Old City Gate Hanoi – O Quan Chuong is a tourist attraction in Hanoi Old Quarter that should not be missed. It is the only one out of 21 original entrances to the old Thang Long Citadel to survive over a thousand years. Centuries have gone by, but Old City Gate still stands, a poignant reminder of Hanoi’s long history through peace and wars.
Walk through the arched main entrance of the Old City Gate Hanoi and imagine being one of the soldiers who heroically defended the city from this spot during several sieges, as well as the French and American wars. Admire the curved roof of the central tower and gaze up at the red and yellow Vietnamese flag flying in the wind.
Hanoi Old City Gate at night glowing in the yellow dim light
According to records, in the reign of King Le Thai Tong (1740-1786), Thang Long has many gates such as Cau Giay, Cho Dua, Cau Dien or Quan Chuong. Each city gate was built as a gate, open day, the night closed and fenced, with a guard to prevent thief and fire. Built in 1749, O Quan Chuong (also known as Dong Ha ward or East Gate) is the last remaining gate of the many that once surrounded the perimeter of the old city.
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The Old City Gate Hanoi Address
Hanoi Old City Gate is located at the intersection that joins Hang Chieu and Dao Duy Tu Street and is directly north of Hoan Kiem Lake.
Hanoi Old City Gate In The Past
Known locally as Quan Chuong, it takes its name from a military leader who lost his life fighting the French here in 1843. Reflect on the fact that the gate was important once again in resisting the French from 1946 to 1947. Note that the gate was also used as a strategic military point during the war against the U.S., with anti-aircraft guns placed here. The gate has maintained its original shape and structure although several restorations have taken place.
In the past, the gate was used to protect people inside the old city
Old City Gate On The Election Day In 1946
O Quan Chuong consists of two floors and is built as a watch-tower a typical architecture of the Nguyen Dynasty. The first floor has three doors, the main door is in the center, high and wide 3m, two side doors are on both sides, about 1.65m wide, 2.5m high. Special point is that all three doors are designed in a dome style. The second floor is the observation space.
The main entrance of the gate faces east toward the Red River. Small steel (inscribed column) was erected in 1882 and includes an inscribed order prohibiting soldiers from causing harm to civilians.
Continue through the smaller pedestrian walkways that flank the main entrance to reach the heart of the old town of Hanoi. Here, be sure to check out the vast array of markets where you can find fresh fruit and vegetables or beautiful handmade silk clothing for bargain prices.
A large variety of markets and small food stalls around Old City Gate Hanoi
The only remaining Old City Gate of Hanoi, O Quan Chuong not only inscribed the mark of the Thang Long capital but also a proof of struggle of the indomitable people in the fight against foreign invaders.
What to do at Old City Gate Hanoi?
Destinations nearby that you should visit after Hanoi Old City Gate
To visit and learn clearly about Hanoi Old City Gate, the best way is to walk. The roads here are quite crowded and filled with shops along the road, so though you might be a bit tired, this is the best way to learn about the Vietnamese way of life.
Besides, you can also visit some famous places nearby:
- Bach Ma Temple: It’s about 500 meters from Hanoi Old City gate. Bach Ma Temple is one of the most recommended destinations in Hanoi Old Quarter because of its extraordinary architectural design. The temple is related to the reason that King Ly Thai To chose Thang Long Citadel to build his dynasty. Coming to Bach Ma Temple, you are offered an opportunity to escape the hectic everyday life of central Hanoi and get close to the peaceful spiritual life of the locals.
- Hanoi Ancient House: Just 400 meters from the Gate, Hanoi Ancient House is a very well-preserved house that prevailed throughout Hanoi before the concrete egg-carton style took over. It’s also one of the very few old houses where you can have a better understanding of the ancient Hanoians’ lifestyle and daily activities. A cultural address that you shouldn’t miss while in Hanoi.
- Hanoi Ceramic Mosaic Mural: In walking distance, you can reach the Hanoi Ceramic Road – The Mosaic That Holds A Guinness World Record. With walls full of mosaic images well representing Vietnamese history, culture, and tradition, this is the gate into Vietnam and its people’s discovery and also an unbelievable delicate artwork.
- Also, you can visit O Quan Chuong when strolling around the Hanoi Old Quarter as the Old City Gate located in there.
Things to eat at O Quan Chuong
Water crab noodle soup (Thanh Ha Lane)
Thanh Ha is the lane right next to the Old City Gate. The most famous dish here is water crab noodle soup. A bowl of vermicelli soup costs around 20.000 – 30.000 VND/bowl – a good price to have a satisfying experience. Nowadays, the way of enjoying and processing is slightly modified. Still a regular type of noodle, but soaked in boiling water thoroughly to make the fiber expand to all sizes, warm, smooth. It’s still crab soup but cook with pork bone to bring more sweet taste.
Pork rib porridge (51 Dao Duy Tu Street)
The pork rib porridge in Dao Duy Tu street is kind of famous, delicious and fragrant. The fried-onion topping on the porridge adds more taste for the dish. Salted eggs are eaten with porridge sounds a bit strange but it’s really delicious and addictive.
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