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Ha Noi

Ha Noi

Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam, the political, economic, cultural, commercial, and tourist center of the country. To visit Hanoi is to step yourself in history, tradition, and legend in a capital that has been inhabited for almost a millennium.Hanoi is an ancient capital, established in 1010 during the Ly dynasty. The flow of time brought this capital various different names: Thang Long, Dong Do, Ha Noi. Nowadays Hanoi still preserves plenty of ancient architectural works comprising the old streets and over 600 pagodas and temples (such as the Temple of Literature, Ngocson temple, Hai Ba Trung temple, One pillar pagoda, Tranquoc pagoda ..) lying nestled in rows of trees. Hanoi’s present architecture is mainly from the 19th and 20th centuries, and the stately French built section of town is largely intact.

Beside the ancient architectural works there are also many new ones (such as Mausoleum of President Ho Chi Minh, the Cultural palace ..). The system of museums and theatres is extremely rich and varied.

Hanoi possesses tens of hectares of lakes lying intertwined with its streets, the largest ones among them are Hoankiem lake, West lake and Trucbach lake, all of them lined with roads under verdant tree foliage. All these mingle together and render Hanoi a purely poetical beauty which immensely satisfies the taste of tourists.

Hanoi is also a city of many traditional handicrafts : bronze mounding, silver carving, lacquer, embroidery… Many consumer goods, handiwork and table delicacies are highly appreciated by visitors from everywhere in the world.

Hanoi gastronomy appears very excellent and special. Just try the speciality of “Cha Ca” to have an unforgettable meal. Hanoi proves to be a vivid city full of colours and many things to discover! Sight-seeing Spots.

The Hoan Kiem Lake & The Ngoc Son Temple

They are located in the heart of the city. Legends said that on the occasion of King Le Loi’s relaxation trip by sampan on the lake after the victory over the Ming aggressors, a Golden Tortoise emerged to request him to return the holy sword given to him by the Sky God to protect the country against the enemy. This small lake is nicely bordered by age – old trees. In the extreme north is an islet accessible by a wooden bridge painted red namely The Huc. The small temple of Ngoc Son of 19th century is dedicated to General Tran Hung Dao, a hero against the Mongolians in the 13th century together with three genie: La To, the pioneer of medical career; Nguyen Van Xuong, the genie of literature; Tran Vu, the genie of martial arts. In the middle of the lake is the tortoise tower considered as the contemporary symbol of Hanoi.

The Temple Of Literature

Built in 1070, consecrated to Confucius and used as a school for princes, the temple of literature was considered as the first university of Vietnam in 1076. It is about 350m long and 70 m wide and surrounded by a vast wall of bricks. There are 5 yards inside. The middle entrance is for the king; one side entrance is for the civilian mandarins and the other for military ones. Behind the big door is the pavilion for poetic entertainment dated 1802. All the most educated people recited and composed poems and made literary comments. In front of the rectangular yard lined with 82 stone stelae carved with the names of the doctors of philosophy who passed the king’s examination from 1498 to 1787.

The Temple Of Quan Thanh

It is located on the side of Truc Bach lake. In the 11th century Ly Thai To had it built and consecrated to Tran Vo, the genie of the North who freed the lake, according to the legend, from the terribly harmful wolf of nine tails. Tran Vo bore a Black flag and his symbols are the tortoise and snake. In the 18th century, the temple was renovated and the statue of Tran Vo was cast in bronze. This statue is 3.4m tall and 4 tons heavy, and placed inside the temple.

The One Pillar Pagoda

This is a nice square and wooden pagoda leaned on one pillar in the middle of a green lotus pond. It was constructed in 1049 and called Dien Huu. Legends said that King Ly Thai To did not have any sons. One night the Goddess of Mercy in his dream sitting on a lotus gave him a son. Later he married a young country girl and had a successor. The king thanked the Goddess of Mercy by building this pagoda in the form of a lotus.

The Military Museum

This establishment was built at the end of the 20th century. During the colonial time it used to be the base for the French army. Nowadays it has been transformed into the museum of all displays of the Vietnamese resistant wars against the foreign invaders with many photos of war vestiges and trophies. All the displays and exhibits are surprising particularly the audiovisuals means to illustrate the battle of Dien Bien Phu and the liberation of Sai Gon.

The Historical Museum

Formerly it was in the area of the French Far East school. It consists of a rich collection of pre-historical objects and periods of building the country. Visitors will discover the Vietnamese history from the beginning of the country until now.

President Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum

The mausoleum that was inaugurated in 1975 is the permanent memorial for Respected Uncle Ho, the founder of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. It is 21 m high and in Vietnamese grey marble and granite. Like a lotus flower it was erected right at the historical place of Ba Dinh where President Ho Chi Minh declared the independence for Vietnam in 1945. The mausoleum is now a place of big interest that cannot be missed. The Vietnamese always line up to visit him to show all good sentiments and respects to beloved Uncle Ho.

The Old Quarter And The Dong Xuan Market

It takes about 5 minutes to walk from the old quarter of Hanoi to the North West of the Sword Lake. It looks like a tree leaf of which the main vein becomes the Silk road leading to the Dong Xuan market. It still preserves the Hanoian images that inspire the unique sensation of the past of Hanoi. Numerous small streets bear the names of different corporations of workers: The street of Cotton (Hang Bong), The street of sugar (Hang Duong), the street of rice (Hang Gao), the street of charcoal (Hang Than), street of floor mats (Hang Chieu), street of goldsmiths, street of fried fish. Dong Xuan located within the old quarter is the main and vivid market of Hanoi.

The Co Loa Citadel

It is 18 km far from Hanoi, within the district of Dong Anh. It used to be the ancient capital of Au Lac Kingdom reigned by King An Duong Vuong from 214 to 208 B.C. The citadel of Co Loa has the structure of an oyster shell. Legends said that at nighttime the white cocks badly damaged the construction. A holy tortoise was sent by the God of the river who interfered mysteriously for the complete building of the citadel then a magic bow was given to An Duong Vuong for defeating the Chinese invaders. Trong Thuy, the son of Chinese king, Trieu Da, married My Chau, the daughter of King Thuc and made use of the opportunity to steal this magic weapon. Then the war happened and the Vietnamese king committed suicide. People constructed a temple dedicated to King Thuc, princess My Chau and a well where Trong Thuy was so sorrowful that he committed suicide.

The Pagoda Of Thay

This monastery in Ha Tay province dated back the 12th century is about 40 km far from Hanoi. This pagoda is for 3 main people: Sakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism surrounded with 18 arhats; The monk Tu Dao Hanh (The ancestor teacher of water puppetry); King Ly Thanh Tong reincarnated from the teacher. It is interesting to ascend the hill of Lai Son of great magnificent panorama.

The Pagoda Of Tay Phuong

This well-known pagoda, also called Sung Phuc was constructed in the 13th century on a buffalo shaped hill. There are 262 brick steps up. It comprises of 3 parallel buildings with splendid roofs. 76 statues of jack wood mark the great artistic value of the 18 century.

The Huong Pagoda

A complex of pagodas on the limestone mountains. A boat ride on the Yen stream through rice fields up to the mountain is unforgettable. Most temples were built amidst a chain of Blue Mountains, forests, lakes and grottoes. Pilgrims from different parts of the country pour into the Huong pagoda in Spring time. The highest located and also the main pagoda is situated on the top of the mountain. Thousands of stone steps easily challenge tourists’ adventurous desires. Even the elderly women devoutly are wearing long kerchiefs while murmuring their prayers between their lips in the belief that it would lessen the arduousness of the climb. On the Huong Tich grotto, Trinh Lord ‘s praises were carved: “First-rate grotto of southern country”

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