Hanoi is the capital of Socialist Republic of Vietnam. It’s located along the Red River Delta, in the center of North of Vietnam. In addition, Hanoi is the center of economics, politics and culture of the whole country.
It is high recommendation that you visit Hanoi when you come Vietnam. Hanoi is remarkable with 18 beautiful lakes and more than 600 pagodas and temples. Throughout the thousand years of destruction by wars and climate, Hanoi still preserves its own traditional characteristics.
Now, let us go to see several beautiful and ancient sites in Hanoi:
Hoan Kiem Lake
Hoan Kiem Lake or Sword Lake is not only a symbol of culture, history of the capital but also a favorite destination of domestic and foreign tourists while traveling in Hanoi. Also, the Lake is a peaceful destination in the heart of a busy city. Here, visitors can join the local chess players, stroll around the lake or relax under the green trees.
The first name of this lake was Luc Thuy Lake, which meant the fresh green color of water. The name of “Hoan Kiem Lake” was based on the legend that Le Loi King returned the precious sword to the Turtle God after defeating Chinese invader.
Hoan Kiem Lake is famous for an unique temple or a very beautiful bridge. In the middle of the lake is Ngoc Son Temple with the majestic appearance. Tourists can visit the temple by a red bridge named The Huc Bridge. The The Huc River looks very beautiful with a symbol of a big red shrimp.
Near Hoan Kiem Lake, you can join Thang Long Water Puppet Theater, a very specific type of art that is only in Vietnam. This traditional puppet theater brings to the audience the colorful performances of traditional arts. In addition, visitors can go hiking on the walking street to relax on weekend days.
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is one of the most attractive sites in the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi. It is the final resting place of the first president of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh. Ho Chi Minh, as known a nickname of Uncle Ho, was the greatest leader of the struggle for the national independence. His balsam body is preserved in the cool, central hall of the mausoleum, which is protected by military guards.
Going inside the mausoleum, tourists can feel solemn and quiet atmosphere. Tourists should dress with respect (no shorts, sleeveless shirts and miniskirts) and leave bags outside. No cameras are allowed inside the mausoleum.
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum started building in 1973 and first opened to the public in 1975. Themausoleum is 21.6 meters high and 41.2 meters wide. The mausoleum is built of gray granite, the interiors are gray, black and red polished stone.
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is located in Ba Dinh Square, which is divided into 240 squares of green grass. There are almost 250 plants and flowers around the mausoleum and gardens. Not far away, you can visit other sites: House on Silts, Ho Chi Minh museum and One Pillar Pagoda.
Address: No. 08 Hung Vuong Street, Dien Bien Ward, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi
Opening hours: Tuesday – Thursday 07:30 – 10:30, Saturday & Sunday 07:30 – 11:00
Temple of Literature
Temple of Literature was the first university of Vietnam. It is not only a famous historical monument in Hanoi, but also contains characteristics of feudal periods in Vietnam. In addition, Temple of Literature preserves the traditional values of a heroic country, Vietnam.
Temple of Literature was built in the year 1070 in the reign of King Ly Thanh Tong to worship Confucianism.Then, it became the place for examinations, aiming to foster and train talents to become the officials to serve the country.
The first examination took place in 1075 under the reign of King Ly Nhan Tong. After that, the feudal dynasties inherited to organize competitions, attracting many students. Later, the manner of organizing exams and teaching at Temple of Literature was also renovated and improved.
Temple of Literature is quite complex, spreading along 54,331 square meters of area. The temple consists of many small architectural works, harmoniously located in the campus. Each of the works has its own impressive characteristics.
Nowadays, Temple of Literature is no longer the place of training. The temple attracts a large number of domestic and international visitors when they come to visit Hanoi. Also, it is the place to praise excellent students, or wish a high points in each national exam.
Address: No. 58 Quoc Tu Giam Street, Van Mieu Ward, Dong Da District, Hanoi
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 8:30 – 11:30 & 13:30 – 16:30
Bat Trang Pottery Village
Bat Trang, which experienced history of seven centuries of pottery production, is an interesting attraction in Hanoi that tourists should not ignore.
With the location of rich clay, the village has advantages of ingredients to create fine ceramics. Bat Trang ceramics are mostly daily household, such as bows, cups, plates, pots, and bottles. Bat Trang’s ceramics are not only popular for domestic market but foreign markets, as well.
Perfume Pagoda has a local nameas Chua Huong or ‘inner temple’. Perfume Pagoda consists of ancient works with unique appearance and caves formed as a result of the natural movement.The tourist complex also includes dozens of Buddhist pagodas and HuongTich Cave… worshiping agriculture beliefs.
Perfume Pagoda Festival lasts from 6th January to 30th March according to the Lunar Calendar. It is very crowded during the festival time because many people come here to worship a happy year. However, besides this time, tourists can feel peaceful atmosphere when visiting here.
The journey to the Perfume Pagoda is itself an interesting experience. Located about 70km from Hanoi,it takes tourists about two hoursto get there. Then, you will take one hour by boat to reach the Pagoda. HuongTich Cave is the highest site that you go by wire cable or by foot.