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Hanoi’s lively Old Quarter is famous for its small artisans and merchants including many silk shops. At the beginning of the 20th century, each of the 36 streets that today make up the Old Quarter, had merchants and households that specialized in a particular trade such as silk, cotton, leather, silver etc. These days the street names reflect these specializations although few of them remain exclusively in their original commerce. Local cuisine specialties as well as several clubs and bars can be found here as well as a night market open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening with a variety of clothing, souvenirs and food.


Meaning Lake of the Returned Sword or Lake of the Restored Sword, Hoan Kiem Lake in the historical center of the city, is a lovely place to relax and enjoy the atmosphere or to take a leisurely stroll. It is one of Hanoi’s major scenic spots and a focal point of public life. There are some good photo opportunities around the shores of the lake.


Don’t miss a fascinating performance of Hanoi’s renowned Water Puppets, a traditional art form dating back to the 11th century.