The Old Quarter: a maze of ‘36 Streets'

exploration
The Old Quarter: a maze of ‘36 Streets'

Hold your breath before crossing the narrow streets of the Old Quarter. Proceed slowly but surely. Though motorcyclists often ride on the sidewalks, they won't knock you over.

North of the lake, between the river and the citadel, this lively neighbourhood was one of the main bastions of resistance in the colonial era. It is still the heart of the city. Different artisanal trades have gathered together here in these 36 quaint streets since the 13th century. Names like Bamboo Basket Street and Tin Street no longer exclusively reflect the kinds of craftsmen in these streets; nonetheless, the spirit of camaraderie still lives on because stores that specialise in similar things gravitate towards each other. Thus, what was formerly known as Hemp Street has now been taken over by silk-fabric shops. The ‘Street of Oil Sellers' now hosts shoe stores. The street spectacle in the Old Quarter is unique and fascinating. Lose yourself in the neighbourhood while exploring, but remember to obey the rules of the road…