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Hanoi Ancient House at 87 Ma May Street

Ma May’s ancient house, a beacon of Hanoi’s architectural heritage, stands tall in the city’s bustling Old Quarter. 

This historic gem showcases the traditional “tube house” structure and is a testament to Hanoi’s rich cultural tapestry. 

Let’s step back in time and explore the story of this remarkable abode:

A Glimpse into the Past

Constructed in the 19th century, Ma May ancient house has witnessed the ebb and flow of history. 

Initially built for residential and commercial purposes, the house has changed hands multiple times. 

Despite these transitions, the house’s original structure has been lovingly preserved, offering visitors a glimpse into Hanoi’s storied past.

Resilience Amid Change

Over the years, Ma May ancient house has been home to various occupants, including a renowned rice trader and a medicine businessman. 

Despite changing ownership, the house has remained steadfast, thanks to the concerted efforts of its owners and the government. 

Today, the house stands as a testament to resilience and preservation.

A Tapestry of Architecture

The architecture of Ma May ancient house reflects the traditional “tube house” style prevalent in Hanoi during its construction. 

The house symbolizes prosperity and fortune with its narrow front and broader back. 

The house features two main floors, a central courtyard, and a small mezzanine, each serving a distinct purpose in the daily life of its inhabitants.

Stepping into the Past

Upon stepping into Ma May Ancient House, you’ll be welcomed by a delightful courtyard adorned with bonsai trees, creating a serene oasis perfect for unwinding.

The interior blends wood, ceramic, and bamboo furnishings, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. 

Each room tells a story, from the bustling goods display area to the serene bedrooms and worship corner.

A Cultural Hub

In addition to its architectural significance, Ma May Ancient House is a vibrant cultural center, offering a venue for various local activities and performances.

From traditional handicraft displays to folk music performances, the house offers visitors a deeper understanding of Vietnam’s rich cultural heritage.

Timeless Beauty

Ma May ancient house received national heritage certification in 2004, further solidifying its status as a cultural treasure. 

The house’s preservation efforts continue to this day, ensuring that future generations can enjoy its timeless beauty and historical significance.

Visit Ma May Ancient House

Ma May ancient house is a must-visit destination for travelers seeking a glimpse into Hanoi’s rich history and culture. 

Step inside and embark on a journey through time, exploring this remarkable architectural gem’s storied halls and tranquil courtyards.

Hanoi Ancient House at 87 Ma May Street
Ma May Ancient House
Location87 Ma May, Hanoi Old Quarter
Construction19th century
ArchitectureTraditional “tube house” structure
  • Two main floors
  • Central courtyard
  • Small mezzanine
SignificanceNational Heritage certification in 2004
Cultural Activities
  • Local cultural activities
  • Mid-autumn festival events
  • Traditional handicraft displays
  • Folk music performances
Current UseTourist attraction

The oldest building in Hanoi is Bach Ma Temple, believed to have been initially constructed in the 9th century.

Houses in Hanoi are often narrow due to historical and cultural reasons.

In the past, houses were taxed based on their width, which led to the construction of narrow but deep houses to minimize taxes.

Another reason is the traditional Vietnamese belief in “feng shui,” which emphasizes harmony with the surrounding environment.

Narrow houses were thought to be more conducive to maintaining a balance between the elements and bringing good luck to the occupants.

Additionally, the narrow layout allows for better ventilation and natural light, which is essential in Vietnam’s hot and humid climate.


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