The Stories and Legends of Old Hanoi

Within a radius of just one square kilometer, from the middle of Dinh Tien Hoang Street to the middle of Ly Quoc Su Street in Hanoi, two major religions meet: Vietnamese Buddhism with its pagodas and temples, and Catholicism from the West, represented by the Hanoi Cathedral.

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Description

  • Tour duration: 1 hour 30
  • Timetable: Mon – Sat 8:30 AM, 10:30 AM, 2:00 PM, 4:00 PM except national holidays.
  • Type of travel: Walking tour.
  • Who should join: Anyone who prefers to explore Hanoi ancient cultural and architecture at old Hanoi.
  • Why should join: It is a free, unique and distinctive tour that travelers can grasp the history and architecture of old Hanoi at a glance.
  • Meeting point: 28 Hang Dau St., Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi.
  • Live guide: English.
  • What to remember:

–  The tour will be canceled in adverse weather conditions.

–  Each tour is for maximum 15 people.

–  No booking required, show up and go.

ITINERARY

1 / Ba Kieu Temple
Mother Goddess Worship is common in Vietnam and Ba Kieu Temple is an ancient site for Mother Goddess Worship, situated on holy ground right in the center of Thang Long – Hanoi, across from the Ngoc Son Temple. The temple is from the early 17th century and was recognized as a national historical and cultural relic in 1994.
2 / The Huc Bridge and Hoan Kiem Lake

“The Huc” in Vietnamese means “where the early morning sunlight shines” or “Halo of Condensation”. The wooden bridge links the Ngoc Son Temple to the shore, and faces the sunrise. The bridge is painted red – the color of life, the sources of happiness, and of life’s desires.
3 / Ngoc Son Temple

Built in the 19th century, the Ngoc Son Temple is an excellent example of beautiful architectural elements together with the masterful use of space. The combination of temple and lake can be said to be an architectural masterpiece jointly created by God and Man. Its pleasing balance and classical beauty evoke and feelings of harmony between Man and Nature.
4 / King Le Thai To Monument

The monument to King Le Thai To was erected in about 1896 and is tied in to the legend of “returning the magic sword” to Hoan Kiem Lake (which means “Lake of the Restored Sword” in Vietnamese). In 2009, to prepare for the 1,000th anniversary of Thang Long, a bronze statue of King Le Thai To was cast to replace the former one. The new statue is approximately 1.2m high, and depicts the king standing, wearing a “Binh Thien” ceremonial hat, with his right hand holding a sword pointed downwards.

5 / Ba Da Pagoda

Built in 1056, the Ba Da Pagoda has a rectangular forecourt and a T-shaped middle court. The areas match perfectly to form a square. Inside, there are many wooden statues. The temple is located on a short street, just a few hundred meters long, but the street has both Buddhist pagodas and Catholic churches.
6 / The Hanoi Cathedral (also known as Saint Joseph’s Cathedral)

Consecrated at Christmas 1887, the Gothic cathedral is practically a copy of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris with wide, curved arches, pointing skyward. The cathedral is 64.5m long, 20.5m wide and the two bell towers are 31.5m high, supported by large stone pillars at each of the four corners. In the middle of the square in front of the cathedral, there is a metal statue of the Blessed Mary.
7 / Ly Trieu Quoc Su Pagoda

Ly Trieu Quoc Su Pagoda was built in 1131 to worship a monk named Minh Khong. The pagoda has been renovated numerous times and is unique for being both a temple and a pagoda. It’s a temple because it’s a place to worship Minh Khong, and also a pagoda because it contains an altar for Buddha worship.

8 / Hang Bong (Cotton Street)
In the late 20th and early 21st century, Hang Bong (Cotton Street) was known for being a luxury shopping street. It was also famous for a restaurant selling fried spring rolls with a pickled meat filling at the corner of Hang Bong and Tam Thuong streets. On festive occasions, people come here to buy flags and specially printed t-shirts. Hang Bong is a long, wide street, bustling with activity. Lining both sides are mainly businesses, restaurants and hotels.
9 / Hang Trong / Drum Street
Hang Trong (Drum Street) got its name because at one time, drum makers settled here to craft and sell all types of traditional drums and bongos. The street is also famous for folk paintings, with many shops at one end of the street selling art work. At that same end, there’s also a street side “pho” noodle soup restaurant that’s famous citywide.

10 / Hang Hom (Cases Street)

In olden times, Hang Hom (Cases Street) specialized in making and selling finished wood products, mainly clothes chests and stationery boxes. After 1930, the street also specialized in leather suitcases and bags.
11 / Hang Gai (Silk Street)

In the past, Hang Gai (Silk Street) specialized in products made from hemp and jute, including hammocks and rope. In the 19th century, the book printing business took root here. Nowadays, Hang Gai Street is known for shops selling clothing made from traditional Vietnamese silk and satin.

 

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