Hang Ma Street
Hang Ma (Paper Offerings) Street has been one of Hanoi’s typically frenetic
commercial areas since the medieval times. On the occasions of traditional
festivities, the street becomes filled with sounds, colours and light, bearing
the imprints of the spiritual life of Orientals.
Starting from the intersection of Hang Duong Street and ending at Phung
Hung Street, the 339m-long commercial street used to be part of Vinh Hanh and
Yen Phu Villages, separated by To Lich River, of Tien Tuc Commune, Tho Xuong
District. The river has been filled up, thus joining the two villages. Now part
of Hang Ma Ward, near Sword Lake and Dong Xuan Market, of Hoan Kiem District, it
is one of Hanoi’s 36 ancient streets. The street offers various commodities and
is one of the favourite destinations of tourists, domestic and foreign as well.
Hang Ma Street is also known for its tube and gable-roofed houses typical
of Hanoi. Tube houses were built long and thin with a storefront and the
worshipping, producing and living space in the rear. Even in these tunnel-like
houses, ancient Hanoians still managed to have some space for nature.
The gable-roofed house includes the main floor plus an attic which has
either a small door or round windows overlooking the street. The house has
inclining tiles and an eave overhanging the street. The gable-roofed house is
simply decorated with a three-step staircase, attractive lines and a curved
Inhabitants of Hang Ma Street were the Tan Khai villagers who nowadays
still earn a living by selling such paper decorations as paper flowers and
lanterns as well as paper offerings including the Soil Genie hats and