10 Best Tourist Attractions in Hanoi
10 Best Tourist Attractions in Hanoi – This capital city of Vietnam which ever become as North Vietnamese communist army’s headquarters. Today, it presents a educational and beautiful window into a country which is often visited through the Southern, Ho Chi Minh Tropical City, which once called Saigon. Where the South is beaches and palm trees, the North is tall, deep emerald waters full of pearl farms, sharp rocky mountains with many waterfalls, and a culture which is as unique as its beautiful.
Visiting Hanoi provides tourists with a amazing blend of East and West. There are bustling streets which are full of bicycles, cars and motorbikes, French Colonial relics and communist block buildings; and there are a lot of unique and fun attractions in Hanoi for the adventurous tourists.
1. One Pillar Pagoda
If Buddhists people were to build a tree house, it would likely look much like this. This eleventh century temple was built by an emperor of being grateful for finally had a son. One Pillar Pagoda was meant to be a lotus flower blossoming with a single pillar in the pool, it is similar to the one in the prophetic dream of a child which the emperor had given. There is a small shrine to the Bodhisattva of Mercy inside the building. Now its structure is a rebuild, since the French had destroyed it after they retreated from the country.
2. Hanoi’s West Lake
This is the largest urban lake which becomes a favorite area for tourists and Hanoi people alike. It is a place where the high-end homes of Hanoi’s wealthy people live, which contains a great number of restaurants, luxury shops, and hotels as well. It has been a favorite location for people here for thousands years, and is also as home to one of Hanoi’s four sacred monasteries, as well as the city’s oldest pagoda. Dating back to the sixth century, this pagoda can be found on an island in the middle of the lake. Shopping, Boating, and sightseeing along the boardwalk are regular activities here, and a worthy trip.
3. Thang Long Water Puppet Theater
This puppet theater celebrates a farmer art form which started in the rice paddies over a thousands of years ago. The puppets were simply carved and puppeteers stand in the water of the paddies, they use it as a prop, and act out traditional activities such as farming, or the legends of the emperor and golden turtle. The more modern version of it still continues using water and audience participation. Old-fashioned Vietnamese instruments would perform an opera which narrates the puppets’ actions, and the musicians will keep up with the puppets, encouraging the heroes and warning them of imminent threat. Audiences of the theater don’t need to brave the monsoon weather which would pour on the outdoor audiences, however they can sit and enjoy a meal while discovering this dramatical ancient art show.
4. Ho Chi Minh Maosoleum
Ho Chi Minh Maosoleum which is located in Ba Dinh square is the final resting place of Vietnamese communist leader, Ho Chi Minh. It is the place where he recite the nation’s declaration of independence in 1945. This tall and blocky-pillared building is designed after Lenin’s crypt in Moscow and it meant to evoke a traditional public house, despite to a lot of visitors it looks like a concrete small room with columns. Contrary to his wish for a simple cremation, the embalmed body of the communist leader is on display in a plexiglass casing, and a dress code of pants and long sleeves which is needed to visit. Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is closed for several months around the end of the year, when the body of the communist leader is taken to Russia for maintenance.
5. Ho Chi Minh Presedential House
There is a humble stilt house behind the Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, where Ho Chi Minh lived in the 60’s, despite some say that it would have been too risky for him to live here during the war. Ho Chi Minh Presedential House becomes as an interpretation of a traditional rural dwelling place, and it has been preserved once Ho abandoned the place. It is located in a well-tended garden beside a carp-filled pond. It shares grounds area with the much more impressive and extravagant a Presidential Palace which was built in the early 1900’s as a resident for the French Governor of the Indochina colony. These days, palace is used for official receptions and it is not open for public.
6. Hoa lo Prison
The Hoa Lo Prison which sarcastically labeled to the Hanoi Hilton by American POWs was actually built by the French to hold Vietnamese political prisoners. Later the Army of North Vietnam used the prison to hold war prisoners during the war of Vietnam. Well known figures such as Senator John McCain, Bud Day, and James Stockdale were just some of the a lot of prisoners of war who spent their time in this prison. The two thirds of the prison was torn down to provide way for the building of Hanoi Towers, and the rest of it became a museum and it becomes a popular tourist attraction in Hanoi now. Hilton Hotel opened in Hanoi in 1999, and was named into Hilton Hanoi Opera Hotel.
7. Vietnam Museum Ethnology
Like the other colonial regions which were united by the rule of Europe, Vietnam is actually a coagulation of 54 different officially known ethnic groups. Vietnam Museum Ethnology is meant to give a better understanding of each of it, and it does so elegantly. It is imperially believed to be the best modern museum in Vietnam. The displays inside the museum include everyday objects, a combination of art, and historic artifacts which meant tell the story of every unique culture.
8. Temple of Literature
Temple of Literature is one of Confucius’ temples, and as a home of the first university in the country. Firstly built in 1070, the temple was meant to honor all the scholars. These days, there are calligraphists coming and write good will wishes in Han letters during Asian New Year at the temple’s steps, to give as presents. Temple of Literature was built to replicate birthplace of Confucius, with the five court fields and various temples and some other buildings located throughout the vast grounds. Of special script are the Stelae of Doctors, a collection of over one hundred carved blue stone turtles, which are meant to honor the names of those who pass the royal exams.
9. Hanoi’s Old Quarter
Hanoi’s Old Quarter becomes a hole of the new and the old, since antique narrow roads snake between the traditional brick buildings, covered with street vendors and modern motorbikes. This Hanoi’s region is a integration of ancient temples and French Colonial architecture, and placed along Hoan Kiem Lake ‘s shore. It becomes the center of plenty tourist attractions in Hanoi, from temples to its street market to the water puppet show. Since the quarter was modeled around the market, you will find that the roads here are named for the kind of products which were once sold along the sidewalks, from wood to paper to silver.
10. Hoan Kiem Lake
Hoan Kiem Lake is known as the lake of the returned sword, the lake marks the ancient Hanoi’s historical center. The name of it derived from a legend about Emperor Le Loi who was given a magical sword by the gods, he used it to drive out the Chinese invasion. Later, while taking a boat on the lake, he met a giant turtle, which then grabbed his sword and carried it down to the depth of the lake, Every morning at 6 am the locals practice traditional T’ai Chi on its shore. The lake also becomes the houses Jade Island, which is home of the eighteenth century Jade Mountain’s Monastery. This island is accessible through the picturesque and red-painted Morning Sunlight Bridge.