Hanoi is well-known not only for its ancient beauty, and appealing local street food but also for its walking street. If Ho Chi Minh city has Nguyen Hue walking street, which is the favorite place of locals and tourists, Hanoi also possesses the entertaining walking street considered a hot spot. What can tourists do in Hanoi walking street? This article will provide you top 5 must-do activities in Hanoi walking street.
Hanoi walking street appeared from September 2016 with 16 streets around Hoan Kiem Lake. It was created to become an entertainment area as well as organize events, sports and cultural activities serving locals and tourists. Hanoi walking street only starts at weekend, which is from 19:00 hrs every Friday to 24:00 hrs every Sunday. This walking street has no strange to local people but not all tourists know it well. One of the tourists’ common question is about things to do in Hanoi walking street. Here are some suggestions for tourists.
Streets surrounding the zone
Streets around Hoan Kiem Lake such as Dinh Tien Hoang, Le Thai To, Hang Khay, Hang Bai, Trang Tien, Dinh Le, Nguyen Xi, Le Lai, Le Thach, Tran Nguyen Han, Hang Dau, Lo Su, Luong Van Can and Bao Khanh have been turned into walking space on the weekends.
They are closed to traffic on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 7 PM – 2 AM in summer and 6 PM – 2 AM in winter.
A variety of cultural, tourism, and service activities are taking along the streets to meet demand for recreation. Those include photo exhibitions, dragon dancing, performances of traditional musical instruments, traditional singing, and calligraphy writing.
Coming to the pedestrian streets, anyone can become an ‘actor’. The city has created spaces for all people to show their talents and creativity. In addition to performances held by relevant agencies, those who have registered to management agencies can perform in the space around the lake. Therefore, both professional and unprofessional individuals as well as bands of different genres, including jazz, classical music, traditional music and pop, select Hoan Kiem Lake as a performance space. This uniqueness has contributed to nurturing the culturalcreativity and passion of arts among many people of different ages.
Previously, coming to the space around Hoan Kiem Lake, tourists could only visit landscapes and relic sites. However,since September 2016, residents and visitors have immersed in a giant outdoor stage, with various cultural activities, at weekends. As many as 410 major cultural events have taken place in the pedestrian streets over the past three years. In addition to events of the capital city, numerous activities promoting the culture, arts and tourism of 20 provinces and cities around the country as well as international exchange programmes have been held, such as Ha Giang’s Mong ethnic minority cultural space in Hanoi, Cherry Blossom Festival, Vietnam – the Republic of Korea Friendship Festival and ‘European village’ programme.
Drawing the participation of 800 artisans and thousands of people, the event created an exciting atmosphere among Hanoians and visitors to the capital. It was an opportunity to honour the cultural heritage, promote local tourism potential and attract more tourists to the city.
Thanks to the attractiveness of the waking streets, the number of visitors staying in Hoan Kiem district has increased significantly. More than 1.7 million people made stay in the downtown district in 2017, up 33 percent from the previous year. Meanwhile, the figure recorded in the first eight months of 2018 was over 1.4 percent, up 18 percent from the same time in 2017.
Although the street has offered a new sense of tranquility and aroused applause from tourists, not all of the feedback is positive. Parking lots with high fees, illegal street vendors and litter dropping, among others remain formidable challenges for the local authority. However, walking streets have become such an indispensable part in the life of the Vietnamese people, that everywhere at night in the Old Quarter areas, one cannot miss the bustling scene of the pedestrians roaming the streets, families hand in hand, which is something that is unique to Hanoi nightlife and what makes the city so charming.
The interesting thing about Hanoi’s pedestrian street is that although there are no games or modern technology services, but it is attractive with traditional games of ethnic identity and filled with Vietnamese cultural spirit. For every part of the walking street, we will see a group of people playing umbrellas or tug of war, playing volleyball or shuttlecock … Many community activities take place here with the presence of many people, young, old, families and foreigners.
Along the streets in the walking street, we can easily see groups of performers with different styles and types of music. From lively Latin American music to light music, young music, orchestral music, traditional art forms such as xam singing, amateurs are occasionally caught. The scene of people standing shoulder-to-shoulder swinging and singing along to the music in a relaxed way in the middle of the street without having to avoid a car is becoming one of the most beautiful images on the streets of Hanoi. Perhaps this is also one of the things that make Hanoi’s pedestrian street so attractive to people.
Hanoi Walking Streets near Hoan Kiem Lake
Time: Ban transport from 19h Friday to 24h Sunday every week. Out of the above time, the streets are used as usual.
Location: Streets around Hoan Kiem Lake: Dinh Tien Hoang, Le Thai To, Hang Khay, Hang Bai, Trang Tien, Dinh Le, Nguyen Xi, Le Lai, Le Thach, Tran Nguyen Han, Hang Dau, Lo Su, Luong Van Can and Bao Khanh
To enjoy more beautiful sightseeings in Vietnam by your eyes, you can see some itineraries below Halong Bay Cruises – Hanoi Tours – Phu Quoc Tours – Vietnam Tours – Sapa Tours – Package Tours – or book a private car Hanoi City Tour to discover where ever you want to enjoy the Vietnamese taste.