Vietnam is the capital of Hanoi with 8 million inhabitants, the country’s second largest city at the same time. An interesting mix of East and West, the city is a place where you can still see the effects of the French colonial period and the communist era. The Chinese invasion, followed by the French and finally the American invasions in the 20th century left a mark on the country.
Natural beauties are a bonus for Hanoi’s historical texture. And it’s a pretty big bonus. Things to Do in the Far East to you in writing in this magical city of Hanoi to visit the place and I would like to mention the activities planned. For those with limited time, 3 days may be enough, but in my opinion, if you want to spend a week to travel to the city with a guide to try to give information.
List of Things to Do in Hanoi
1. Hoan Kiem Lake
Hanoi is the number one spot on the list of places to visit, and Hoan Kiem Lake is located south of the old quarter (Old Quarter), where you shouldn’t return without seeing it when you visit the city. I’m going to talk about it a bit later that makes this lake special, especially the Ngoc Son Temple .
There is also an interesting story of the park, which is very pleasant and enjoyable, no matter what time of day you go. Once upon a time there was a giant tortoise named Cu Rua . Even Yangtze giant turtles almost extinct. When the turtle, weighing 160 pounds, died in 2016, the whole country was overwhelmed because this turtle was also a figure that the Vietnamese considered a symbol of independence. There is also a monument built in 1880 to commemorate such turtles in the lake, although it is not open to visit, it is extremely photogenic.
2. Ngoc Son Temple
Ngoc Son (in other words the Jade Mountain) Temple is located north of Hoan Kiem Lake . The Buddhist temple worshiped since the 14th century is a small but extremely photographic place. The Red Bridge to the temple from 1885 on the red color statues are also worth seeing.
3. Old Town
The streets of the Old Town (old town), which resemble a labyrinth, are a city that dates back 1000 years and is lively with small shops and cafes and reflects the spirit of Vietnam. On the streets of the area, you can watch a day’s hike, explore the quieter streets of Hanoi, shop, or buy food from street vendors.
Old Town is also the most colorful of the neo-Gothic style dating from 1886 in a French Church of the list of places to visit in Hanoi (St. Joseph’s Cathderal) are also included. This church is well worth a visit because of its elegant decoration, two bell towers, tinted windows and historical value.
4. West Lake
Tay Ho Lake (in other words West Lake) is the largest lake in the list of places to visit in Hanoi with a 15-kilometer coastline. The area is ideal for relaxing in the surrounding parks, enjoying the scenery, hiking or cycling. The fish restaurants in the area also offer the most delicious options of Vietnamese cuisine for seafood lovers.
Thai Ho Pagoda is located in the northern part of West Lake and is a temple dedicated to the Mother Goddess unlike general Buddhist pagodas. In fact, a palace is supposed to be a temple, seen as a temple by the local people with fine work, elegant and tasteful decoration is a very pleasant visit point.
Tran Quoc Pagoda was built during the reign of King Ly Nam De in the 6th century and is the oldest pagodia in the city. Tasteful architecture, historical value and the quiet, calm beauty around you must visit places. The road leading to this Buddhist temple is adorned with palm trees, and the temple’s entrance gate made in 1815 is also majestic.
5. Hoa Lo Prison Museum (Hanoi Hilton)
The Hoa Lo Prison , made by the French in the 19th century, was a prison for those who rebelled against the French government at the time. Then it was used by Americans for the same purpose. There may also be a guillotine used by the French in the prison consisting of bulk cells, single cells and a courtyard.
Today, there are visuals, documents or even video screenings throughout the museum during the American and French administrations. The museum is located on Hoa Lo Street and is open from 7:30 to 16:30 every day except Monday.
6. Temple of Literature
The most interesting temple of Hanoi is the Temple of Literature built in the 11th century as a university.
Although the first university of the country was founded by the Emperor Ly Thanh Tong in 1070 , the trainings were given especially in this area (Confucianism and Literature) because the Confucianism movement was very widespread in that period. Even at the entrance of the temple, the names of the students who graduated from the school are also included. In fact, the importance of this temple stems from the fact that, while education in Southeast Asia in the 11th century was mostly in the monopoly of Buddhism, the doctrine of the Confucius broke the monopoly together with this school.
The historic building has undergone restorations over the centuries but still maintains its impressive appearance on the first day. There is also a small pagoda with gardens, courtyards, tombs and the Confucius statue.
The entrance fee to the temple on Quoc Ti Giam Street is around 50 Cent and is open every day from 8:30 to 16:30 except Mondays.
7. One Pillar Pagoda
One Pillar Pagoda , a modest, wooden monument in a concrete island on the lake opened by lotus flowers in summer. This small temple, dedicated to the Goddess of Mercy Quan Am , was made in the form of a lotus flower symbolizing enlightenment in Buddhism.
Built in 1049 by the Emperor Ly Thai Tong , the temple today features statues and reliefs of Goddess Quan Am and the lotus flower. In the meantime, praying in the temple is believed to be the healing power of all kinds of diseases, so it is possible to see locals who always pray at the One Pillar Pagoda . The temple is located next to the Ho Chi Minh Museum in Ba Dinh Square and is open to visitors every day.
8. Imperial Citadel
The list of places to visit in this historic city of Hanoi Imperial Citadel military forces in the country once the center of the 1960s (the Vietnam War) until there was a strategic importance. The Imperial Citadel, which has been one of the UNESCO Cultural Heritage since 2010, owes this to the importance of Hanoi in its past and some to the daylight, owing to dozens of archaeological finds that have not yet been removed.
The most impressive places and finds at the Imperial Citadel are; Doan Mon Entrance Gate, Hanoi Flag Tower, Kinh Thien Palace, Cinh Bac Mon (North Gate), Hau Lau (Princess Palace). The entrance fee to the Imperial Citadel on Hoang Dieu Street is around 1.5 USD.
9. Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Museum
Ho Chi Minh , the pioneer of the Vietnam War of Independence and the tomb of Ho Chi Minh, a complex of museums and monuments, has a vast collection of revolutions in the country. Ho Chi Minh, also known as the an Uncle Ho bir by the Veitnam people, is the country’s first communist leader, a highly influential political figure that succeeded in revolutionizing the French in 1954 . It also includes a restored pagoda after being destroyed by Ho Chi Minh’s house, wax statue and French colonial troops.
The entrance fee for the museum is 50 Cent.
10. Museum of Ethnology in Vietnam
The Museum of Ethnology is one of the fascinating museums on the list of sightseeing places. The museum has a large collection of visual elements of ethnic minorities, handicraft works (wood, metal) and costumes.
The entrance fee to the museum on Nguyen Van Huyen Street is around 2 USD and the museum is open to visitors every day except Monday.
In the article about places to visit in Hanoi, I told you about the most visited places in the city, but the city is not limited to these. The French Quarter , the Night Market, Thong Nhat Park , the Museum of Fine Arts, the Chau Long Market , and the Long Bien Market are some of the places I would recommend to those who have more time to visit.