Must-See Places In Hanoi

1. Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Ho Chi Minh is one of the most outstanding and sublime leaders in the history of Vietnam. He always is revered by the whole Vietnamese, even in the past or present. Therefore, when he passed away, his body is preserved in a glass case in the central hall at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. It's not only the resting place of Vietnamese leader but also is the convergence of the elite of architecture and cultural space of Hanoi. The construction is 320m in length, 100m in width, 21.6m in high with three layers. Behind the mausoleum are Ho Chi Minh Museum and One Pillar Pagoda, where you can find out about the long history and culture of Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum opens 5 days a week, on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday (except Mondays). Security in Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is really tight, tourist should wear modesty (shorts, tank top, and miniskirts are not permitted) and everyone has to deposit their bags and cameras before coming in.

2. Temple of Literature

This is the temple of Confucius in Hanoi and the first national university in Vietnam. The temple was built in 1070 at the time of Ly dynasty and was reconstructed during the Tran dynasty, the building is extremely well preserved and is a superb example of traditional-style Vietnamese architecture. 82 tombstones with names and origins of 1307 doctors laying on top of stone turtles can be found in Temple of Literature. According to the tradition of Vietnamese people, turtles are known to be long-lived and healthy animals, so putting these tombstones on the turtle’s backs shows the respect for the talents of the nation. When exam season arrives, many students come to the temple and rub the turtle's heads with the belief that this act will bring them luck to pass the test. There is a tradition of Hanoian is that during Lunar New Year’s holiday, they often come here to get a calligraphic word in a hope for good luck for the whole year.

3. Hanoi Old Quarter

Hanoi's Old Quarter has a history that spans 2,000 years and represents the eternal soul of the city. Although the old section of Hanoi is often called as “36 streets” but in fact, there are more than just 36 streets. Each street preserves the special historical memory of the capital and gives the contribution to the development of Hanoi. Coming to Hanoi Old Quarter, there are some activities that you don’t want to miss like watching Thang Long water puppet theater or visiting Hanoi weekend night market.

4. Dong Xuan Market

Located in the central district Hoan Kiem of Hanoi, Dong Xuan market was originally built by French administration in 1889. It has been renovated several times after a fire in 1994. As the largest market in Hanoi, you can find everything in Dong Xuan market, from clothes, household good, foodstuffs, gift, and souvenir though it's not really a tourist market. One caution for you when coming to this market is that you should be careful of your belongings.

5. West Lake

West Lake is the biggest freshwater lake in the center of Hanoi with an area of over 500 ha and a perimeter of 18 km. Studies showed that the lake was created from a curved part of Red River. Surrounding the lake are more than 20 temples, temples, and pagodas, but the most famous ones are Tran Quoc Pagoda and Tam Thanh Temple. There are many good restaurants and pub around West Lake for you to choose. Sunset in West Lake is really beautiful and definitely worth your time during in Hanoi.