10 Things to Do in Hanoi

Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital, enjoys a delicious mix of East and West with distinctive history creating a fascinating contrast that mark the city’s landscape and culture to this day. Embark an adventure and explore the diverse urban landscape in this wonderful city. Check out 10 must-do activities in Hanoi and plan your next trip to this beautiful capital.

1. Explore the Old Quarter

Observe French colonial architecture in the Ba Dinh district: Located in the middle of Ha Noi, the Old Quarter with its old-styled narrow streets full of antique brick houses seems to nostalgically resist the flow of time while still actively trying to adapt to the dynamic atmosphere of the modern city. It consists of many small, meandering streets, each bears the name of the goods that was specifically traded there such as Hang Bac (Silver Product), Hang Ma (Paper Product), Hang Go (Wood Product).

2. Discover Hanoi’s history

Learn all about the history from prehistoric period to August Revolution 1945: National Museum of Vietnamese History highlights Vietnam’s prehistory (about 300,000–400,000 years ago) up to the August 1945 Revolution. It has over 200,000 exhibits displayed covering items from prehistory up to the 1947 revolution and founding of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, arranged in five major sections.

3. Visit the Women’s Museum

A modern museum showcases the roles of women in Vietnamese society and culture: Vietnamese Women’s Museum has a 2000 square metersdisplay area and a collection of more than 25,000 objects and documents which reflect Vietnam’s cultural diversity and women’s significant contributions to the nation’s development, culture and society. It is a community repository of cultural and historical knowledge about Vietnamese womens’ lives across the nation’s 54 ethnic community groups.

4. Visit Imperial Citadel of Thang Long

The centre of political power in the region for 13 centuries, a UNESCO Wold Heritage Site now: Also known as the Hanoi Citadel, many artefacts and items dating back to between the 6th and 20th centuries were excavated in 2004, including foundations of old palaces, ancient roads, ponds and wells. On top of these discoveries, archaeologists also found bronze coins, ceramics and pottery from China and many places in Asia, all of which demonstrate a close trading relationship in the area.

5. Pay respects to Ho Chi Minh

Watch the changing of guards and see mementos of Ho Chi Minh’s life: Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Ba Dinh Square in central Hanoiis one of the most visited attractions in Hanoi. It is the final resting place of Ho Chi Minh, the most iconic and popular leader of Vietnam, known to his people as ‘Uncle Ho’. His body is preserved here in a glass case at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. Ho Chi Minh Museum houses many of Ho Chi Minh’s personal effects, including some of his clothing, his sandals and spectacles. On the waterfront, just across Ben Nghe Channel from District 1, the museum is easily reached on foot by heading south along the river on Ð Ton Duc Thang and crossing the bridge.

6. Spend time at Yen So Park

The largest urban park in Vietnam and the largest green park in Hanoi: Located in the gateway of the South Hanoi and considered as a “green lung” for the benefits of Hanoi, Yen So Park spans over 323 hectares including green trees, 5 intact lakes and public infrastructure. As the largest park of its kind in Hanoi, Yen So Park derives inspiration from the diverse historical elements of the beautiful capital of Vietnam and translates it into an experience that values both the traditional and the contemporary.

7. Stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake

Visit Ngoc Son temple via the bridge leading to the island in the middle of the lake: Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi attracts tourists and locals looking to get away from the noise and frenetic pace of the city. Peaceful and quiet, the lake surrounds Ngoc Son Temple, a pagoda sitting in the centre on a small island. The temple attracts many visitors and was built in commemoration of the 13th century military leader Tran Hung Dao who was renowned for his bravery in the battle against the Yuan Dynasty.

8. Lap up the coffee culture

Enjoy ca phe sua da (Vietnamese iced coffee) or Vietnamese coffee blended from freshest local coffee beans: Former US President Barack Obama expressed his wish to try Vietnam’s iced milk coffee in his visit to Vietnam. This is a drink praised by many international travel magazines and tourists. The coffee should be brewed directly from a French drip press into a glass that’s a quarter-full with sweetened condensed milk.

9. Sample the street food

Small local street food eateries are everywhere in Hanoi, try everything from pho, Bun Cha, Bun bo nam bo to Vietnamese ice cream

10. Enjoy a water puppet show

Be whisked away into a watery world of performance like historical legends: Mostly unknown outside of Northern Vietnam until the 1960s, the ancient art of water puppetry is one of the country’s more curious highlights. Rice farmers working in the red river delta conceived this unusual art form over 1,000 years ago, likely when farmers adapted conventional puppetry onto water after a large flood.

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