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Interesting things in Hanoi Ancient House

Welcome you to the beautiful city Hanoi - the capital of Vietnam. Ahead of you are many place to explore, things to do, and experience. But first off, we thought you might be curious about this brand new city. 

- One of the most ancient capital in the World

One of Hanoi's facts that not many people know about is that Hanoi is one of the most ancient capital in the world and just celebrated its 1010th birthday in 2020.

From 1902 to 1953, Hanoi served as the capital of French Indochina - one of France's most lucrative colonial possessions. Until now you can see many constructions built by French in Hanoi and ancient houses in Hanoi. We would love share with you some interesting facts about Hanoi Ancient house on this topic.

Khám phá ngôi nhà cổ 'có một không hai' giữa lòng Hà Nội sầm uất

- Hanoi Ancient house so narrow

It is a common question from the foreigners when they explored Hanoi Old Quarter and especially Ancient house. 

The fact is that the typical shape of Hanoi houses in the old street is tubular. The old Hanoi houses have a facade of about  3- 5 meters, bout 10 meters deep. Usually, these houses had two floors and faced the crowded street. 

Những góc Hà Nội sinh ra là để hẹn hò

In the past, the government based on the width of your house from the street to determine the amount of tax money. It means that the wider your house was, the higher the money you needed to pay. Therefore, the Vietnamese people built a thin but deep house to avoid paying high taxes to save money. 

- Hang the food out in the kitchen

Coming to Hanoi Ancient house, you can see a small basket hung out in the kitchen. Are you curious about that?

Perhaps this fact will blow your mind when Vietnamese put the food inside it. Their custom was based on an experience expressed through an old idiom " Chó treo mèo đậy". 

Những không gian Tết Việt xưa giữa Hà Nội trong 2020 | Nhà cửa ...

This idiom means that we must be careful and know how to store food and drink when having domestic animals. If a house has a do, it must hang the food up high since the dog cannot climb up. If a family has a cat, they must use something to cover the food as cats can climb. So Vietnamese cannot only hang the food up but also cover it. 

- The unique bowl of old Hanoians

When exploring the old kitchen of Hanoi Ancient House, you will find out a typical kind of bowl with the unique shape that local people used. They are called the slender - waisted bowl.

Now the slender-waisted bowl is not popularly sold in supermarkets anymore, want to buy the right kind of slender-waisted bowl Hanoi used, must go into the old pottery or traditional pottery villages like Bat Trang. 

Đắm chìm trong không gian sống của Hà Nội thời bao cấp - Báo Kiến Thức

The bowl had a high foot, a flared mouth, tied in the middle like a girl’s waist, so it became known as “slender-waisted bowl”.

In terms of practical use, the slender - waisted bowl is the perfect item for diseases such as congee, noodle, vermicelli...

Because of the flared mouth, it should help the surface of the dish cool quickly, but the bottom is still kept hot. It was used for a while because of its aesthetics. The high foot of the bowl makes the tray much more elegant, on the other hand, the rim of the bowl is flaring and wide, enabling the craftsman to carve many intricate patterns on it.

- Using a hard bed

When visiting the bedroom of Hanoi Ancient house, perhaps you will be surprised at the wood bed of Vietnamese people. 

In the past, didn’t use a mattress or cover anything with their beds. They sleep on a very hard bed because Vietnamese people believed that, “The harder you can suffer, the more successful you will be in the future”.

Nhà cổ 87 Mã Mây - kiến trúc đặc trưng của Hà Nội xưa


- The ancestral altar in Hanoi Ancient house

Vietnamese believed that if we forget to worship their ancestors, it means we forget the origin. 


Therefore, the ancestral altar always is in the most solemn place in a Vietnamese house whether they are rich or poor, they are in lowland or mountain, the city or countryside. When contemplating the altar in Hanoi Ancient house, you can see a very typical Vietnamese altar. 

Tái hiện nếp sống xưa của gia đình trung lưu ở phố cổ Hà Nội

It consists of ancestral tablets, familial records, or portraits of decreased grandparents or parents, incense and offerings are also placed here.

- The Clay pot and Vietnamese cuisine in the past

In the past, earthenware pots were used by people in the countryside to cook many dishes. The clay pot is porous, allowing heat and moisture to circulate evenly during the cooking process. This helps foods retain a higher nutritional value than foods processed in other utensils.

In addition, meat cooked in a clay pot will be soft and not dry. And we cannot skip a fact that clay is a very cheap and familiar material to the ancient Vietnamese people.

Thus, do not miss the chance to know more about Vietnamese cultural features. Don’t hesitate to pack your luggage, come, and discover the amazing land. For more information please visit our family website:

For Vietnam online visa Govietnamvisa.com

For Vietnam local tours: Govietnamtourist.com

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