Old Quarter is the oldest constantly expanded area of Hanoi in Vietnam and dates back to 2,000 years. This neighborhood is situated between the Restored Sword Lake and the Long Bien Bridge. Later on, this place developed with many constructions of houses on stilts and was known as “Dominated Annam” or “Protected South” by the Chinese. This lively city walk sightseeing has around 40 streets which is packed with shops that sell each and every kind of goods. Some of the significant streets include Lan Ong Street, Hang Quat, Hang Ma and many others.
Plenty of restaurants, shops and most of the places of interests are at walking distance particulerly in January when the weather is pleasently cold. Very many wayside boutiques where you can sit and have a tea or a hot fruit... more drink. You are not haressed by the touts. No body bothers you. I thoroughly enjoyed my leaisurely walk along the narrow streets doing window shopping and enjoying the sites. Crossing the roads is not a problem at all because the vehicles come slow and avoid you. No petty crimes in Hanoi to my knowledge. These walking tours need not be organised tours with a guide. One can do it alone with proper directions from the hotel staff. There is also the Don xuan market in which you can spend about couple of hours buying things and watching the acitivities.