Vietnam Tourist Information and Travel Guide
The Old Quarter is the lively, commercial centre of Hanoi. The street names in this section of town generally begin with the word "Hang" which means merchandise. The subsequent word or words refer to the specific type of merchandise that was sold (e.g. bamboo, silk, silver).
In years past, these central roads were the "guild streets".
There were once 36 different guilds represented in the Old Quarter of Hanoi. Today, visitors will find an assortment of shops on any one street.
The Hanoi Old Quarter is a wonderful area of the city to explore on foot. It's also a great place to find some souvenirs, although you'll definitely have to bargain a little!