If you are interested in discovering the culture of Hanoi, do not miss out on the Old East Gate (O Quan Chuong). It is the long-standing guard that has been standing to protect the capital for hundreds of years. In other words, it holds a deep meaning to the lives of Hanoians.
Scroll down to learn more about this cultural destination.
Hanoi, formerly known as Thang Long ancient Citadel, was the capital of Vietnam throughout many dynasties. In the medieval period, there were 21 gates built to protect the people living inside.
As time passed and many wars took place, only a few gates remain until today, one of which is the Old East Gate.
The Old East Gate was built in 1749 under the reign of King Le Hien Tong. The gate was originally named Dong Ha - the gate to the east of the river. This name was taken from its location, which was only 80 meters away to the east of the Red River.
In 1873, the gate was renamed to commemorate the heroic people who sacrificed their lives to protect Hanoi from the French Army. Since then, it has been called O Quan Chuong (Quan Chuong means the military leader).
O Quan Chuong survived the two wars and remained standing until now.
O Quan Chuong in 19th century
As its name might suggest, the Old East Gate is to the east of the Old Quarters in Hanoi. It lies exactly at the intersection of Thanh Ha, Dao Duy Tu, Hang Chieu, and O Quan Chuong street.
The Old East Gate is in close proximity to Hoan Kiem Lake and Long Bien Bridge. In fact, it is only 500 meters away from Long Bien Bridge. Therefore, it is convenient for tourists to visit.
The Old East Gate is a typical example of Nguyen Dynasty architecture. It was mainly built upon brick and stone.
The gate has two floors. There is a main door and two doors on the side on the first floor, all of which embrace a vault style. The second floor is a pavilion, which served as an observation place for the guards in the past.
On the front of Old East Gate, you can see three Chinese characters indicating its former name - ‘Dong Ha Mon’.
O Quan Chuong at present
As mentioned above, Thang Long citadel used to be surrounded by 21 gates. However, almost all of them were destroyed by the war. The Old East Gate was the only remaining gate up to now, which makes it unique and worth your visit.
The people still live and cross the relic every day
There are many ways to get to the Old East Gate.
It is best to go there on foot as the streets are quite narrow and filled with vehicles. If you live far from the gate, consider going by bus or booking a Grab bike.
Of course, you can reach the Old East Gate by car, but it is not highly recommended. In addition to the narrow streets, you may have difficulty finding a parking spot there.
Visitors can combine visiting some famous spots nearby such as Thanh Ha market - the daily market of the capital's people, visitors can experience the daily life and activities of Hanoi people.
Hang Ma Street, not far away, visitors can visit the most beautiful street in Hanoi with many beautiful decorative products such as lanterns, postcards, specially prepared for the news year or Mid-autumn festival whole the street will be very colorful, attracting many tourists to visit every day.
Besides, visitors can visit Bach Ma Temple, Long Bien Bridge, and many attraction places in Hanoi Old Quarter.
Hang Ma street and Thanh Ha market
Do not forget these useful tips when visiting the Old East Gate.
· You can combine shopping near Dong Xuan market or around the old quarter
· Make sure to enjoy the local cuisine of Hanoi. There are many street food courts near the Old East Gate.
· Use Google Maps to avoid getting lost.
Old East Gate is a special relic in the old quarter, It not only has architectural beauty but also has historical significance as the capital of thousands of years of civilization.
If you have the opportunity to visit the capital, do not miss this wonderful destination. Go Viet Trip hope that you will have a safe, fun, and wonderful trip to Hanoi.
Author Hoan Nguyen
He has over 10 years of experience working in the tourism sector and operator. He has traveled to many places in Vietnam and around the world.
Photos: Go Viet Trip, Internet