Small Hanoi, Street’s Corner

08 Apr, 2022 | Travel Experience

In Hanoi, great adventures start with a walk down the narrow, busy streets.


Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, a must-visit destination in Vietnam trip of every traveler, is captivating for many reasons but what defines the soul of this city is its street life. Spending at least two days talking on leisure walks to see the local life or watching history go by slowly from a quiet cafe helps you understand Hanoi better. Behind hustle and bustle of life, Hanoi somehow remains a peaceful corner reviving old memories. 

1. The Distinctly Francophile Architectural Legacy

The streets in the Hanoi Old Quarter and the French Quarter are home to colonial buildings that still maintain much of their historic appeal with saffron yellow facades and green window frames. Despite the old look, the locals seem to cherish this picture of the olden days of Hanoi. Some buildings are transformed into vintage cafes or charming restaurants with a lovely sunny courtyards. Hanoians always find a special place for their soul to withdraw.

A typical colonial building with saffron yellow walls and green windows.

Despite the old look, the locals seem to cherish this picture of the olden days of Hanoi.

A man riding his cyclo on Hang Bac Street. The yellow building is Chuong Vang Theatre which rarely opens due to the lack of new plays.

2. A Paradise of Street Food

Small streets are lined with local shops, restaurants, and cafes. It’s almost impossible to walk on pavement without bumping into a crowd of hungry customers slurping Pho for their breakfast. To alternate, local people have a long list of Bun Cha, Banh My, Cha Ca La Vong, Banh Cuon, Bun Bo Hue, and so on. All are just as delicious and easy to find everywhere, anytime in the day. Hole-in-the-wall cafes and open-air cafes invite people to come to share small chats with friends and enjoy a cup of Ca Phe Nau (or Ca Phe Sua Da if you are in Saigon) - an indispensable drink of the Hanoian and a legend of Vietnam's coffee culture. Surprisingly, people always find a quiet place for themselves in this 8-million-population city. 

A man riding his scooter on the streets of the city to sell bananas.

When the sun goes down in Hanoi, the streets come to life. It’s time for visitors who want to get up close personally to the culture of the city.  Sit shoulder to shoulder with locals on the sidewalk, order a cold beer, and you find yourself in a culture that the locals favorite: beer-drinking culture. 

Ta Hien Street - the most well-known Beer Street in Hanoi. 

3. Street Caring Poles Are A Significant Image

On Hanoi streets, it’s easy to catch a street vendor walking with heavy loads. They use a shoulder pole or bicycle to help them move easily through small alleys. Most of them are women, come from the countryside, and walk from street to street 10 hours a day regardless of sunny or rainy days. These women carry on their shoulders not only fruits, vegetables, and local snacks, but also the livelihood of a family. Street vendors have always been a part of Hanoi for centuries. 

Street vendors have been a significant image of Hanoi throughout its long history.  

With carrying poles, they carry their goods easily on small streets and alleys. 

Millions of travelers have been in love with Hanoi's corners. Many say that it's a city with a soul. Find out more about this city with us

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