FREE HANOI STREET WALKING TOURS
Welcome to Hanoi Free Local Tours, a non-profit organization running by students with the mission to bring tourists free walking tours around Hanoi in any available time as long as you remember to reserve your tours in advance.
Let us give some information about Free Hanoi Street Walking Tours
With more than 1000-year history, Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, has so many attractions that could keep tourists engaged all the time: from well-preserved buildings along with lush and verdant parks to handful of well-appointed museums, from many natural lakes to handicraft villages and delectable cuisine, from attractive buildings of French to Chinese and Russian architecture .
Particularly, our free Hanoi walking tour today concentrates on guiding tourists through Hanoi’s most attractive destination, the OLD QUARTER, which first appeared when King Ly Thai To relocated the capital city from Hoa Lu, Ninh Binh to Thang Long, Hanoi. The Old Quarter, at first, consisted of many workshop villages around the royal palace, but now it is a trading place for guilds and craft cooperatives. Most streets in the Old Quarter begin with the word “Hang”, which means merchandise or shop, and the other word, which shows their product, service or location.
We begin our journey in HANG DAO Street, one of the oldest streets in all of Vietnam. It goes right through the middle of the old quarter and divided it into two directions, north and south. Hang Dao Street was once a center for the trading of silk products under the French colony. This street now specializes in ready-made clothing.
Turn right at the end of the street, we reach HANG BAC street, which dates from at least the 13th century. This street was a silver factory under the Le Dynasty; therefore, its name is Hang Bac, which means silver shop . Since the 18th century, the street has become a popular place for jewelry makers and money exchangers. Besides, the heavy metal bars were exchanged in Hang Bac for business transaction, so the French called it “Exchange Street.”
Keep walking straight forward, we come across TA HIEN Street, whose nick name is ‘international intersection’ as there are many foreign backpackers gathering there at night. Stopping here gives you great pleasure of tasting fresh beer and street food, as well as enjoying the breathtaking scenery of the Old Quarter in the hospitable atmosphere.
Next, we turn left and walk onto MA MAY Street, which is a union of two old streets: Hang May and Hang Ma. Rattan products were sold on Hang May and sacred joss to burn for the dead were sold on Hang Ma. The streets then became one: Ma May. The ancient house at 87 Ma May street which dated back from the late of the 20th century, is still preserved with typical architecture of ancient houses. Though being restored in 1999, this house still retains the pristine beauty of itself. Tourists can buy tickets to take a tour around the house.
(Ratten products) (Sacred joss)
continually the free walking tour in Hanoi, we enter HANG BUOM Street, which means Sail Street. Sails used to be sold in the past, but now there is no demand for them anymore. Therefore, to the western end of the street, confectionery is sold instead. If you prefer savory food, look out for the roasted meat store at No. 108 Hang Buom Street.
(lines of people queuing in front of the store) (roasted duck – one of the most popular dishes in the store)
Midway along the street, at the junction of Hang Giay, is Bach Ma Temple or White Horse Temple. There is a legend that King Ly Thai To was directed by a white horse to find an appropriate place to construct the Citadel. Hence, the temple was built to honor that white horse.
(Outside Bach Ma Temple)
Now turn right to HANG DUONG (Sugar) Street, which sells all kinds of sugar, sweets, and dried fruit (in Vietnamese: “Ô Mai”). Together with the ups and downs of history, the street’s appearance has changed but the treasured old houses such as Cau Dong Pagoda, which has been classified as national historical relics, are still preserved on the street.
Outside Cau Dong Pagoda with Hanoi Free Local Tour members
Going straight ahead, you step onto DONG XUAN Street / Springfield Street, which originally belonged to two villages Nhiem Trung and Hau Tuc. Dong Xuan market, Vietnam’s oldest and largest market, occupies half of the street, was one of the busiest urban areas in Southeast Asia thanks to its location at the confluence of To Lich and Red River. The French required merchants to bring their goods inside the market in order to facilitate tax collections. When the number of merchants increased, the market was enlarged. In 1889, a structure was built over it, and five gates were built leading to it. Each of the five market gates was used only for specified goods. In 1994, a fierce fire destroyed almost the market, leading to its being renovated.
With a smartphone, any foreign tourist can easily find online direction to explore Hanoi on their own, so why should you choose us to be your company in a couple of hours ? Because our tour guides are so friendly and enthusiastic that they certainly try to make sure you have a good time here. We will not only give you useful information about the Old Quarter but also share with you genuine stories of Hanoians from the perspective of a local. As our club’s slogan indicates: “Bring tourists and locals together”, the free walking tour offers you authentic experience in exploring the city with a local companion – an experience that you shall never forget in the rest of your life!.
Seeing is believing. Hope to see you in Hanoi.
Many tourists have tried the tour with Hanoi Free Local Tours and kindly give us 5-star reviews with encouraging comments on TripAdvisor.