10 Top Tourist Attractions in Hanoi
Hanoi is a capital and locates at the North of Vietnam. This is a largest city about nature square meter and the second biggest city after Ho Chi Minh city (Saigon).Vietnam however is also a country with a long history and ancient traditions. It has many historic attractions and old temples. Hanoi is home to a large number of must-see attractions.
Whether travelers appreciate captivating scenery, serene Buddhist temples, or bustling city markets
A visit to Hanoi provides travelers with a fascinating blend of East and West. Following is an overview of 10 Top Tourist Attractions in Hanoi by touropia.com
1. Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Ba Dinh Square is one of the most visited attractions in Hanoi. It is the final resting place of Ho Chi Minh, the most iconic and popular leader of Vietnam, known to his people as ‘Uncle Ho’. His body is preserved here in a glass case at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in central Hanoi
For visitors, a trip to Uncle Ho’s final resting place can be an extraordinary experience as it is not just an average attraction; it’s a part of a unique history.
2. Ho Chi Minh Presidential Palace
Behind Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum is a humble stilt house, where Ho Chi Minh supposedly lived in the 60s, though some claim that it would have been too risky during the war for him to live here. The house is an interpretation of a traditional rural dwelling, and has been preserved just as Ho Chi Minh left it. It’s set in a well-tended garden next to a carp-filled pond. It shares grounds with the much more luxurious and impressive Presidential Palace built for the French Governor of the Indochina colony in the early 1900’s. The palace is now used for official receptions and isn’t open to the public.
3. Hoan Kiem Lake
Known as the lake of the returned (or restored) sword, this lake marks the historical center of ancient Hanoi. The name comes from a legend in which Emperor Le Loi was given a magical sword by the gods, which he used to drive out the invading Chinese. Later, while boating on the lake, he encountered a giant turtle, which grabbed the sword and carried it down to its depths, Every morning at around 6am local residents practice traditional t’ai chi on the shore. The lake also houses Jade Island, home of the eighteenth century Temple of the Jade Mountain. The island is reachable via the red-painted and picturesque Morning Sunlight Bridge.
4. Hanoi's Old Quarter
Once a bustling area where merchants and artisans gathered to sell their products, Ha Noi Old Quarter consists of many small, meandering streets, each bears the name of the goods that was specifically traded there such as Hang Bac (Silver Product), Hang Ma (Paper Product), Hang Go (Wood Product), just to name a few.
Visiting this unique historical vestige comfortably lying around Hoan Kiem Lake, tourists get lost in a totally different world from the rest of the city and have the chance to explore the modest but energetic life of the local a hundred years ago, where there were no high-rise buildings, too much traffic or fancy stores; things will get a little bit smaller, as visitors may have used to those skyscrapers and shopping centers in other parts of the city, but not at all less lively and vigorous.
5. Temple of Literature
This is one of the temples of Confucius, and home of the nation’s first university. Originally built in 1070, the temple is meant to honor all scholars. Today, calligraphists will come and write good will wishes in Han characters during the Asian New Year at the steps of the temple, to give as gifts. The temple was built to replicate Confucius’ birthplace, with five courtyards and various temples and other buildings throughout the expansive grounds. Of special note are the Stelae of Doctors, a series of over 100 carved blue stone turtles, which honor the names of all who pass the royal exams.
6. One Pillar Pagoda
Amongst a number of beauty-spots in Hanoi, the One-Pillar Pagoda (one of Vietnam’s two most iconic pagodas, side by side the Perfume Pagoda) is a popular tourist attraction.
The One Pillar Pagoda (Vietnamese:Chùa Một Cột, formally Diên Hựu tự , which litterally means “long lasting happiness and good luck”) is a historic Buddhist temple in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. As you visit Hanoi, you may come to various other monuments, parks and historical places. Yet, the One-Pillar Pagoda reflects the architectural splendour that the country has grown.
7. Hanoi's West Lake
Hanoi’s largest freshwater lake, West Lake has a circumference of 17km and houses many of the city’s historic places of interest around its perimeter – including Vietnam’s oldest pagoda and one of Vietnam’s four sacred temples.
The lake attracts many locals and tourists seeking respite from the busy city, providing a sanctuary of great natural beauty with plenty of quiet spots in the sizeable lush gardens surrounding the lake.
8. Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
This is the most recent yet probably the largest and undoubtedly the most interesting Museums in Hanoi and Vietnam. The Museum comes out of the recognition that Vietnam is a multi-ethnic country and that more attention should be paid to promote socio-cultural diversity. Despite being out of the way compared with other museums in Hanoi, Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is worth a thorough visit, for those who are keen to learn about the multiculturality of Vietnam and for those who would appreciate some green space.
There are both indoors and outdoors section. While the in-housed exhibition is particularly informative, the outdoors display and activities make the museum stand out from the rest. There are a number of houses modeling after the traditional architecture of ethnic minorities, especially those who live in Northern and Central highlands.
You will be blown away by the elaboration of these architectures, at the same time being thoroughly engaged in traditional games and activities such as water puppet show, calligraphy, stone game (O An Quan). The museum is especially a great choice for those who cannot find time to visit all remote areas where live the majority of Vietnam ethnic minorities.
9. Thang Long Water Puppet Theater
Located at 57B, Dinh Tien Hoang street, nearby Hoan Kiem Lake, Thang Long Water Puppet Theater is a familiar address for both domestic tourists and foreign ones, who want to enjoy water puppet shows and discovery the beauty of this unique Vietnam traditional art.
Maison Centrale in Hanoi, also known as Hoa Lo Prison and the ‘Hanoi Hilton’ housed Vietnamese revolutionaries and American POW during the Vietnam War. The fortress was once a vast colonial-style prison, most of which was torn down in the 1990s.
Visiting today you will find the small southern section resting alongside a hotel and office complex.
The prison is still a popular tourist attraction for those on the war history trail. Official records claim inmates numbered in their hundreds although it was not unknown for up to 2,000 prisoners to be crammed into a space reserved for 600 inmates. Around 200-300 inmates were captured American pilots brought to Maison Centrale for interrogation and torture, it was the American prisoners who sarcastically gave the jail its nickname ‘Hanoi Hilton’.
Hoa Lo Prison today portrays a different side of the horror stories told by former inmates despite the prominently displayed shackles hanging on the walls. Much of the emphasis is on the Vietnamese revolutionaries some of whom were executed at the prison. The American POWs have well documented their own experiences, little of which is available at Maison Centrale today.