Life - October 9, 2018 | 09:29 pm PT

Hanoi’s old quarter, now and then 

Has it always been buzzing with frenetic activity? See for yourself.


The intersection of Hang Khay and Dinh Tien Hoang streets next to Sword Lake (Hoan Kiem Lake). The old photo was taken around the 1920s.


The Hanoi international post office located at the intersection of Dinh Tien Hoang and Dinh Le streets.


Cau Go Alley off the street of the same name. Cau Go Street is a small one-way street in the old quarter. In the past this used to be a place for students to grab a meal. When the French were here, they changed its name to Rue du Pont en bois (Cau Go in French).


Trang Tien Street, where a movie theater called Cinéma Palace was built by the French in 1920. With classic French architecture, it was meant to be the most luxurious cinema in Indochina at that time. When the French took over Hanoi again in 1947 they changed the cinema’s name to Eden. In 1954 the name was changed again to Cong Nhan. Cong Nhan cinema remains in operation to this date.


The intersection of Hang Bac and Hang Dao streets. Hang Dao used to be called Rue de la Soie (Silk Street). Back then there was a tram line here. Hang Bac Street still sells silver and Hang Dao now sells clothes and fabric.


The intersection of Ma May and Hang Bac streets. Ma May used to make and sell rattan goods, but now the street is filled with motels, home stays and diners. The old picture was taken in the 1910s.


The Vietnam History Museum on Trang Tien Street. Built by the French in 1926 and opened in 1932, the museum displays antiques collected from other Southeast Asian countries.


Hang Tre and Hang Thung streets, 1940 and 2018.


Dinh Tien Hoang Street always seems to be crowded no matter what time it is. In the late 19th century the street was called Rue Du Lac, but after the capital was liberated in 1954 the name was changed to Dinh Tien Hoang. The photo on the left was taken in 1972.


The tram station in Dong Kinh Nghia Thuc Square in 1980, which is now a bus stop. Its old name was Place Négrier.


Hang Bo Street in 1950, formerly named Rue des Paniers. This street used to sell bamboo goods, but not anymore.


The intersection of Dong Xuan and Hang Ma streets in 1980. The name Dong Xuan only appeared after the August Revolution in 1945. Before that it was called Rueduriz by the French.


A bomb shelter (Tranchée in French) outside the Hanoi Sofitel Metropole Hotel on Le Phung Hieu Street. Between 1965 and 1972 almost all Hanoi streets had bomb shelters to enable people to get out of danger as quickly as possible. The photo on the left was taken in 1967.


The way down from Long Bien bridge in 1940, now called Tran Nhat Duat Street. The photo on the left taken by Harrison Forman.


Sword Lake seen from Hang Khay Street. The old photo was taken in 1967.

Story by Kieu Duong