy the beauty of the lakes there.


"Pho" Hanoi

Hanoi old street's cuisine is the combination of various cuisines. The sophisticate aspect in Hanoi cuisine is expressed in the way of processing, tasting and the truthful emotion of givers and receivers. Each food has it own spice, beauty and tradition in the way of tasting; it is not only common foods but also the art of cuisine. That’s why a writer said that Hanoi foods have agitated people-away-home and tourists who first come to Hanoi.

Could I love these thousand-year old streets much more a little? For winds to bring me flower perfume, to listen to unfinished songs, to recall memories of someone in the sensational emotion?

Composed by Hien Tran

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