Old Quarter of Hanoi primed for speculators
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
TribLive commenting policy
- Washington Post bureau chief charged with espionage in Iran
- ‘Groundhog Day’ musical to debut on London stage
- Navy aircraft carrier Roosevelt rushes to Yemen to block Iran’s arms
- Body of alleged aide to Saddam reported
- Saudi airstrike hits arms depot in Yemen
- Nazi guard’s trial ‘a gift’ for survivors
- 900 may have been killed in migrant boat disaster in Mediterranean
- Bomb in van kills UNICEF employees in Somalia
- Ethiopians shocked by Islamic State killings
- EU foreign ministers to meet after latest migrant tragedy
- Al-Qaida exploits chaos in Yemen, seizing weapons depot