What to visit in Hanoi

Vienna It is one of the Southeast Asian countries that attracts the most tourists both for its natural beauties and for its role in the history of the XNUMXth century. Who has not ever seen a movie about the Vietnam War or the time when these lands were a French colony?

A small great country, that's what Vietnam is, and unless you enter through a neighboring country, the usual thing is to land at the airport in Hanoi, its capital. Let's see then what we can know here. Which are the tourist attractions in Hanoi?

Hanoi

Rest on the banks of the Red River and it is the second most important city in the country because the first is the also popular Ho Chi Minh. From the end of the XNUMXth century to the end of World War II it was the center of French colonial power, Indochina, so the oldest and most traditional constructions were swept away by western architecture. A shame Also, from '40 to '45, it was occupied by the Japanese so this town has experienced too many bad things in a very short time.

Since 1976, the year of reunification, it has been the capital of the country. It is a city of subtropical climate with four seasons. Obviously, it is convenient to avoid the summer that is extremely hot (from May to August), and with a lot of rain. It is convenient to go from November to January.

What to see in Hanoi

First, the Old neighborhood. It is the place that preserves original streets and the architecture of old Hanoi mixed with French architecture. Here there are shops dedicated to copying well-known paintings, shaping traditional handicrafts in bamboo and colored paper, shops that work the ancient technique of lacquering, blacksmithing, that trade in silk, carpenters, in short, a bit of everything.

The Old Quarter is the heart of hanoi, a hive of people in the streets and sidewalks, with cafes, restaurants, street stalls, alleys, communal courtyards, life itself a millennium ago. Walking around here, getting lost, is one of the great experiences of the city.

Moreover the Temple of Literature it houses the first Vietnamese university. It was built in the XNUMXth century and is dedicated to Confucius. You find it in the Thang Long Imperial Citadel and it has multiple halls, statues and pavilions. It occupies a large area of ​​54 thousand square meters and includes a park, a lake and many patios. Speaking of this elegant citadel, you find it in the center of the city and it is nothing other than the sector where the imperial family lived.

It was built in the days of the Lý Dynasty, in 1010, and expanded by later dynasties. With the French invasion at the end of the 2010th century, many of these buildings suffered and some disappeared because the colonizers demolished them. It was only in this XNUMXth century that more systematic excavations began and it was in XNUMX that the central sector It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

La Hanoi Flag Tower It is one of the symbols of the city and is part of this World Heritage. It has little more than 33 meters high, reached 41 with the flag, and was built in 1812 as an observation point for the citadel. It is important because it was saved from the destruction that the French produced at the end of the XNUMXth century and can be visited today.

You can also visit in Hanoi the Pilar Pagoda, a temple in this case Buddhist. This temple was built in 1028 and renovated several times. It is so called because it is built in wood with a single pillar of 1.25 meters in diameter and four meters high that has been carved like a lotus bud, a Buddhist symbol of purity. Of course, it is not the original version since it was destroyed in the '50s, in the war, and rebuilt years later.

El Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum It was built from 1973 to 1975 and is very similar to Lenin's in Moscow. It is in Ba Dinh Square and from here Ho Chi Minh declared the country's independence in 1945. After his death in 1969 his body was embalmed by the Soviets and the mausoleum was built and transferred here forever.

The truth is that with this humid climate the vegetation in Hanoi is wonderful so taking photos of flowers and gardens has become very popular. If you like this kind of photos then these are the places you can't miss:

  • Nhat Tan Garden, Ngoc truc Garden, Phu Thoung Garden: They tend to fill up with photographers at the Tet Party, the party that welcomes the New Year, because there are buds and flowers everywhere.
  • Valley of the Flowers: it is at the junction of Nhat Chieu Street and the Water Park. You will see hundreds of square meters of colorful flowers and at the end of the year it is a super colorful place, a true floral paradise that, although artificial, is beautiful.
  • Red River Rock: It is also a very popular destination for taking photos at the end of the year. There is also a picturesque wooden bridge across the lake, windmills and sites so they are great photo sets.
  • Quang Ba Flower Market: at the end of the year the sale of flowers is skyrocketing in Vietnam and a perfect place to buy is this market where you will see thousands of flowers and thousands of species.
  • Hoan Kiem Lake and the Old Quarter: in terms of photographs, these sites offer beautiful settings. Think that when the Lunar New Year is celebrated the lake and its surroundings are decorated with colored lights, flowers and flags.
  • Long Brien Bridge: it is especially beautiful in the Tet festivities.

Finally, although it is not in the city of Hanoi we cannot avoid the Halong Bay. It is 170 kilometers east of the city and its natural landscape is beautiful. There are more than three thousand islands and limestone islets that emerge from the green guides of the bay and it seems another world, a fantasy one, if you add the caves with stalagmites and stalactites and the caves and grottos around.

Obviously a visit to Vietnam cannot start and end in Hanoi, but if you pass through the city this is what you cannot miss.

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