Ancient House Hanoi: A Guide to the Historic Residence

Nestled in the heart of Hanoi’s historic Old Quarter, the Ancient House at 87 Ma May Street is a testament to the city’s rich past. Built in the late 19th century, this traditional Vietnamese home offers a glimpse into the daily life and architectural heritage of the Nguyen dynasty. Step inside, and you’ll be transported back in time, surrounded by intricate carvings, antique furnishings, and the essence of a bygone era.

Ancient House Hanoi
Ancient House Hanoi

Where is Ancient House Hanoi?

Location

The Ancient House is located at 87 Ma May Street, in the Hoan Kiem district of Hanoi. It is situated within the bustling Old Quarter, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its narrow streets, colonial architecture, and vibrant street life.

Nearby Landmarks

Several notable landmarks are in close proximity to the Ancient House, making it easy to explore the area’s rich cultural tapestry. The Quan De Temple, a Taoist temple dedicated to the deities of literature and education, is just a short walk away. The Kim Ngan Communal House, a beautifully preserved example of traditional Vietnamese architecture, is also nearby.

How to Get to Ancient House Hanoi?

By Walk

The Ancient House is easily accessible on foot from most areas of the Old Quarter. Strolling through the labyrinth of narrow streets and soaking in the vibrant atmosphere is an experience in itself.

By Taxi or Ride-Hailing Service

Taxis and ride-hailing services (e.g., Grab) are widely available in Hanoi. You can request a ride directly to the Ancient House at 87 Ma May Street. This option is particularly convenient if you’re arriving from other parts of the city or want to avoid the hustle and bustle of the Old Quarter’s streets.

By Bus

If you prefer public transportation, the following bus lines stop near the Ancient House: 34, 92, and 146. Get off at the Ma May bus stop and take a short walk to the house.

Ancient House Hanoi Opening Hours & Entrance Fee

Ancient House Hanoi Opening Hours
Ancient House Hanoi Opening Hours

Opening Hours

  • Monday-Saturday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Sunday: Closed

Entrance Fee

The entrance fee for the Ancient House is VND 30,000 (approximately $1.25 USD). This modest fee helps support the preservation and maintenance of this historic site.

History of Ancient House Hanoi at 87 Ma May Street

History of Ancient House
History of Ancient House

The Ancient House was built in the late 19th century by a wealthy Vietnamese merchant named Nguyen Van Sieu. The house originally served as a residence for Sieu and his family, as well as a place for his business dealings. Over the years, the house has undergone several renovations, but it has retained its original architectural features and charm.

Significance

The Ancient House is a rare surviving example of a traditional Vietnamese merchant’s residence from the Nguyen dynasty era. It holds immense cultural and historical significance, providing insights into the daily lives and customs of the era’s affluent class.

National Heritage Status

In recognition of its architectural and cultural importance, the Ancient House at 87 Ma May Street was designated as a National Heritage Site by the Vietnamese government in 2012. This status ensures the preservation and protection of this invaluable piece of Hanoi’s history.

Architecture of Ancient House Hanoi

Ancient House Hanoi architecture
Ancient House Hanoi architecture

The Ancient House is a classic example of traditional Vietnamese architecture. It is a two-story building with a wooden frame, tiled roof, and intricate carvings. The house is divided into five sections, each with its own specific function.

Ground Floor

Ancient House Hanoi architecture

The ground floor consists of a large living room, dining room, and kitchen. The living room is furnished with antique furniture and decorated with silk paintings and ceramics. The dining room features a long wooden table and chairs, and the kitchen has an open fireplace and traditional cooking utensils.

Upper Floor

The second floor is dedicated to private quarters. There are three bedrooms, each with its own ensuite bathroom. The bedrooms are decorated in a more modern style, but still incorporate traditional Vietnamese elements.

Traditional Elements

Ancient House Hanoi architecture

The Ancient House incorporates several traditional architectural elements, such as wooden beams, latticed windows, and intricate carvings on the walls and ceilings. These elements not only add aesthetic appeal but also serve practical purposes, such as ventilation and temperature regulation.

Attractions Near Ancient House Hanoi

In addition to the Ancient House itself, there are several other attractions nearby to add to your itinerary:

Hanoi Old Quarter

The Old Quarter is a lively and vibrant area to explore. It is home to a maze of narrow streets, traditional shops, street food stalls, and historical landmarks. Immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and smells of this bustling neighborhood, and experience the essence of Hanoi’s rich culture.

Bach Ma Temple

Bach Ma Temple
Bach Ma Temple

Located just a few steps from the Ancient House, Bach Ma Temple is a Buddhist temple dedicated to the goddess of fertility. The temple is known for its beautiful architecture and tranquil atmosphere, providing a serene respite from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Dong Xuan Market

Dong Xuan Market is the largest covered market in Hanoi, offering a vast array of goods, including clothing, souvenirs, and handicrafts. It is a great place to experience the local culture and practice your bargaining skills. Be prepared to haggle and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of this bustling marketplace.

Old East Gate Hanoi

Old East Gate Hanoi
Old East Gate Hanoi

The Old East Gate, known locally as O Quan Chuong, is one of the remaining historic gates of Hanoi’s Old Quarter. It was built in the 19th century and offers a glimpse into the city’s colonial past. Take a stroll through the gate and imagine the scenes that played out here centuries ago.

Hoan Kiem Lake

Hoan Kiem Lake is a picturesque lake located just a short walk from the Ancient House. It is a popular spot for locals and tourists to relax, enjoy the scenery, and visit the historic Ngoc Son Temple, which sits on a small island in the center of the lake.

What to Eat When Visiting Ancient House Hanoi

Pho Hanoi
Pho Hanoi

The Ancient House Hanoi does not have its own restaurant, but there are plenty of dining options nearby. Here are a few recommendations:

Quan An Ngon

This popular restaurant chain offers a wide variety of traditional Vietnamese dishes in a modern setting. The menu features regional specialties from across the country, allowing you to sample the diverse flavors of Vietnamese cuisine. Quan An Ngon is a great choice for those seeking an authentic dining experience with a contemporary twist.

Street Food Stalls

The Old Quarter is famous for its vibrant street food scene. Wander the narrow alleys and you’ll find countless street food stalls serving up delicious local delicacies. From pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) and banh mi (Vietnamese sandwiches) to nem ran (fried spring rolls) and bun cha (grilled pork with vermicelli noodles), the options are endless and incredibly affordable.

Dong Lac Communal House

If you’re looking for a unique dining experience, consider visiting the Dong Lac Communal House. This historic site not only showcases traditional Vietnamese architecture but also houses a restaurant serving authentic local cuisine. Dine in the serene courtyard and savor the flavors of Hanoi’s culinary heritage.

Hanoi Ancient House Reviews

The Ancient House at 87 Ma May Street has received overwhelmingly positive reviews from visitors worldwide. Here are a few excerpts:

“Stepping into the Ancient House felt like traveling back in time. The attention to detail and preservation of this historic residence is truly remarkable.” – Sarah, United States

“The guided tour provided rich insights into the history and cultural significance of the Ancient House. Our guide was knowledgeable and passionate, making the experience even more enriching.” – Tuan, Vietnam

“The intricate carvings and traditional furnishings in the Ancient House were breathtaking. It’s a must-visit for anyone interested in Vietnamese architecture and cultural heritage.” – Miguel, Spain

Conclusion

The Ancient House at 87 Ma May Street is a true gem in Hanoi’s cultural landscape. Its well-preserved architecture, rich history, and connection to Vietnam’s past make it a must-visit destination for both locals and tourists alike. Whether you’re exploring the Old Quarter or seeking a deeper understanding of Vietnamese heritage, the Ancient House offers a unique and immersive experience that will leave a lasting impression. Plan your visit, immerse yourself in the stories and traditions that these walls hold, and discover the timeless charm of this historic residence in the heart of Hanoi.