Best things to do in Hanoi
Find out more about those top places in Hanoi
If there are any thought lingering in your mind that Hanoi is one of those cities that should be skipped when visiting the continent of Asia, then you should not be listened to. Hanoi is one of the highly rated Asian cities you can visit with a relatively low budget. It is a very aesthetically pleasing city with rich culture and places to visit like the Hoa Lo prison, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Hoan Kiem Lake.
This is the number one stop for every tourist coming into Hanoi for the first time. Nicknamed the “Hanoi Hilton” by The United States Prisoners of War (POWs) during the great American War. Originally built by the French to house Vietnam prisoners, the Hoa LO prison will mostly likely give you chilling thought of scenarios of torture and hard conditions suffered by prisoners when it was still active. It also includes a French guillotine used for executions, that is something you don’t see every day.
If you are in the mood to see something, that you might never experience in other countries, then heading over to Thang Long Water Puppet theater is the best action to take. The Show is done with high skill as it involves controlling puppets over water. Each show tells a story about the history, myths and legends of Vietnam.
The Mausoleum was set up to immortalize the great Vietnam leader Ho Chi Minh a former president of the communist party of Vietnam. Also, called the “Uncle Ho” museum by locals, it features sections showing different stages of his like; from his birth to his death. In the Central Hall is the embalmed body of Uncle Ho, for visitors to pay their respects. It is usually kept under high surveillance at all times.
If you are searching for a serene location to spend evenings during a visit to Hanoi, the Hoan Kiem Lake is highly recommended. Getting its name which means “Lake of the Restored Sword” from the folklore that a sword with magical powers was sent to heaven to Emperor Ly Thai To that helped him banish the Chinese from Vietnam. The Lake is also home to “the great tortoise” but it is only seen sporadically.
Established in 1070 by Emperor Ly Thanh Tong, it is dedicated to Confucius and set up to educate exceptional students in Vietnam. It is considered the first University of Vietnam and initially admitted only members of the royal family, before loosening its policies to accommodate students with spectacular academic results. Till this day it still retains most of its historical cores, in terms of architectural design. Tourists are always welcome to take a tour at the temple.
It is practically impossible to visit Hanoi without wining and dining in one of the numerous cafes and restaurants in the city. Two of the high recommended spots are Chim Sao and Hanoi Social Club. Chim Sao gives a more traditional vibe while the latter doubles with as a hub for artists. Both offer the best of Hanoi delicacies and provide a serene spot to relax after a long day’s work.