Ma May Ancient House in Hanoi is part of a heritage collection within Hanoi’s Old Quarter. The house was built in the 19th Century and was officially recognized as part of the Vietnamese National Heritage in 2004. Read on to learn about what is inside the Ma May Ancient House in Hanoi, as well as hearing more about its history and past occupants.
Ma May Ancient House in Hanoi Overview
Ma May House is located on Ma May Street in the Hoan Kiem District in Hanoi. The building blends in well with the other properties, so it may at first be difficult to spot. Once you look closer, the traditional design and dark wooden front of the house will stand out as an ancient building.
Ma May Ancient House in Hanoi is recognizable by its dark wooden exterior
Address: 87 Ma May street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Opening hours: 8 AM to 5 PM from Monday – Friday, then 8 AM to 10 PM on Saturday and Sunday
Entrance fee: VND 10,000
Current Usage of Ma May Ancient House in Hanoi
The Ma May Ancient House in Hanoi is currently open as a site of Vietnamese cultural heritage, being part of the five networked locations in the Hanoi Old Quarter. You will have an insight into the everyday life of Hanoi’s tradespeople and will learn more about Vietnamese culture and history. The house is an interesting place for tourists to visit, but also a site of interest for local historians, photographers, and students within Hanoi.
There are lots to learn about Vietnam’s past and present, with information about important parts of the Ma May Ancient House in Hanoi
Cultural and Historical Aspects of Ma May Ancient House in Hanoi
Ma May Ancient House in Hanoi has a fascinating history, having changed ownership many times since it’s construction. The area has historically been a center of business for local and foreign traders and has now become a popular tourist area. Befitting this past, the Ancient House stands amongst many modern-day traders and artisans, attracting locals and tourists.
The House is in the Old Quarter where many locals and tourists visit each day
The city center has always been a trade and commerce hub, and the house has been home to many families with traditional occupations in Vietnam. It has been home to grocers, tailors, traditional doctors, and state officials. The Ma May Ancient House was a home for many shopkeepers until 1945 when it became home to a family selling Chinese medicines.
Books on Vietnamese history, culture, and traditional medicine are for sale in Ma May Ancient House in Hanoi
Part of the house tells the story of an ancient folk tale in Vietnam, signifying the sacred place of family in the home. The story tells of the tragedy between a young married couple and is told as a reminder of loyalty and care.
Ma May Ancient House in Hanoi’s Structure
The structure of the house covers all the basics, but the style stands out as traditional. The house is a rectangular shape with an open-air square column in the center. The first floor has an entrance hall and an open-air garden with a drainage system.
The house has an open central column with a lowered floor to drain rainwater
The next room is a dining room, with tables and chairs, wooden cabinets and ornaments. After this room is another small garden area and kitchen which then leads on to the water closet. The ovens are often still fired so you will have a sensory experience in smelling the burning fires for cooking.
The kitchen area shows how families would prepare meals before modern methods became popular
The large oven was built outdoors, perhaps to prevent the wooden structure from burning
Upstairs, there is a large shrine within the first room where the family would worship, an important part of daily life. If you are interested in finding out more about places of worship in Vietnam, read our blog 8 Amazing Vietnam Pagodas You Have to See.
From the shrine room, you have access to the balcony overlooking the lower garden. In the next room, you will see a bedroom with a large wooden bed and other typical parts of a bedroom – robes, artworks and ornaments, and more cabinets. At the back of the second floor is another garden and you will have a view of neighboring houses and the clay-tiled roof.
The bedroom was the largest room in the house
There is plenty of indoor and outdoor spaces in the house, which is mostly made of wooden beams and a red-tiled roof
Details and Ornamentation in Ma May Ancient House in Hanoi
There are many eye-catching and intriguing ornaments inside the Ma May Ancient House in Hanoi which reveal more about its history. The first thing to catch your eye is a wooden table with detailed wooden chairs, set up for a Vietnamese tea service in the entrance hall.
Other decorations within the house include:
- Ceramic vases
- Ornaments of men in traditional dress
- Wooden cabinets
- Many potted plants
- A bed
- A shrine for worship
The bedroom in Ma May Ancient House is home to many relics of the past
Ornaments in the house are reminders of classical Vietnamese history
Conclusion on Ma May Ancient House in Hanoi
The Ma May Ancient House in Hanoi is definitely worth a visit if you are in the Old Quarter, and stepping into this living piece of history should take no more than an hour from your day. With such an affordable entrance fee, you will learn more about Hanoi’s history than you expect.
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