Hao Nam Street is a place worth visiting in Hanoi if you are a music lover. It is about 3.6 kilometers far from the Old Quarter. The best way to get there is to take a motor/car uber.
Hao Nam Street is a traditional yet popular street for musical instruments. The street also gathers all the top-notch musicians and excellent students majoring in music since there is an outstanding school named Vietnam National Academy of Music (Học Viện Âm Nhạc Quốc Gia Việt Nam) located in between the music shops.
There are hundreds of big and small music stores along the side streets and back alleys as well as hidden corners. Thousands of guitars are lining the walls of the stores.
In Hao Nam musical street, it is not hard to catch sight of colorful-haired rockers, artistic music players, high school and college music students picking up their instruments with parents and friends. The shop clerks engage in lively discussions and happily demonstrate a variety of accessories and instruments, from guitar, violin, cello, piano, flute to Vietnam’s traditional instruments such as bamboo flute, bau luthier (đàn bầu), 16-string-zither (đàn tranh), Vietnamese violin (đàn nhị) or even t’rung (a Ba Na ethical instrument from Tay Nguyen).
What is interesting in this local musical instrument shopping street – Hao Nam is that the customers can bargain the price. It is even considered as rules here. “Never accept the price in the first place” is what we often tell each other. If you plan to buy some instruments in Hao Nam, you should be very careful checking out them to even the smallest details and prices. It is best to go with locals though.
Photos taken by Tu Vu