TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Old Quarter of Hanoi primed for speculators

About The Tribune-Review
The Tribune-Review can be reached via e-mail or at 412-321-6460.
Contact Us | Video | Photo Reprints

Daily Photo Galleries


By The Associated Press

Published: Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, 5:24 p.m.

HANOI — Tourists, hawkers and motorcyclists rub shoulders every morning in the congested alleyways of Hanoi's low-rise Old Quarter, which seems generations away from the office towers and electronics megastores springing up in other parts of the Vietnamese capital.

The quarter's street grid, laid out in the 15th century, is dominated by dilapidated shops selling everything from brass gongs to bamboo scaffolding.

It is among Asia's best-preserved urban hubs of traditional commerce — thanks largely to decades of inattention. The 203-acre downtown area is crammed with Buddhist temples, pagodas and French colonial shophouses, whose original tiles and peeling paint have become a draw for foreign visitors.

With property values high, this neighborhood could change dramatically in the coming years as similar ones have in Singapore, Shanghai and many other cities. Authorities want to begin gentrifying the Old Quarter by relocating 6,200 households by 2020.

Some of them are nervous about being exiled to the city's dusty margins and of being forced to accept a bad deal from a communist government that has generated discontent by forcing people off their land with compensation far below market rates.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. Afghan officials say detainment of Taliban commander thwarts peace process
  2. Seabed data analyzed; oil discounted
  3. Expert witness for Pistorius blistered again
  4. Chaos prevailed on bridge as South Korean ferry listed, crewman says
  5. Putin’s national address to Russians raises fears of possible incursion into southeastern Ukraine
  6. U.S. to release $450M for Iran
  7. Missing plane’s black box batteries feared to have died
  8. Russian military spending increases
  9. Death toll in South Korean ferry sinking likely to drastically climb
  10. Ukraine leaders fuel resentment in reluctant east
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.