Top 10 things to do in Hanoi
I have been stay in Hanoi for nearly 10 years. Therefore, though stay far from this city for nearly 6 years I always remember about it as a familiar part of my life. Today, I will share 10 great things to do in Hanoi that I collected and so that whenever you guys travel to Hanoi Vietnam should consider to experience to truly understand and feel its soul.
1. Hoan Kiem Lake (The Lake of the Restored Sword)
Hoan Kiem Lake meaning "Lake of the Returned Sword" or "Lake of the Restored Sword", is a lake in the historical center of Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam. The lake is one of the major scenic spots in the city and serves as a focal point for its public life.
2. Hanoi Old Quarter
The Old Quarter, near Hoan Kiem lake, has the original street layout and architecture of old Hanoi. At the beginning of the 20th century the city consisted of only about 36 streets, most of which are now part of the old quarter. Each street then had merchants and households specialized in a particular trade, such as silk traders, jewellery, etc. The street names nowadays still reflect these specializations, although few of them remain exclusively in their original commerce.
The area is famous for its small artisans and merchants, including many silk shops. Local cuisine specialties as well as several clubs and bars can be found here also. A night market (near Xuân market) in the heart of the district opens for business every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening with a variety of clothing, souvenirs and food.
3. Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is a large memorial to the Vietnamese leader in Hanoi, Vietnam. It is located in the center of Ba Ðình Square, which is the place where Ho read the Declaration of Independence on September 2, 1945, establishing the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.
4. The Water Puppet Theater
Water puppetry "puppets that dance on water" is a tradition that dates back as far as the 11th century CE when it originated in the villages of the Red River Delta area of northern Vietnam. Today’s Vietnamese water puppetry is a unique variation on the ancient Asian puppet tradition. The puppets are made out of wood and then lacquered. The shows are performed in a waist-deep pool. A large rod supports the puppet under the water and is used by the puppeteers, who are normally hidden behind a screen, to control them. Thus the puppets appear to be moving over the water. When the rice fields would flood, the villagers would entertain each other using this form of puppet play. Traditional legends and historical tales are among the enchanting puppet plays performed at this popular theatre.
5. Temple of Literature & Ancient National University
It is a temple of Confucius in Hanoi, Vietnam. Although several Van Mieu can be found throughout Vietnam, the most prominent and famous is that situated in the city of Hanoi, which also functioned as Vietnam’s first university. It is featured on the back of the one hundred thousand Vietnamese banknote.
6. Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology (Vietnamese: Bao tang dan toc hoc Viett Nam) is a museum in Hanoi, Vietnam, which focuses on the 54 officially recognized ethnic groups in Vietnam. It is located on a 3.27-acre (13,200 m2) property in the Cau giay District, about 8 km from the city center. It is widely considered to be the finest modern museum in Vietnam and a tourist attraction in Hanoi.
The proposal for the museum was officially approved on December 14, 1987. Construction lasted from 1987 to 1995, and it was opened to the public on November 12, 1997.
The exhibition building was designed by the architect Hà Duc Linh, a member of the Tày ethnic group, in the shape of a Dong Son drum, and the interior architecture was designed by the French architect Véronique Dollfus.
7. Van Phuc or Ha Dong Silk Village
Ha Dong silk village is known as Van Phuc silk village, Van Phuc, Ha Dong, Ha noi. It is far about 10 kilometer from the center of Hanoi. This is the most famous silk village from ancient time; there are many patterns and long-stand of Vietnam. Van Phuc silk is selected under the reign of the Nguyen. Located on the Nhue River, Van Phuc silk village retains many features ancient such as the well, lotus flower, tree… Van Phuc silk village has reputation with silk weaving tradition. Ha Dong silk as well as traditional crafts of the trade villages in Hanoi, often referred to in ancient poetry. According to legend, about 1.200 years ago, Ms. A La Thi Nuong living in Cao Bang is a famous person with skillful weaving of Van Phuc village. She brought the secrets of Chinese weaving silk to teach people who live in the village. When she passed away, she was respected as tutelary deity.
Van Phuc silk village became famous from the reign of Ly. Van Phuc silk was the first introduced at the Marseille International Fair (1931) and Paris (1938), it was evaluated as the sophisticated products of Indochina. Van Phuc silk is very popular in France, Thailand, and Indonesia… From 1958 to 1988, Van Phuc silk were exported to Eastern Europe countries, from 1990, it was exported to many countries in the world.
For many years, Van Phuc village still retains intact the traditional values. In general, the special features of Van Phuc silk and in particularly Hang Van silk is warm in the winter and cool in the summer, wearing it people find soft and gentle. Decorative patterns on silk are diverse such as Song Hac sample, Tho Dinh sample, Tu Quy sample… and it always follows the traditional methods.
Van Phuc village has 785 households who weave silk, accounting for 60% of households living in villages. Every year, Van Phuc produces 2.5 to 3 million square meters silk, accounting for 63% total revenue of all the villages. Currently, Van Phuc village has over 1000 textile machinery and every day there have about 400 seasonal workers from around the region who are coming here to work. Stores silk grew more and more. It has 3 streets with more than 100 stores silk in order to meet the demand of tourists.
*Tip: Tourists can use camera
8. Hoa Lo Prison
The Hoa Lo Prison, later sarcastically known to American prisoners of war as the "Hanoi Hilton", was a prison used by the French colonists in Vietnam for political prisoners and later by North Vietnam for prisoners of war during the Vietnam War. It is interesting to see the Holding mechanisms they use and to learn about its history. there is only a small portion of the west wing still remaining, it takes about 25 minutes to have a good look around and costs 20,000 VND, overall worth doing though.
9. Hanoi night market
This market spreading from Hang Dao Street to Dong Xuan Market creates a busy and crowded walking street. on weekend evenings, a lot of people come here to stroll or go shopping, which becomes a habit.
As a commercial street, you can find everything concerning clothes and recreation. Clothes, sweets, "o mai" (salted dry fruit), decorations, toys, stationeries, sundry goods are respectively sold on Hang Ngang, Hang Dao, Hang Buom, Hang Duong, Luong Van Can, Hang Ma, Ngo Gach and Hang Ca Streets. All goods and facilities can be found from Dong Xuan Market to Hang Giay Street.
People come here for shopping or just strolling in the crowd to feel the atmosphere of the night market and the habit of Hanoians. Children are excited about going shopping with their family, sitting on their father’s shoulders, holding their mother’s hand, walking in a stream of people, playing with sand pictures and painting statues. It is so romantic to see lovers hand in hand walking on the street, smiling, taking pictures, buying some pieces of clothes at weekends. There are lots of foreign tourists who go sight-seeing or shopping. It is easy for them to find Hanoi or Vietnamese style souvenirs at low prices.
Food stalls often sell "banh beo" (bloating fern-shaped cake), bacon, grilled "nem chua", sausages, Hai Phong bread, Donner Kebap, cakes, sweet porridge of northern provinces or Hue city. At the end of the night market street, next to Dong Xuan market, there is a night eatery with a wide range of food, such as "lau", grilled food, "banh khuc" and steamed sticky rice.
10. Bat Trang Ceramic Village
Bat Trang, a small village in the north of Vietnam, is about 13 kilometers south east of Hanoi center, on the other side of Chuong Duong bridge. Why is its name popular to most tourists to northern Vietnam? The answer is its ever famous ceramic and pottery products of high quality. If you have known about Vietnam, you may not be surprised that Bat Trang’s vases, bowls, dishes, and many other kinds of ceramic products have been exported worldwide. Should you would like to contemplate workers making ceramic products by hand, just come here! What’s more, you can also try it yourself!