The first stop on my Shocking Asia trip was the city of Ha Noi and its Old Quarter district. The oldest area of Vietnam, Hanoi’s Old Quarter has a history of 2,000 years and is the Soul of the city. The area is often called the “36 Old Streets”. The legend tells that many years ago there might have been 36 guild locations and workshops in the area. And when the streets between workshops were developed, the guild names were appropriately applied to the street names. A majority of the street names start with the word “hang”, Hang Bac, for example. “Hang” means merchandise or shop, “Bac” means silver. So, one can guess that Hang Bac street started at a silver factory.
Today, mini markets, shops, hotels and restaurants are lined up on 36 Old Streets making Hanoi’s Old Quarter a noisy- chaotic- hectic city district where street photography is real fun.
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