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Hanoi Capital of Vietnam lies in the heart of the northern Red River delta. It is the city of charming natural lakes with 53 in total, leafy streets and open parks. Hanoi is a unique cotail of old Asia and Western coming from the Chinese invarsion thousand year ago to the French booted last century. Although a city of most historical importance, the cultura and social centre in Vietnam, Hanoi is a surprisingly modest and charming place, far slower and less developed than Saigon city. Hanoi has still kept its appealing sense of the old world. If you want to experience something nice, charming, unique in comparision with other cities in the World, Hanoi will be the top destination for your vacation.
Ho Chi Minh Complex: You can tour this area for 1hour to 2.5hours. You can tour this area by yourself. But it is much better to have a local tour guide.
Your tour guide shall share deep information on many events happening in this area related with Ho Chi Minh mausoluem, Presidential palace, Ho Chi Minh stilt house, Ho Chi Minh museum. The guide book gives general information. Ho Chi Minh mausoluem opens from 8:00am to 10:30am everyday(close on Monday and Friday).
In the afternoon, Only presidental palace, the stilt house, the museum and One pillar pagoda open from 14:00pm to 16:30pm. If you come in Hanoi after 17:00pm, you still can visit this area - See Ho Chi Minh mausolumn, museum from outside. One pillar pagoda opens 24hours/7days.
There are 2 interesting times to visit Ho Chi Minh Mausolum from outside - 5:00am to see the flag raising with beautiful matching and national songs and 21:00pm to pull down the flag
Temple of Literature:Open 8:00 to 16:30pm. First University in Vietnam since 1076. But closed in 1919 by the French. Nowaday, it is a temple for Vietnamese to worship Vietnamese scholars and Confucious. Its original name - Temple of literature and school for the sons of the nation. Coming here, you will see the beautiful combination of Vietnamese traditional architecture and nature. They beautifully support eachother. Besides this, you will know how Vietnamese education system worked since 1076 to 1919. You can also question your tour guide to find out the difference of the past and now education system in Vietnam. It is really worth to see it.
Ngoc Son Temple - Temple of the Jade Mountain:Opens 8:00 to 17:00pm. Like local people, all travelers on Hanoi vacation would like to visit Hoan Kiem lake for a relax moment after tour Hanoi bustling Old Quarter. However, many travelers miss a visit to Ngoc Son charming temple. They have just taken very very beautiful photos with the temple from far away. Strongly recommend you to come over The Huc bridge to visit Ngoc Son temple. You will see the wonderful character of Vietnamese people - Co-living in harmony with others. You will also see the really big dead turtle who used to live in Hoan Kiem lake. It is a really interesting temple for travelers on Hanoi travel.
Tran Quoc Pagoda - The West Lake:Opens 8:00am - 11:00am; 13:30pm - 16:30pm. It is said that it is the most beautiful pagoda in Hanoi. Originally the pagoda was built on the bank of the Red river in 444. However, in 1624 the river bank was fallen and it was moved to this island.
The pagoda is divided into 2 parts: After going through Tam Quan gate with 3 doors - why it has 3 door, According to Buddhism, 3 doors are the 3 advices of the Buddha. The 1st door - 1st advice is to try to learn as much as possible. The 2nd advice is to think carefully about what you have learnt. As something is true for you(it is true in other culture), but it is not true for us. The 3rd advice is to follow and practise what you have learnt to be educated people. Or in other words, the 3 advices are the 3 ways leading to the heaven.
Passing Tam Quan, turn left. You will see the Buddhism stupas. Under the stupas, the bodies of the monks were buried. Coming inside the 1st part, you will see the 3 lady gods being worshipped. They are not Buddhas. They are Vietnamese holy mother goddes. But being worshipped here inside a Buddhism pagoda. Amazing Vietnamese charater - Co-living in harmony together. The 3 ladies are considered as Vietnamese mothers and Buddhas are considered as Vietnamese fathers. Yes, they should live in the same house.
Go outside the 1st part and walk along the lane to get into the 2nd part. You will see so beautiful Buddha statues in golden leaves and lacquer. They are not the oldest Buddha statues in Vietnam, but the most beautiful statues. In the front of the 2nd part, there is a Buddha tree - the gift from Indian president to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnamese president. It was planted here in 1959. On the 15th and 1st of moon calendar, there are many Vietnamese coming here to pray. One of the best visits on Hanoi tour package.
National Fine Art Museum: Open 8:30am to 17:00pm Everyday. Located at 66Nguyen Thai Hoc street, the museum is just 7 minutes of walk from the Temple of Literature. The museum consists of 2 French buildings with L size. On 1st floor of the main building, there is a room about pre-history art. The famous masterpieces of this period is the motives decorated on the bronze products like 3000 year old bronze to 1100 year old drums, bronze weapons and daily objects for Vietnamese people.
IN the 2nd room, Vietnamese fine arts was mixed with the development of Buddhism in Vietnam and some Hidduism in the central Vietnam. In the 3rd room, the development of laquer art with Buddhism. Going up on the 2nd floor, you will enjoy the great master-piece of Vietnamese fine art with lacquer paintings. Here is the longest time-spending room for visitors to see many wonderful lacquer paintings by Vietnamese famous artists. On the 3rd floor, you will see the whole floor of oil painting. From here, you can go to the 2nd building.
In the top floor, you will see so many beautiful motives from 54 different ethnic groups in Vietnam. The motives are on their traditional clothes, daily objects and especially religious paintings for local goddes. Go down to under ground floor, you will enjoy the most beautiful collection of Vietnamese pottery products for worshipping and daily use products from 3000 year old to the recently made.
The Museum of Ethnology - Nguyen Van Huyen Street Open 8:30am to 17:30pm Everyday(close on Monday and Vietnamese New Year). The biggest museum in Vietnam. The most informative museum in Vietnam. One of 25 top museum in Asia voted by tripadvisor.com. A little far away from Hanoi city centre, but it is well worth to visit on Hanoi vacation.
The museum consists of 3 parts - 2 buildings and outdoor display. The 1st floor of the main buiding display so many objects about the 53 ethnic groups living in Vietnam and the main group - The Viet or the King group. You will see the whole picture of 54 cultures in Vietnam with some in common for every group and each own cultural features from the high mountain in the far Northern to the high land central Vietnam and the farest southern part - Ca Mau.
The second buiding will show you some famous cultural features of Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar.... It is nice to see.
The 3rd part is the outdoor display of beautiful houses from different groups. Most of visitors miss this part. We highly recommend you to see this part. It will bring you another interesting experience of life in our world.
National Army Museum - 28 A Dien Bien Phu Street Open 8:00am to 11:30am/ 13:00pm - 16:30 Everyday (close on Monday and Friday). The museum is also known as the Vietnam Military History Museum, Hanoi. Located at Dien Bien Phu street as Dien Bien Phu is one of the most famous flighting in Vietnam against the invadors in the morden time. The museum is for those who are interested in the morden history of Vietnam since 1858. In the year, the French invaded Danang - the central coastline city.
However, there is one room showing visitors about some famous militery generals in Vietnam from 40 AD. All the 2 buildings and outdoor display the objects, pictures and weapons in the wars against French, Japanese and American. There are some airplanes and weapons from Xo Viet Unions, China, France and The US. It is really interesting for those whom love morden history of wars.
Hoa Lo Prison - 1 Hoa Lo Street: The short street takes the name of the prison. Now, it is not a prison, but a museum. Built by the French to keep Vietnamese patriots and Communists, the prison was under the control of the French and Japanese since 1896 to 1954. From 1960s to 1973, the prison was used to keep American pilots and it was named Hanoi Hilton hotel by the American pilots. From 1974 to 1993, it was used to keep Vietnamese prisoners. In 1993, the prison was closed and 2/3 of the prison was distroyed to build Hanoi tower - hotel and office. Now, you can see a part of the prison as a museum. It is well worth to see if you are history lovers.
Real local Hanoi food tasting
Top local cafe with local price
3 unusual cafes to experience on Hanoi holiday
Guide for local money: there are both note and coin in Vietnam currency. However, the value of coins is so small that they are not being used any more. If you want some Vietnamese coins for souvenirs, you may find them at souvenirs shops. The value of Vietnamese money is confused by many tourists just because of many Zoro numbers. The exchange rate 1USD = 21.000 VND( a little more or less)
Ricksaws tours can be done from half an hour to a day on your Hanoi travel. The cycing route normally starts from French colonial section to Hanoi Old Quarter and around this bustling quarter. The going may be slower than the buzzing machines about you, but it allows you to take it all in. It is great to do in the afternoon. It is highlighly recommended to take the ricksaws from San Su ci, Culture, Huy Phong, Lam Anh cylo companies. Do not take those names of the ricksaws on the streets, because some of them illigally take their trademarks to trick tourists on Hanoi vacation for more money. These companies' ricksaws normally stop along Tran Quang Khai Street, but sometimes they change the stop because of the traffic jams.
There are many ways to explain how water puppetry was born, but no one know exactly. However, wildly accepted as it was born in the flooded rice fields in the Red River delta around Hanoi. Thanglong and Viet culture water puppet theatres use water as stage while the puppets are controled by the actors behind the screen. Water puppets run, dance, play balls, cut rice, do farming works... on the traditional water stages. You always see the actors at the end of the show. Now, you can see the water puppet shows in 3 different theatres: Thang Long - 1 Dinh Tien Hoang Street; Bong Sen theatre - 16 Le Thai To street; Vietnam water puppet theatre - 361 Truong Chinh street. Bong Sen and Thang Long water puppet theatres are near Hoan Kiem lake. It is convinient to wander around Hanoi Old Quarter and see water puppet shows at these theatres. There are a few shows on a day depending on high season or law season. The show is about 50minute long. It usually starts from 14:00 to 21:00
UNESCO recognized Ca Tru - Vietnamese folk as cultural Heritage Performance Art. This kind of art was originally developed in the North Vietnam in 15th century in the form of religious chants and court entertainment. The artists used to sing without microphone, so it was performed for small groups of selected persons. You can see the show on the nights of Wed, Fri and Sunday at 20:00pm(1hour) at 42 - 44 Hang Back Street.
Nowadays, Hanoi is a famous stop for cooking classes for foreign travelers on Hanoi holiday. There are two famous cooking centres: Hanoi cooking centre and Hoa Sua cooking school where you learn to make Vietnamese food for foreign tourists. Here, you learn both the names of the dishes and how to prepare and cook Vietnamese courses. Going home, you can cook for your family. However, if you want to learn to cook the real Vietnamese food for the local people, we also arrange a cooking class with local chef. Join cooking class, you can cook everything from noolde soup to seven course meal.
Bun Cha Dac Kim - Grilled Pork with Rice Noodle, Carob Roll
This restaurant is one of the best choices for workers, officials for lunch. It is fast food, but not fast food in Western style. It is a Very Healthy Vietnamese food which people can have at anytime of the day. It is very popular with Vietnamese tourists on Hanoi holiday and everyone would like to try how it tastes. Grilled pork is served in hot broth with papaya. You can add some garlic, chilli and some herbs. Coming here, you will see not only Vietnamese butaslo foreigner visitors to Hanoi. The add: 1 Hang Manh street - Tel: 043.828.50 22. Please note: There is another restaurant next door, but it does not taste excellent as Dac Kim. Most Vietnamese people does not know the name - Dac Kim, but all calls Bun Cha Hang Manh.
What to Do After 24:00pm: At the moment there are not many choices for travelers to Hanoi to do after the midnight. However, not so long visitors to Hanoi will enjoy throughout the night activities according Hanoi chairman's saying at the conference in Hoian about night activities for travelers to Vietnam.
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