If Long Bien bridge and Red river are the symbols for the Hanoi history, the Old Quarter is the heart soul of ancient capital. At night, walking on the pedestrian streets here, visitors can walk, shop, enjoy music, cuisine and relaxing moments with friends.
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Pedestrian streets in the Old Quarter
In 2004, the first pedestrian streets in Hanoi’s Old Quarter were brought in. Pedestrian streets in Hanoi’s Old Quarter have become an interesting destination on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights every week for both the capital’s residents and foreign visitors.
Visitors can walk, shop and sample street food in four streets blocked off pedestrians: Hang Ngang, Hang Dao, Hang Duong and Dong Xuan.The night market features a diversity of goods, from clothes to personal accessories, household items, food and drinks. The absence of vehicles and public transportation makes the air a lot fresher. More importantly, walking brings people closer to one another.
10 years later, in the early October 2014, Hanoi turned the six streets of Hang Buom, Ma May, Hang Giay, Luong Ngoc Quyen, Ta Hien and Dao Duy Tu in the Old Quarter into roads for pedestrians. Therefore, besides shopping streets above, Ta Hien Street attracts a large number of visitors, including foreigners, to enjoy rustic dishes and relax on weekend days. Tourists also can experience traditional music performance such as Chau Van (spiritual singing), Cheo (traditional opera), Tuong (classical drama), Ca tru (ceremonial singing) , Xam (ballads sung by wandering blind musicians) on Ma May, Luong Ngoc Quyen, Hang Buom streets.
Every Saturday night, Thang Long Ca Tru club gives performances and talks about the traditional art form at Quan De Temple at 28 Hang Buom street.
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Pedestrian streets around Hoan Kiem Lake
A Hanoi official believes pedestrianized streets could become a tourism selling point.
To continue the success of temporary pedestrianization since 2014, authorities of the city decided to make several streets being closed around Hoan Kiem Lake on September 1 to celebrate the 71 Independence Day in addition to parts of the Old Quarter that already shut to traffic. Vehicles will be banned from going onto the streets on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, from 6pm until midnight.
The experiment will continue until the Lunar New Year in January with the roads shut from 7pm Friday to midnight Sunday.
A wide range of cultural, musical and arts performances will be organised along with sports activities and folk games.
Asides from cultural and musical activities are and will be carried out on pedestrian streets, the authorities are making plan to hold more activities at popular locations such as O Quan Chuong Gate, Kim Ngan Temple and Chuong Vang Theatre.
Mr Hong, an authority, also added that Hanoi will turn Nguyen Quy Duc Street in Thanh Xuan District into another pedestrian street and more walking streets are also planned in Tay Ho District.