Ever since the reunification of the North and the South Vietnam in 1976, Hanoi has been the cultural capital of Vietnam, the center of economics, politics, society and it still is. From a cozy coffee shop hidden in the corner of narrow streets to the emerging modern skyscrapers, Hanoi truly masters at knowing how to welcome the modernity while still remaining its authentic and original values.
When it comes to discover Hanoi- the capital of Vietnam, you are sure not to get bored, from a numerous historical and beautiful places; aging temples and pagodas to valuable French architecture buildings lying throughout the city. A dash of old and new available everywhere seems to blend in with each other perfectly. An interesting thing is that almost all of tourist attractions are relatively close to each other which makes it incredibly easy to wander around. Therefore, taking a walking tour or a cyclo ride even a motorbike tour is not a bad choice to explore the beauty of Hanoi. You can start at the very first national university of Vietnam- the Temple of Literature which can be found in Van Mieu-Quoc Tu Giam street. Besides its impressive meaning, the Temple of Literature is also a place where people worship Confusius resulting in a plenty of students usually come to the Temple, rubbing stone tortoises’ head for luck before their examinations with sacred belief. Only about 3km from this symbolic temple, you can head to Hoan Kiem lake located right in the center of Hanoi, a majestic lake with big green trees surrounding, vividly shining under the sunlight and becoming an inspiration for many artist. Apart from its beauty, the lake also relates to a legend that embraces in every single Vietnamese’s soul and heart. The lake itself is like a living thing with a personality that changes continuously with the hour and the season. Taking a walk around the lake, you can see Ngoc Son temple sitting on an islet lead to by a lovely red bridge.
Now you can partly picture Hanoi in your mind, the capital that is combined between antique and modern features. It can be more clearly seen when you wander along 36 streets in the Old Quarter which represents you with small aged streets selling specific commodities and ancient tube houses constructed since the 19th century. In addition, the ancient beauty of Hanoi also can be spotted in the antique citadel and the Cathedral church built by the French nearby. One more location that you should not miss when traveling to Hanoi is Ba Dinh Square, where president Ho Chi Minh presented the Independent Declaration on the September 2nd, 1945. If you can make it to be here, it is no doubt that you get inside and pay a quick visit to Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Complex.
To get to know more about Hanoi, visitors should spend one or two days on reaching several other well-known sites such as the Ethnology, Military, History, Women, etc museums; West Lake; Hoa Lo prison; etc. Alternatively, travelers can also take a bike trip to the suburban of Hanoi, visiting a numerous of traditional villages for instance the Ceramic village; Dong Ho painting village; Duong Lam ancient village; Ngu Xa bronze-making , Phu Do noodle-making, Yen Phu incense, and Ngoc Ha flower villages, etc.
Things to do
Hardly does anyone travel without trying out amazing cuisine on their way and Hanoi’s food is not an exception. On the other hand, Hanoi is a melting pot of delicious and affordable street food, there are food stands available at almost every street’s corner, especially in the Old Quarter and nearby universities or local markets. Hanoi’s cuisine in particular or Northern food at large is heavily influenced by China which explains the abundance of noodles. However; Hanoi’s cuisine still shines its own light by featuring a combination of natural and fresh ingredients with the balance between fresh herbs, meats and a selective use of spices to reach the featured taste. Even though the climate in the North is more moderate resulting in the using of less herbs than the South, tourists should not mistake the modest topping for the lack of favor.
After your main meal with Hanoi’s specialities such as a steaming bow of Pho, bun cha (noodle with grilled meat); banh cuon (steamed rice pancake roll) or xoi (sticky rice), it is customary to chill out in a plastic stools on the pavement with some tra da (iced tea) or have some chit chat with your friends with a glass of cha tranh (lemon iced tea) in front of the Cathedral; a small cup of egg coffee or a sip of Vietnamese iced coffee with condense milk. Nibbling some sunflower seeds, watching the hustling, bustling city moving on and enjoying a truly Hanoian experience.
Tours From Hanoi
Welcome escape this rustle city you could plane trips to travelling paradise in the north such as Halong Bay and Sapa. For Halong Bay Tours you should book 1 day, 2 days & 3 days cruises in Privacy or Group Tours base on your schedule. Besides Halong Bay Cruise Tours you can’t help getting a trip to Sapa if you have the time, where your feeling touches infinity with mountain and cloud meeting a point. Get a night train or bus to go here.