Hanoi - the capital of Vietnam, the center of Vietnam's political and cultural more than thousand years. With a population of 5 million people, located in the heart of Red River Delta, Hanoi is a great advantage for transportation and climate stability.
Hanoi today is a great combination between old and new, many cultural works for thousand of years has been cared and in well - preserved which include works such as Hanoi old quarter, old French city and a series of temples and pagodas from the 10th century.
Coming to Hanoi, you will see a representative culture of Northern Vietnam, from food, lifestyle and atmosphere of the village of pure Vietnam. Hanoi today's thriving economy, more modern area developed but the essence remains the cultural capital of the land of 1000 years of history.
What to see?Ethnology Museum
Just opened at the end of 1997, the museum has attracted the attention of visitors, ethnographers and researchers from all over the world. With its astounding collection of 1,000 objects, 15,000 photos and hundreds of tapes about the 60 ethnic groups of Vietnam, it has successfully recreated the daily life together with the religious rituals and the symbolic festivals of each ethnic group.
Fine Arts Museum
With numerous exhibitions of specific fine arts collections including ancient stone sculptures, antique pottery, ethnic minority paintings, lacquer ware, etc., the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum is a lively historical treasure depicting the origins and evolution of Vietnamese fine arts. The entrance is at No. 66 Nguyen Thai Hoc St. and the opening hours are 8:00am-12:00 am & 1:30pm to 4:30pm, from Tues. to Sun.
Once the museum of the Ecole Francaise d’Extreme Orient, the building remains one of Hanoi’s most stunning architectural showpieces. It preserves a large number of valuable artefacts from Vietnam’s turbulent past including prehistory, Dong Son culture, etc. to various Vietnamese dynasties as well as the Vietnamese struggles against foreign invaders.
West Lake & Tran Quoc Pagoda
West Lake , the largest lake in Hanoi, and Truc Bach Lake are an attractive part of the city. The two lakes are separated by Thanh Nien St. with rows of willow trees offering a picturesque site in the heart of the country. In the past, West Lake was once a resort for mandarins and kings. Now it is a very popular recreational place for Hanoians to enjoy fresh air, peaceful atmosphere and typical dishes. We wouldn’t forget to mention Tran Quoc Pagoda right on the shore of West Lake which is one of the oldest pagodas in Vietnam.
Hoan Kiem Lake & Ngoc Son Temple
Hoan Kiem Lake, considered the most beautiful lake in Hanoi, is an enchanting body of water right in the heart of the city. Lying on a small island in this lake is Ngoc Son Temple (Jade Mountain) founded in the 18th century and dedicated to the Scholar Van Xuong, General Tran Hung Dao (who defeated the Mongols in the 13th century) and La To (patron saint of physicians). Ngoc Son Temple is reached via the red-painted, wooden bridge - The Huc (Rising Sun) constructed in 1885.
Hanoi’s Old Quarter of over a-thousand-year history, or 36 streets with each taking a different name after its product, remains one of Vietnam’s most lively and unusual places, where visitors can buy anything from precious stones to silk kimonos. Some of the specialized streets here include Hang Bac with a trip of snazzy jewellery shops or Hang Ngang with a row of clothing shops and tailors. Moreover, a stroll through this historic Old Quarter with a stop at Dong Xuan Market is highly recommended for visitors can get a good dose of Vietnamese culture and some insight into the country’s long history.
President Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum
President Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, the final resting place of President Ho Chi Minh, was constructed between 1973 and 1975 of native materials gathered from all over Vietnam. It now becomes a site of pilgrimage for Vietnamese as well as for foreign visitors. Just some steps from the mausoleum, visitors can visit One-Pillar pagoda resembling a lotus blossom and also Ho Chi Minh Museum depicting a view of President Ho’s life.
Temple of Literature
The Temple of Literature (Van Mieu) is a pleasant retreat from the streets of Hanoi. Founded in 1070 for the worship of sages of Confucianism, it constitutes a rare example of well-preserved traditional Vietnamese architecture and is well worth a visit. Vietnam’s first university was established here in 1076 to educate the sons of mandarins. In 1482, King Le Thanh Tong ordered the erection of stelae with inscriptions of the names, places of birth and achievemnets of the graduates who had taken examinations since 1442. The stelae are in a form of tortoises which surely give visitors many impressions. Presently, 82 stelae stand at the Temple of Literature.
Bat Trang ceramics village
Half an hour’s drive from Hanoi, across the bridge Chuong Duong and down the northern bank of the Red River, brings you to one of the best-known villages in Vietnam. The residents of Bat Trang have been making ceramic objects for centuries. In their heyday, - some 600 years ago - the artisans were responsible for providing dinnerware for the royal families of the capital city and China, while trader took Bat Trang plates, jars and ornamental items as far afield as Japan, Holland and France. Nowadays, by the help of techniques, Bat Trang village can produce its product in high volumes at a low cost. Mold are used to make votive and ornamental objects in its thousands, which are fired in brick kilns then painted by hand. There is very few artisans still use a wheel to create pottery items
Where to eat?As the cultural center of Northern Vietnam, Hanoi cuisine is a great mixture between neighboring provinces. You can find a variety of dishes here taste of many regions. Besides, the demand for development and integration, Hanoi has many restaurants and cuisines of other countries such as France, Italy, India, Russia and many other regions. We introduce some typical restaurants based on quality, hygiene as well as demonstrate some basics about food in Hanoi. Please contact us for more info on culinary culture of Hanoi a most detailed way.
- Quan Ngon - 18 Phan Boi Chau - Hoan Kiem - Hanoi: A bit of everything on menu including nice Hanoi desert section.
- Bún Chả Hàng Mành - 01 Hang Manh - Hoan Kiem - Hanoi: One of the best choice for lunch with grilled pork with noodle. Crab springrolls can be ordered as aside.
- Al - Fescos - 78 Xuan Dieu - Tay Ho - Hanoi or 23 Hai Ba Trung - Hoan Kiem - Hanoi: Nice Pizza and Pasta!
Getting to Hanoi and Airport transfersAs we said above, Hanoi is located convenient transportation to other provinces, has dozens of daily flights from Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang with airlines such as Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar Pacific and a firm new opening: Air Mekong. You can get to Hanoi by train, the most popular carrer is Unification Express with 28 hours from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi. There is also the quality local bus along Highway 1 from south to Hanoi to choose from. Please contact us for more information about fares and travel. You may be interested in the links below:
- Vietnam Airfares: Booking with us to save much of your time and money. All operation of airlines are available
- Vietnam Train Ticketing: All trains in Vietnam including train to Sapa, Mui Ne and most popular destination of Vietnam
- Airport transfers price list: with a few more USD can bring you a hassle - free and nice first impression of places, why not?
- "Hey Taxi" article from our Manager's blog about Taxi scam and solution. Hope you find it useful and get your own ways to get out of trouble.