The name “Hang Gai” means “store of hemp”, since the street originally specialized in providing hemp products like rope and hammock. It is set on the edge of Ha Noi Old Quarter near Hoan Kiem Lake. With the length of around 250 meters, the boisterous street is lined with fashion boutiques and local tailor shops that have been operating for decades. Most of them offer ready-to-wear pieces or tailor-made outfit in silk and embroidery, silk materials, traditional Vietnamese apparel and home furnishings.
Aside from boutiques and tailor shops, Hang Gai Street also has a number of souvenir shops selling notebooks, lamps and postcards as well as prominent art galleries. There are stalls, tailors, vendors and art galleries with a backdrop of traditional and modern Vietnamese architecture; colorful scarves, traditional and contemporary shirts and dresses are on storefronts, along with Vietnamese hats and paper lanterns on the walls. This is also a massive hangout for the locals. A lot of young people and families gather here during the weekends.
Hang Gai used to have two communal houses; now only Co Vu Communal House remains. It is located at No. 85 of the street, and worships Linh Lang, one of the gods who protect the capital city. An old a banyan tree with tangled roots stands outside of the house; there are sometimes offerings, incense sticks and rice wine at this spiritually symbolic tree.
Co Vu Communal House (source: mytour.vn)