Hang Bac Street Hanoi

Hang Bac Street Hanoi

A Bustling Silver Street in Hanoi, Vietnam

Rachel Tran Rachel Tran | Published Oct 08, 2019

Hanoi, the heart of Vietnam, is one of the most crowded and bustling cities in the country. That is why shopping activities here are popular, diversified and lively that bring you many interesting and unique experiences.

If you love tradition, you can buy goods in Hanoi local markets. If you are a fan of modernity, you can stopover in large and reputed commercial center with many luxurious and high-grade brands. Especially, don’t miss shopping activities in the Old Quarter area which is renowned for a lot of finest handicraft products, shows Vietnamese unique culture. 

One of the favorite items which visitors usually choose is silver jewelry and Hang Bac street Hanoi (silver street Hanoi) is the most ideal destination to buy them with high quality.

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Silver Craft at Hang Bac Street

Hanoi has the Old Quarter area with 36 streets, each street often connects closely to a handicraft. Therefore, though it’s the first time, people come there, they are easy to recognize that handicrafts, even they only hear the sound in that street, they also guess it. 

According to the literal meaning, “Hang” means a shop or store and “Bac” is silver (a kind of metal used to coin money and product jewelry).

Silver jewelry at Hang Bac street
Silver jewelry at Hang Bac Street

In the past, Hang Bac street is a silver foundry. It is considered as the richest street in Thang Long citadel. Today, when you go for a walk on the street, you feel as back to trade village history and hear the repercussion of many foundries because this street remains the beauty of ancient craft village.

Nowadays, silver craft not only focuses on Hang Bac street but also in other places. Almost all stores are equipped with new technology and machines from foreign countries. However, there are still some households that keep the traditional craft and make it by hand.

Editor’s Note: Hang Bac still ranks first on the list of the best sites in Hanoi manipulating silver and gold with the most qualified silversmiths.

History of Hang Bac street

Hang Bac silver street
Hang Bac – the most famous street for jewelry shopping for hundreds of years (source: Lee S)

In Le’s Dynasty, King Le Thanh Tong (1460-1497) permitted Le Xuan Tien open foundry and make silver and gold.

He came back to his village and found the most talented craftsmen here and some other places to establish foundry.

In the early 19th century, Nguyen’s dynasty forced silver foundry to move to Hue citadel to serve the court.

But some skilled silversmiths were still in Thang Long citadel and went on working. At the same time, they also established silver craft street and develop which is Hang Bac street today.

Under French domination, along with silver production and business, people also exchanged silver ingot and money. Therefore, this street had another name which was “rue de Changeurs”. In French, it means the Street of Silver Exchangers.

In the French Resistance war, Hang Bac people fought tooth and nail to protect their country. And Chuong Vang theatre became their pride as well as be the symbol for the traditional resilience and undauntedness in the struggle, not only Hang Bac people but also all Vietnam nation.

Today, Hang Bac street has many hundreds of small and large shops that make silver and gold items and sell them. It becomes one of the busiest shopping areas in Hanoi and attracts thousands of visitors every year.

Highlights of Hang Bac Street

Hanoi Old Quarter crossroads
Hanoi Old Quarter crossroads

Hang Bac is located in the center of the Old Quarter area in Hoan Kiem district in Hanoi. Many centuries went by with time changes, Hang Bac street remains architecture and lifestyle of an old village.

On both sides of the street, there are many traditional age-old houses whose roofs are covered by red tiles near the west architecture design houses. 

Sometimes, people also see old pagodas, temples that imprint Vietnamese culture and religion.

Hang Bac street has Kim Ngan temple which is an ancient architectural heritage in Hau Le ‘s dynasty (1428-1527). 

Kim Ngan temple at Hang Bac street
Kim Ngan temple at Hang Bac street (source: jeff1955malaysia)

This temple both worships Hien Vien- the founder of silver craft and remains vestiges of silver and gold jewelry village in old Thang Long, which proves the people here are descendent of the first best craftsmen, who go to Thang Long citadel and set up the silver craft. 

Inside Kim Ngan temple
Prayer practices of Kim Ngan temple

Especially, today, the offspring still maintain the relationship with the clan and relatives in the original villages.

Hang Bac people not only conserve valuable craft of predecessors but also maintain a specific traditional lifestyle of the Old Quarter area.

Many families do business well and become rich but live modestly, attach much importance to prestige, be willing to help each other in life as well as in trade relations. 

At night, Hang Bac street becomes more sparkling and bright under the light of jewelry window shops. Next to these shops, there are also fashion boutiques, bars, souvenir shops, etc. which are always lively with locals and tourists alike. 

What to Do at Hang Bac Street?

1. Buying Silver Products

Shops at Hang Bac street
Silver stores along the street

Hang Bac street is reputed for high-quality gold and silver products. The jewelry and accessory are diversified in kinds, design, color, decoration,… Thus, you can choose and buy rings, bracelets, earrings,… at any shops on the street to meet your own demands and hobbies. 

Some stores even make silver products following your request with the help of the best craft man’s sophisticated hands.

Besides, you can also buy some souvenirs as gifts for relatives and friends.

2. Walk Around and Take Photos

Activity near Hang Bac street
(source: Lee S)

Hang Bac street is one of the most ancient streets in Hanoi with historical depth. Therefore, it’s suitable for you to go for a walk and explore special cultural characteristics and its value here.

Simple and unique scenes in Hang Bac are the harmonious combination between traditional and modern beauty, which are performed by house architecture and daily activities of the locals.

Nothing is greater than bringing a camera and taking the most beautiful photos here to have nice memories.

Best Time to Visit Hang Bac Street

You can get there during the shops open. However, you had better go and buy merchandise in the afternoon to bargain and have a better price.

How to Get There

To get Hang Bac street, you can begin from Hang Mam street, pass the crossroads Ta Hien-Dinh Liet and go to the crossroads point of Hang Dao and Hang Ngang street. Hang Bac street next to them.

  • You can choose various and suitable transports to get there such as bus, motorbike, taxi, pedicab… or even on foot depending on your financial condition and hobby. 
  • You can choose various and suitable transports to get there such as bus, motorbike, taxi, pedicab… or even on foot depending on your financial condition and hobby. 

If you want to walk to explore this street, the advice for you is to bring a map or smartphone installed Google Map because it’s not easy for anyone who is not familiar with the road here due to narrow and complicated roads.

Tips on Visiting Hang Bac Street

  • Always bargain for a good price. You avoid asking price so much if you don’t intend to buy it. You should bargain 3 times and smile as well as say “thank you” to shoppers, talk to them that you want to see more in other items before you decide whether you buy or not.
  • When purchasing buying silver, you ought to go to the prestige stores. At the same time, you need to observe the surface of products and choose carefully to avoid buying shoddy items. You shouldn’t buy silver jewelry made from original silver because it’s easy to be distorted.

Hang Bac is always impressive and attractive to tourists in all its aspects, from famous historical sites to the simple daily life of locals and especially the best silver handicrafts. 

If you have an opportunity to come to Hanoi, don’t miss Hang Bac street, let’s go and explore its unique culture and history in the nice corner as well as experience interesting shopping activities in one of the most lively and bustling streets in Hanoi.


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