Located just a few meters from Hanoi’s iconic Hoan Kiem Lake, Luong Van Can stands as one of the two primary toy destinations in the city, along with Hang Ma Street.
The rich and captivating history
|Luong Van Can Street in the old days.|
During the 1930s, a direct road connecting Hang Quat Street and Hoan Kiem Lake was constructed as part of the Le Quy Don Street. This road spanned 300 meters, from Hang Bo Street to Le Thai To Street. Following the significant event in 1954, when Hanoi was freed from French occupation, the name of the street was changed to Luong Van Can Street.
Luong Van Can, also known as On Nhu, was a determined Vietnamese scholar born in Nhi Khe Village, Thuong Tin District, Ha Tay Province (now part of Hanoi). He successfully undertook the Huong exam in 1874, an inter-provincial Confucian exam. Although offered positions on the Hanoi Municipal Council by the French colonialists, Luong Van Can chose to decline both appointments and instead established a school in his hometown.
In March 1907, Luong Van Can, along with a group of devoted Confucianists, founded Dong Kinh Nghia Thuc (Tonkin Free School) and assumed the role of principal. The primary mission of the school was to foster the modernization of Vietnamese society by breaking away from traditional Confucianism and embracing progressive concepts from Western countries and Japan. Additionally, the school aimed to actively support nationalist movements led by influential figures such as Phan Boi Chau and Phan Chu Trinh.
The school operated legally for several months before its closure in November. In 1913, the French authorities held the school leaders responsible for the bombing of Hanoi Hotel and subsequently arrested them. Luong Van Can was expelled to Nam Vang, known as Phnom Penh today, in Cambodia, and was released in 1921. He passed away six years later at house No.4 Hang Dao Street, after reminding his children to preserve the essence of our nation and seek justice for our national humiliation.
Artist: Phong Hoang
Description: “Luong Van Can Street” is a captivating watercolor painting created by the talented artist, Phong Hoang. This remarkable artwork depicts the picturesque scenery of Luong Van Can Street, beautifully capturing its vibrant atmosphere and unique character. The impeccable use of watercolors adds depth and richness to the composition, making it truly enchanting to behold. Phong Hoang’s artistic prowess shines through in this exquisite piece, showcasing his mastery of the watercolor medium. Experience the essence of Luong Van Can Street and immerse yourself in its beauty through this stunning watercolor painting.
The Best Cultural, Historical, and Travel Destinations
Luong Van Can Street is renowned for its rich historical significance in relation to Hanoi. Additionally, it offers a plethora of captivating cultural attractions that both locals and international tourists can delight in.
Nowadays, the headquarters of Dong Kinh Nghia Thuc can be found at two locations: No.10 Hang Dao Street and No.17 Luong Van Can Street. Close by, at No.6A Luong Van Can Street, is the Xuan Yen Temple, dedicated to Lady Nguyen Quan. At the junction of Luong Van Can and Hang Quat streets, you will find the Xuan Phien Thi Communal House, which belongs to the Dao Xa villagers from An Thi District, Hung Yen Province. The name “Xuan Phien Thi” refers to the Spring Handheld Fan Market, as this area used to be a hub for merchants from various localities during every hand fan fair.
Located just a short distance from Xuan Yen Communal House, you will find the esteemed residence of Thong Sang. This historic house holds significance as it was once the prestigious Kinh Ky Hi Vien, the inaugural Hat Tuong theater in Hanoi, established in 1910. Additionally, at 31-33 Luong Van Can Street stands the Thang Long Theater, formerly known as Ciné Tonkinois, the first cinema in the city and renowned for showcasing detective films.
|Conjunction of Hang Gai and Luong Van Can Street in the 1990s. File Photo|
Upon arriving at the street, visitors will be greeted by a multitude of glittery toy kiosks lining both sides of the road. These stalls boast an impressive array of toys, ranging from Vietnamese traditional toys to Chinese imports, Lego sets, robots, battery-powered vehicles, and dolls. The sheer abundance and variety of toys create a visually overwhelming experience, as if the sky itself has descended upon the vibrant street.
Luong Van Can Street: Your Destination for Quality Children’s Toys and Traditional Ao dai
Hanoian children have long anticipated special occasions such as birthdays, International Children’s Day, Mid-Autumn Festival, and Christmas. These moments hold great excitement as they are taken by their parents to the beloved Luong Van Can Street, a dreamland filled with toys – new companions and whole new worlds. Amidst the bustling scenes and occasional traffic jams, this street remains a favorite destination for families.
Luong Van Can Street offers a delightful experience, catering to both children seeking entertainment and mothers and sisters interested in Vietnamese traditional long dress (Ao dai) tailoring.
|Luong Van Can is also a renowned street for children’s toys in Hanoi. Photo: Me Boi|
According to legend, in the 10th century during the reign of King Dinh Tien Hoang, there was a remarkably talented and intelligent woman known as the Fourth Queen – Nguyen Thi Sen. She was renowned for her ability to design and create exquisite costumes for the royal family. Additionally, she established a team of highly skilled tailors within the imperial palace. Following the king’s passing, she relocated to Trach Xa Village, which is now situated in Ung Hoa District, Hanoi. In her village, she imparted her expertise in the art of tailoring, thus earning the esteemed title of “godmother of tailoring.”
Notable artisans hailing from the village include Ta Van Khuat. Even at the young age of 30, Khuat skillfully crafted splendid costumes for Emperor Bao Dai and Empress Nam Phuong. Remarkably, Khuat accomplished this feat with minimal access to the royal couple, having been restricted to taking their measurements from a distance.
In 1983, Ly Khoan, also known as “Pho Dui” or “The Awl-Using Craftsman”, became the first villager from Trach Xa to establish a tailor shop in the capital city. The shop, named My Trach, is located at 6B Luong Van Can Street. This marked the beginning of a trend, as other shops soon opened along the same street, such as An Trach, Binh Trach, Dong Trach, Hung Trach, Phuc Trach, and Hung Trach, just to name a few. The use of the word “Trach” in the names of these shops is a tribute to the renowned dressmaking tradition of Trach Xa Village.
|Vinh Trach Ao dai shop in Luong Van Can Street. Photo: Ao dai Vinh Trach|
In recent times, a variety of contemporary Ao dai tailoring establishments have emerged, catering to the preferences of the younger demographic. These shops, such as Bao Thanh, Ha Cuc, and Phuong Thao, have incorporated modern elements into their designs. Moreover, in close proximity on the same street and neighboring Hang Bo Street, numerous stores offer garment tools, an array of fabrics, and a wide selection of vibrant colors, harmoniously complementing the lively atmosphere of the area.
When it comes to street food, one can find a bustling row of Banh bao or steamed bun stalls located on the even-numbered side of Luong Van Can Street, particularly during the evenings. On the opposite odd-numbered side, there are shops that offer a variety of noodles and dumpling wrappers. Furthermore, this vibrant street intersects with Hang Hanh Alley, which boasts an abundance of charming cafes and cozy small hotels.
Luong Van Can Street, located in the vibrant city of Hanoi, offers a plethora of captivating stories and products that make it an ideal destination for tourists. This enchanting street caters to a diverse range of visitors, including families, female travelers, and those with a keen interest in cultural history.
|The Note Coffee in Luong Van Can Street. Photo courtesy of the Cafe.|