Located within Hanoi Old Quarter the ancient house at 87 Ma May street which was built in the late of the 20th century, is quite intact with typical architecture of ancient houses.
Hanoi Ancient House is one of the very few old houses where tourists can have a better understanding of the lifestyle and daily activities of ancient Hanoians. This is one of the cultural addresses that tourists cannot ignore when visiting Hanoi Old Quarter.
Ma May Ancient House was constructed around the 19th century and identified to be about 110 years old. Shopkeepers’ families lived there selling rice successfully until 1945 when a family from the north bought it to sell herbal medicine. After the Northern family moved out, there were 5 families living there until 1999 when the government bought the house, restored, and kept it as a tourist attraction.
The house consists of two main blocks linked together by a square yard in the middle on the ground floor, and a small balcony on the 1st floor. The yard is included at the center of the building to moderate the air, provide the house with sunlight and cool winds. The balcony above is an ideal place to put small plants, flower pots for the owner’s interest and relaxation.
The room on the ground floor which is street- front is used for selling goods, and the room on the next floor is the living room to host the guests and worship the ancestor also. The room which is behind and linked to the living room by a balcony is a bedroom. On the ground floor, all behind space is for production activities, then kitchen and bathroom. All the walls in the house were painted with typical yellow color like other ancient houses, and all furniture and decoration items are reserved in good condition.
At the far end of the house is the place for the kitchen, washroom, and storage. This part is relatively flat, only has the ground floor and no roof for direct sunlight into the house.
Today, the ancient house is open for tourists to come here and see how ancient Hanoian lived, There are also Vietnamese traditional decoration items and souvenirs sold in the front building for tourists to buy.
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