Home Moc has established itself as a pillar of Vietnamese tradition, spreading the word of great Vietnamese cuisine throughout the world. This is obvious for anyone that comes to visit us. There are a few things that aren’t as well known, however. We’ve wholeheartedly embedded ourselves in Vietnamese tradition, from location to name, but here’s a few fun facts that you didn’t know.
1. French Quarter
One of the many benefits to our location is that we’re nestled right in the heart of Hanoi’s French Quarter. This area is sometimes referred to as the ‘little Paris’ of Hanoi. Full of grand French colonial buildings and located on the south-eastern end of the popular tourist spot, Hoan Kiem Lake, the French Quarter makes an ideal destination for many travelers looking to see the Vietnamese capital with a touch of class and sophistication.
During the French occupation in the 19th century, the colonizers constructed grand French villas. Unlike the pokey alleyways you’ll find in Hanoi’s Old Quarter, this area is full of broad, tree-lined streets.
2. The meaning of Moc
You might be wondering what the ‘Moc’ in ‘Home Moc’ means. ‘Moc’ in Vietnamese, translates to ‘wood’, and makes up one of the five elements of Chinese ‘chi’ – energy. These play a large role in Vietnamese culture, including how to eat.
The five elements are metal, wood, water, fire, and earth, each representing a major organ in the body. The belief is, in order to lead a healthy lifestyle, you’ll need to have the perfect balance of these five elements.
3. Union Park
When it comes to green space, Hanoi is somewhat lacking. Sitting opposite Home Moc is one of Hanoi’s few major parks, Union Park, also known as Thong Nhat Park, one of the nicer, more verdant areas. Union Park is an ideal, wide, open, airy space, perfect for relaxing, playing games, or studying outdoors. Union Park was once known as Lenin Park, but has since lost that title to Chi Lang flower garden, the new Lenin Park.
4. Swans in Thiền Quang Lake
In a bid to spruce up the park, the government introduced a flock of black and white Belgian swans into Hoan Kiem Lake in 2018. Following complaints by the local’s, however, who stated that they were too European and unsuitable for Hoan Kiem’s history and culture, the swans were soon moved from the focal point of Hanoi’s Old Quarter, to Thien Quang Lake, just a stone’s throw from Home Moc.
These days, the twelve swans, each valued at almost US$1,000, are said to be settling into their new environment very well. One expert specializing in Hoan Kiem Lake, however, stated that the swans are accustomed to living in cold areas, and cannot tolerate the heat of the summer. In other words, if you want to see a swan in Hanoi, do it soon, as they may not be around for long.
5. Art Deco around Thien Quang Lake
A walk around Thien Quang Lake will reward you, not only with the sight of some out of place swans, but perhaps the largest number of Hanoi’s art deco buildings, too.
Inspired by modern Bauhous designs, architects constructed a large number of art deco buildings in the 1930s. These were homes of intellectuals, artists, and diplomats throughout the last century. You’ll be able to find many of them by meandering around this lovely lake, not far from Home Moc.