Memos from Asia

7 Local-Recommended Instagrammable Spots around Hanoi Old Quarter, Vietnam

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Do you know that you’re visiting one of the most beautiful cities in Vietnam? Hanoi, the capital of this S-shaped country has mesmerized all Vietnamese and travelers alike with its romantic Old Quarter. Apart from sightseeing, planning a street photography day will help you explore Hanoi to the fullest. To help you transform your Instagram gallery into a magical grid, here are 7 of my favorite photogenic spots around Hanoi Old Quarter to keep up with!

The Timeless Charm of Hanoi Old Quarter

Beyond doubt, Hanoi Old Quarter is the most talked-about destination in the capital. People flock here to not only drop by the iconic landmarks but also capture the best photogenic spots. The distinctive charm of Hanoi is reflected through the rare sense of timelessness.

(Life passing by under a big century-old tree)

Rustic tube houses lining up along the busy, narrow streets that tell a lot about the previous generations despite life going on relentlessly. And when springtime sweeps through the alleyways, you will see local women pushing their old bikes filled with fresh and colorful flowers on the backseat.

(A women riding rambutans on her bike)

Everything comes out of the Old Quarter seems to stand the test of time. It does bring out the rich old customs in the most visible way. If you wish to enjoy the trip to your heart’s content, the best way to do so is strolling around the street with your camera in hands. It’s time to snap the best angles of the Hanoi Old Quarter and keep them in your book of memoir!

7 Most Photogenic Spots around Hanoi Old Quarter

Ma May Ancient House

As the most famous ancient house in the Old Quarter, Ma May was built in 1890 that gives you a great glimpse into the life of the 19th century. The front façade becomes a vintage background with dark wooden walls placed underneath open boxes, where light and air can ventilate into the house.

And once you step inside, you’ll be amazed at an extensive collection of artifacts perfectly preserved by different generations. The courtyard in the middle of the house helps balance out the lightning system with its airy space. Almost every corner in the house can be a great photo op, from the kitchen utensils to the ornately decorated beds. All in all, Ma May Ancient House is a perfect, interesting layout and design that you should not skip in a photo walk in Hanoi.

Address: 87 Ma May Street, Hang Buom, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi.

Hoan Kiem Lake

Without any further introduction needed, Hoan Kiem Lake (Sword Lake) is the heart and symbol of Vietnam’s capital. The peaceful scenery brings out a dreamy and romantic vibe no matter which season it is.

Dominating the center of the city, the lake is dotted with numerous heritage buildings and temples that will take you back in time with an interesting history. My favorite angle at the lake is to frame Ngoc Son temple in the center and spruce up the corner of the frame with a few flamboyant flowers for a colorful touch!

Old Quarter’s Alleys

Getting off the main streets and sneaking through the backstreet alleyways open a door to an endless source of picture ideas. You never really know what’s going to happen once you escape from the hustle and bustle, and start to explore a real, authentic, and exquisite experience. The winding alleys of Hanoi may lead you to an ancient hidden pagoda, run-down French mansion, or a cute boutique café you’ve never heard of.

Hanoi Train Street

The railway of Hanoi has been making global headlines with its tranquil and authentic beauty. If you think railways are off-limit in Vietnam, think again! Leave behind the matter of safety, hitting Hanoi train street and you will find multiple residential houses lining up along the narrow train street, making for a wonderful photo op. Once the street is clear of trains, you can even walk on the tracks and turn them into a leading-line concept for the picture.

Address: 5 Tran Phu, Hang Bong, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi.

Abandoned Housing Complex

Bizarre as they sound, these abandoned apartments can be a new source of inspiration for your spooky and mystical photo op. These worn-down housing developments add a special touch to the streetscape of Hanoi and may tell a lot about the stories behind.

Due to a lack of customers and funds, these real estate projects pepper the urban of the capital, which becomes even more dramatic when the sun beams down. Make sure you got a local companion to accompany you to this particular area before striking out!

Address: Lideco Urban Area, Hoai Duc District, Hanoi.

Hang Bo Street

Street photography is a classic way that works every time whenever you like to embrace the genuine breath of a city. In Hanoi Old Quarter, the greatest place to catch the true feeling of the city is Hang Bo Street.

Also known as the bamboo street, Hang Bo is shaded by old-century trees. The beauty of Hang Bo Street is a mix of the old and the new. Layer-on-layer of life seems to be spilling out of every traditional tube house. These multi-story houses are the best answers to the rapid urban development, as the narrow street fails to make space for a wide-and-large layout. Therefore, each building is home to multiple stores and shops. What you see from these commodities is an old, rustic ambiance of the teetering structures surrounded by the big old trees.

The best time to hit the street of Hang Bo is early in the morning. When the earliest sun rays sweep through the neighborhood, the pavements spring to life when the eateries are opened and the classic bamboo shops start welcoming the first customers.

Tadioto Bar

Getting worn out after a long walking day in the sun? Why not drop by a cool sleek bar by the end of the day? Tadioto Bar is a stunning hidden spot in Hanoi where you can take advantage of its mixed décor for the photo op.

More than just a welcoming atmosphere, Tadioto offers a nostalgic vibe fused with a trendy touch. The interior is hugged by rustic walls nestled beside dark plaster walls. Meanwhile, wooden antique items are gently arranged around the casual set of tables. Everything comes so well together, making Tadioto a lovely getaway for a nightcap.

Address: 24 Tong Dan, Trang Tien, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi.

These 7 Instagrammable spots around Hanoi Old Quarter are only a few amongst a wide range of photogenic gems in the capital. Make you way further afield to catch a more diverse glimpse into the heart and soul of Hanoi! And once you stroll around, don’t forget to sample the hearty street food scene along the way!

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