Like the Minotaur's maze, the 36 streets that make up Hanoi's Old Quarter are famously difficult to navigate. This section of the city has a 1,000-year-old history of commerce and though much has changed, items are still sold by category with entire streets dedicated to single items. The Old Quarter was once walled off to discourage thieves, but the wall was torn down in the late 1800s. If you're a shopaholic you could do worse than browse Hanoi's Old Quarter.
History is laid out for all to see in Hanoi's famous Old Quarter. Get lost on purpose in its labyrinth of streets, chow down on fabulous street food such as Pho and shop until your credit card cries uncle in the Old Quarter's multitude of shops. There are more than 50 streets in this area first-named 'Hang' or literally 'merchandise', followed by a word that specifies what type of product the street specialises in. Thus, a street called Hang Gai would feature shops that sell silk. Don't let 1,000 years of history pass you by unnoticed. Get in there and explore everything that Hanoi's Old Quarter has to offer.