Introduction to Hanoi, Vietnam
The capital city of Vietnam, Hanoi, is a unique city. It’s the second largest city after Ho Chi Minh City. But apart from a recent construction boom, the colonial and post-War era infrastructure has been left virtually untouched by modernization. The old buildings and streets, along with the relaxed lifestyle of the people of Hanoi, can make you feel like as if you have stepped back in time. Hanoi has been in existence for more than a thousand years. The ancient temples, citadels, and unique theaters will whisper the rich history of Hanoi in your ears if you care to listen. The enchanting wilderness surrounding the city will comfort your soul.
Below, you’ll find some of the best places to visit in Hanoi:
Hanoi Old Quarter
The Old Quarter is an old merchant area that lends Hanoi its unique rustic and quaint character. This part of Hanoi still has the old layout and many of the old streets, giving off the impression as if the passing decades just ignored this part of the world. A unique blend of French colonial and ancient Vietnamese arthitecture gives the Old Quarter a character of its own. You can go treasure hunting in its narrow merchant streets with shops that sell the most mind-bogglingly random things you can imagine, while thousands of motorbikes criss-cross the streets in a way that happens only in Vietnam, with old power lines looming over your head like ginormous bird nests. Simply walk around and soak in the lovely uniqueness of the Old Quarter of Hanoi. And don’t forget to sip on the iconic Egg Coffee!
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
Ho Chi Minh is revered in Vietnam as the country’s greatest leader because of his great contributions towards building the nation. Affectionately referred to as ‘Uncle Ho’ by the locals, Ho Chi Minh’s mortal remains are preserved in a glass case in the Ba Dinh area of Hanoi. This mausoleum has been fashioned after Lenin’s mausoleum in Moscow. It’s not just a tourist attraction, but an integral part of Hanoi’s living history.
Hanoi Opera House
Situated at the heart of the French Quarter, the Hanoi Opera House is one of the most beautiful buildings of Hanoi. It was build in 1911, and its Parisian charm bears testimony to the fact that it was modelled after the Paris Opera House. You can enjoy classicial peformances by both Vietnamese as well international artists in the Hanoi Opera House.
Temple of Literature
The Temple of Literature stands proudly in the centre of Hanoi as a symbol of Vietnam’s commitment towards learning. This charming temple complex was originally built to act as a centre of learning dedicated to Confucius. With the passage of time, it has turned into a large area filled with a rich garden, shrines and pavillions. This temple complex is steeped in Vietnamese history, owing to its existence of more than a thousand years.
Hoan Kiem Lake
A trip to Hanoi would be incomplete without a leisurely stroll around the Hoan Kiem Lake, which is also known as the Turtle Lake. This beautiful lake is a central feature of Hanoi. Locals and tourists alike use it as a hangout spot throughout the day. There’s a temple named Ngoc Son Temple built on a small island in middle of the lake, which is linked by a bridge.