Many people do not have a definitive image of Hanoi before visiting, their perceptions have probably only been formed from watching some of he many Vietnam War movies. Hanoi is a city that blends an exotic feeling with modern life in its grace, history and architecture. The city has shed its past image and has been economically reformed. It’s also getting noticed more and more on the global tourism circuit and in fact has just been announced as one of the cheapest cities in Asia!
Now, the boulevards are filled with mansions and the area has an abundance of parks and lakes. I recently got a chance to visit Hanoi and was astounded by how much the city has to offer. Here is a look into the things that I got to do and see along with a few tips and pieces of advice for others who are considering the journey as well as a few things not to do in Vietnam!
5 Must See Historical Attractions in Hanoi
Hanoi offers a great amount of attractions to tourists within both the metropolitan areas and the natural countryside. Here are just a few of the top attractions that should not be missed
One of the most amazing places to explore, The Temple Of Literature (pictured above), is actually not a temple, but is a large compound of gates, lakes, a courtyard and museum. Back in 1070, it was the first University of Vietnam and dedicated to the famous Chinese Philosopher Confucius. I loved the serenity this attraction offered. Make sure to leave plenty of time to roam around, take pictures, and soak up the ambiance.
One of the most iconic attractions, the One Pillar Pagoda, or Chua Mot Cot, is a Buddhist Temple that stands in a lotus dam on one stone pillar and is pictured at the very top of this post. Inside this structure, there is a statue of a goddess with one hundred arms, it is believed that she can help couples who want children, but are suffering with infertility issues.
In my opinion, the Hoan Kiem Lake district is the best part of the city. The Turtle Tower is the center point and is pictured below. It is a nice place to take a walk, chill out for a moment or grab some of the best photos of Hanoi, provided its not too misty!
A visit to Uncle Ho’s mausoleum is a truly eerie and surreal experience (pictured below). Many fellow travellers had their fruit confiscated on entry (what are they going to do with it?) and many were also turned away for wearing shorts and vests. No talking, no photos and single file only but what a view! To see Ho Chi Minh himself laying there embalmed Lenin-style is an awesome experience.