Home to over 3 million people, Hanoi is the capital city of Vietnam and it has been so for about thousand years. Hanoi is recognised as the cultural hub of the nation since almost each and every dynasty has left behind its mark there.
Anyone visiting Hanoi will unquestionably head straight to The Old Quarter which is situated between the Lake of the Restored Sword to the south and the Long Bien Bridge to the North. The vivacious Old Quarter has about 40 streets selling various kinds of products. Prominent streets include Hang Quat, To Thinh Street, Lan Ong Street and Hang Ma.
Initially Hanoi was a mere snake and alligator infested swamp which was transformed in to a bunch of villages. These villages were combined with the building of walls by the Chinese rulers. Following this, the Chinese called the area “Protected South”.
It was in the 11th century that Vietnam gained independence from Chinese rule. Following this, King Ly Thai To made Hanoi his capital. The king tried to restore the former Chinese palace which was located in the city, but his efforts were in vain.
During the early part of the 13th century, many commercial villages started to blossom around the palace. This development was a result of the transport routes that came to be connecting the village of workshops and the market which was situated between the palace and the Red River. With these expansions traders began to form companies and associations and thereby moved to the Old Quarter in Hanoi.
Each name of the streets in the Old Quarter begins with Hang which means merchandise and each street also specialises in one particular type of product or industry. The houses are generally narrow and they are called tube houses since the streets usually come with the shops at the front and the living areas at the back.
Hanoi experienced heavy conflicts until it gained liberation in 1954. However, the Old Quarter in Hanoi endured all trouble and even survived the bombings in 1972.
Today the Old Quarter boasts of many modern restaurants and shops plus it is complete with all essential facilities. Those who wish to further explore this superb area can plan their stay at a nearby Hanoi serviced apartment. Somerset Grand Hanoi is an outstanding Hanoi serviced accommodation that offers its guests a blend of pleasant and warm hospitality.
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