Many foreigners who first came to Hanoi old town feel uncomfortable even when anxious fear touch foot in the streets carry the akin names, lie down horizontal, vertical, cluttered with dozens of shops selling the same product category. The restaurants on two roadside crowds and vehicle go dense.
But then that feeling passes gradually replace them with a love when they realize bustling life of Hanoi people, energetic, constantly moving but also very romantic with the girls burden back fresh flowers add beauty to the bowl of Hoan Kiem Lake in the heart of the city.
Chantrelle Nielson, American girl spent nearly a year in Hanoi in the old town said initially scared when walking in the old town because they can not go on the sidewalk and feel like you’re having to choke by vehicle. “The street is too messy and very difficult to remember names. Every walk in the street, I felt like trying to swim in a swift flowing river. “
You also can not stand in any position which sees the city as this will prevent other road users, and noise is crazy, Chantrelle said. “But when you have found a ‘anchor’, you can there all day just to see all activities take place. The most interesting thing in town is sitting in a restaurant or coffee shop on level two or three that look at the people, vehicles, homes that have porch with birds singing in cages, and daily activities of the families around them – that’s where the most vivid I’ve ever been to. “
Hanoi’s Old Quarter, known as roughly 36 streets, located in an area about 100 hectares in Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi city center, surrounded by Hang Dau street in North and Hang Bong, Hang Gai, Timber bridges in the South, Tran Nhat Duat, Tran Quang Khai-West and Phung Hung in the East.
Common characteristic of the ancient streets, many street names begin with the word “Hang”, followed by a word for a certain profession, such as Hang Bac(make silver), Hang Ma (make a things of worship), Hang Thiec, Hang Chieu. Streets were noisy, bustling as trading to reduce, working as a miniature village. Like to Hang Thiec, you will hear the tingling sound hammer on the piece of sheet metal, tin flakes glittering white, the image will encounter the tin workers committed to the wood from small to large appliances such as vacuum tube, barrel, pots, shell draw water, boxes, water tanks …
In the book “The dragon on the roof – a year in Vietnam” by Carol Howland author has said: “Walking the 36 streets in Hanoi like weaving their way in a bowl of noodles.” According to feelings Carol, although 7 centuries have passed, but every street seems to bold of a trade village, where life bring community and traditional high-passed from generation to generation other.
Carol Payne, a student of American come Vietnam tourists, said at first feeling entering the old town completely contrary to what is most pleasant to sit under a canopy of green leaves outside patio of Au Lac restaurant, after the Metropole Hotel, which sip coffee and talk with friends.
“When you walk north to the old town, the road changes and start winding is not in any one direction does. Vietnamese people I met who could not compass directions in North America as people usually do. In fact, they could not tell me on the map. No good to say that I am in the south of Hoan Kiem District, “Carol laments .
But then, after a few weeks to get used to the streets of Vietnam, Carol was able to walk without their maps. “If you get lost, I’ll jump onto a motorcycle taxi and only to their home address. But lost also the beauty . The very last time I felt an endless experience of Hanoi. There is an abundance of detail, both architecture and human life, temples, street vendors, small alleys, markets and even roadside coffee shop anymore, “Carol said excitedly.
Old town, very special to Carol. It’s like a general department store giant, with the area where merchants and craftsmen with a commodity business – things she can not see the United States. Besides the buildings bearing ancient French architecture, the high-rise commercial buildings could suddenly see a comfortable home, a temple tucked away deep in the small alley. It’s a beautiful culture of the people of Vietnam.
David Lowe, a specialist newsletter edited English, 36, from Liverpool, said: “I love walking down the street because they are really alive. Hanoi is the best place I ever lived where I feel really alive. Especially the old town, there is so much going on, just stop 5 minutes you will see. Old Quarter of Hanoi brought many traits, many attractive features, making it come alive in the minds and remind everyone that they are living in a truly dynamic city, where people hurry because everyday life, and sound, and smell what the eye sees, all extraordinarily vivid. “
Hanoi, as Chantrelle commented “it is very beautiful with many trees, lake … look as if nature wants to recapture his own area in the city.”
Peddled wares and shop of sidewalk
Foreigners who come to Hanoi as caught up in a land of endless dishes, from traditional dishes of Vietnam such as Bun Cha (Noodle and grilled meat), Pho, Bun Thang, Banh cuon Thanh Tri … in small shops on the pavement, to the peddled wares of street selling duck egg boil, glutinous rice doughnut, snails noodles, noodles with shrimp sauce and soya curd, crab vermicelli mixed.
To serve foreign tourists, the restaurants gradually rise to all kinds of foods imported from foreign countries such as French toast, pasta and Italian pizza, Japanese sushi, green curry chicken or Thai hot pot, steak of French or Korean gold branch.
“I never miss meals because the West can find a real French bread in Vietnam, even better than most of those you can buy in the USA. … I can talk to many more places that I remember – I think I could eat five more years in Vietnam but also not able to explore all the wonderful food here. I also love rice wine, “Chantrelle said.
She said she could not forget the food in Hanoi. Vietnamese food in the USA but also most of Southern of VietNam style and do not the palate. Chantrelle says USA not selling bun Cha – her favorite dishes. She also enjoyed the noodle rolled in Truc Bach street, or hot fish soup with fennel. The sultry summer day, the most popular Chantrelle eating grapefruit, watermelon and dragon fruit – most delicious fruits that she would buy burden of street vendors.
But David, the British guy, the most liked grilled pork. Dried meat nursery yellow flesh is aromatic smell of smoke. The best thing while walking in the ancient city of Hanoi can be stopped at any place to purchase goods, presents a unique commodity that can not be everywhere.
The feeling remains
The most attractive thing in Hanoi for foreign visitors, according to David, that’s people here. Without them, any city in the world is just streets, buildings inanimate. “I really like in Hanoi, it hot, noisy, bustling, attractive, every scene, every person you meet every day .. I’m here because I feel welcome.”
As for Chantrelle, the best thing in her mind up about this city is looking at all the activities happening on the streets and enjoy the unique flavor of the dish of Hanoi.
For her, as well up all sources of energy, the energy of a rising economy is strong, where people rushed everyone, even struggling to survive, but also each step richer, more prosperous