Socialist Republic of Vietnam
The elegant capital of Vietnam
is also called the "Paris of the Orient". Hanoi's center
is an architectural museum with old colonial buildings, broad tree-lined
boulevards and beautiful lakes.
The pace of life in Hanoi is more laid back than
that in its southern sister Saigon. The city's boulevards are mainly
crowded with bicycles during rush hour and people take time to stroll
around the central Hoan Kiem Lake, or to simply sit at a curbside
cafe and watch the world go by.
The city also offers an insight into the history
of the nation, with its Chinese and French associations. There are
numerous fascinating monuments and the highlight of each visit is
definitely the fascinating labyrinth of the old Chinese Quarters.
MAIN SITES IN HANOI
Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum
Vietnam's honored leader, Ho Chi Minh, was laid to rest here in
an imposing monument. The "Changing of the Guards" occurs
every hour and is an interesting sight . Note that the Mausoleum
is closed from October to November every year as the embalmed corpse
is send to Russia "for maintenance".
Ho Chi Minh Museum
This is an interesting exhibition explaining the life and times
of the man who created modern-day Vietnam. The museum is next to
the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.
Ho Chi Minh Residence
Behind the Mausoleum is a simple stilt house where Ho Chi Minh lived
from 1958 to - 1969.
One Pillar Pagoda
This famous pagoda resembles a lotus blossom rising out of a sea
of sorrow - the symbol of purity,. The original pagoda dates from
the 10th Century and was destroyed by the French. The current pagoda
build by the new government. Still today the temple is a symbol
of purity and couples who wish to have a child make offerings at
the One Pillar Pagoda.
Temple of Literature
This impressive temple was build in the 10th Century and has been
dedicated to Confucius to honor scholars and men of literary accomplishment.
The temple complex consists of five courtyards and is built around
serene lakes and ponds - a peaceful retreat in the center of town.
This very interesting museum is dedicated to the people and tribes
of Vietnam and offers very interesting insight into the traditional
cultures of Vietnam's 54 ethnic groups. There is also an open air
section displaying different house styles.
Fine Art Museum
This museaum is housed in the former French Ministry of Information
and is home to very intricate sculptures, paintings, lacquerware,
ceramics and other traditional Vietnamese fine arts.
Located in a old colonial house, the History Museum offers a good
introduction to the rich, varied and often turbulent history of
This interesting museum showcases Vietnam's various struggles against
the colonial powers of France and most recently the United States.
Various relics are on display including tanks, aircraft, weapons
etc. as well as scale models of famous historical battles.
Water Puppet Show
The ancient art of water puppet is unique to Vietnam and originated
in the rice fields of the Delta. Puppet masters stand behind a screen,
partly submerged in the water, and skillfully control and direct
the delicate puppets using long poles. The puppets act out scenes
from traditional stories and fables, often depicting the life of
the peasant interwoven with mythical themes, accompanied by haunting
classical Vietnamese music. A show not be missed.
One of the landmarks of Hanoi. The opera is a beautiful example
of French colonial grandeur and has been recently restored to its
The Perfume Pagoda is a complex of shrines built into limestone
cliffs and surrounded by a plain of rice paddies. It is a very beautiful
area and a visit to the Perfume Pagoda is one of the highlights
Dry Halong Bay
Located south of Hanoi this area is known for it's huge rock formations
jutting out of rice paddies and the caves. Breathtaking scenery
make this a interesting day trip from Hanoi!