The French Quarter in Hanoi is known for its boulevards, parks and magnificent buildings.
Many of them date from the colonial era and the French architecture dominates the streetscape. It lies east of the Hoan Kiem Lake.
We start in the Ly Thai To road and go south. The Hanoi Guesthouse (Golden Time Hostel) catches our eyes.
The pretty house captivates with its balconies and wrought-iron balcony railings.
Even from a distance, we can see the high-rise building of Vietcombank. The flat building in front of it is the State Bank of Vietnam.
Between the Ly Thai Ho and the Hoan Kiem Lake is the Ly Thai To Park, with the statue of the first emperor of the Ly Dynasty.
In 1009, he came to power and moved the capital of Vietnam Hoa Lư to Hanoi.
We turn in the Ngo Quyen road and stand in front of the building of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, a former French colonial building.
On the other side of the road is a small park, the Vườn hoa Con Coc (flower garden). In the middle of the park you see a column that contains the relics of Jean Laurent Chavassieux Léon.
He was Governor-General of Indochina in 1884. We observe a street vendor for a little while.
Then we pass the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, one of the most prestigious hotels in Hanoi.
Two historical Citroëns, year of construction 1956 and 1953, are parked in front of the door.
We turn left into the Trang Tien road and reach the Hotel de l’Opera Hanoi, also a well respected hotel. Restaurants, bars and clubs are located in it in a lovely building next door.
The opera then lies in front of us. It was built in 1911 by the French colonial administration. It has its own orchestra, which competes with the Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra and the Hanoi Philharmonic Orchestra of the Hanoi Conservatory.
Originally French and Italian operas were performed here. After the withdrawal of the French, the Opera House was used for Vietnamese plays and musicals. By 1960, Western opera returned again but also numerous premieres of Vietnamese operas take place.
Right next to the Opera is Hilton Hanoi Opera hotel. The the half-round building was originally attached to the opera.
We watch a photo shooting for child’s clothing before we make our way back.
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