It is particular that just dozens of years ago, Hanoi was known as the city received tons of bombs and bullets throughout Vietnam War. Nonetheless, after the war, the city has been built to become a peaceful place for residence and travel. Especially, a lot of places of interest having importantly historical value have still been reserved, contributing to its uniqueness and highlighting it among several attractive Asian cities. These days, it’s not difficult to find a foreigner who spend their vacation in Hanoi on seeking peace in mind and relaxation.
For some people, they would ask what the detailed difference of Hanoi is in comparison with other cities, and why their friends want to attend the city again. Interestingly, there are an abundance of activities to contribute to the holiday of a lifetime, while 3 days are probably not enough to explore everything of Hanoi. That’s why in the case they don’t prepare an appropriate itinerary for the journey, they could waste a great deal of time for excursion. In fact, they cannot miss any of amazing destinations because the city is so addictive. If you are curious about this issue, why don’t you allocate little time on reading my writing? In fact, it’s my own schedule of what I did to explore the city during my 5-day stay. And finally, you will have the same opinion as certain travelers’ one – never hesitate to enjoy your vacation in Hanoi.
Hanoi is the perfect mixture between stunning natural landscape, historical buildings and contemporary constructions. But after leaving the airport, tourists are advised to stay in the Old Quarter, where a bundle of lodgings are available, while moving to other attractions is very simply. Then, what they should do on the first day of their vacation in Hanoi is:
Wander around the Old Quarter
Actually, the Old Quarter is an attraction itself as well. Having the age of nearly a millennium, its origin is a system of 36 streets each of which displayed a different type of products, such as coal, silk, silver, paper and drum. Despite being destroyed by time and wars, leading to the disappearance of many traditional craft shops, the Old Quarter has still demonstrated ancient houses erected in the 19th century, and some vestiges lying in temples and pagoda.
The place is also suitable to shopping. You can easily find nostalgic souvenirs, including clothes, pictures, shoes and jewelry in every street and Dong Xuan Market, while the nightlife is very energetic with lots of mobile stores, lively bars and musical stages. Fresh bear and street food are what you can taste to recharge energy. You can do this conveniently in Ta Hien Street or Ly Quoc Su Street.
I spent all a day on having an adventure in all corners of the Old Quarter. But the street system is quite complex, and sometimes, I got lost. Some must-visit destinations for an vacation in Hanoi are Hanoi St Joseph’s Cathedral, Hanoi Ancient Gate, Thang Long Water Puppet Theater.
Ride a bike in Hoan Kiem Lake and the French Quarter in the morning
The following day of my vacation in Hanoi, I rent a bike and ride to go sightseeing in the rest of Hoan Kiem District. The first stop is Hoan Kiem Lake, or The Lake of Returned Sword. Interestingly, it’s a green treasury of Hanoi these days which can cool down the temperature in summer. Hunting for relaxation there is achievable. Indeed, this scenic spot is the origin of some legends related to a kind of turtles accommodating in the lake. Meanwhile, Turtle Tower and Jade Mountain Temple constructed on two small islands hundreds of years ago enhance its antiquatedness.
After that, I traveled to the French Quarter in the south of Hoan Kiem Lake. This special sector was established in the 19th century, during the French colonization in Hanoi. Owning to being under control of the French at that time, the majority of premises there have got a colonial style, which turns the zone into a real European city. In comparison with the Old Quarter, the French Quarter reflects another side of Hanoi: modern and elegant. Some noticeable places are Government Guesthouse, Hanoi Opera House, National Museum of Vietnam History, Hoa Lo Prison and Museum of Vietnamese Women. A small fee for entry is requested.
Visit The Temple of Literature in the afternoon
Beside the French Quarter, The Temple of Literature is the first university in Vietnam. Its foundation was in Ly Dynasty nearly 1000 years ago in order to educate royal members and bureaucrats. Apart from durable wooden houses following distinctive housing structure in the past, the most prominent objects could be numberless turtle statues utilized to honor those who had good results in the nation’s examinations. This place is an admirable location to study about Vietnamese history as well.
Enjoy food in the north of Hai Ba Trung District
It would be regrettable if tourists never taste delicious dishes in restaurants in the north of Hai Ba Trung District. This zone, fascinatingly, comprise lots of well-known eateries serving conventional Vietnamese food, such as Bun Cha – Kebab rice noodles, Pho – rice noodles and soup with beef or chicken, and grilled fish. I attended at Huong Lien Restaurant, where Mr. Barack Obama visited in 2016, to savor Bun Cha. The taste is so exceptional, while the price is affordable too, only 2 USD/person.
Head to Ho Chi Minh’s Complex
President Ho Chi Minh is one of the most famous national heroes of Vietnam. And in order to esteem what he did for the Vietnmese, the Vietnamese built a complex for him, including Mausoleum, Garden and Museum, near Ba Dinh Square. Currently, this destination is open for both locals and foreigners in the morning, except for Monday and Friday for maintenance. Therefore, I chose this place for my vacation in Hanoi on the third day. A short trip there helped me broaden my horizon about the homeliness of the head of Vietnamese government. I like the stilt house most because I hadn’t thought that a president could live in such a simple house before.
Bike around West Lake
Leaving Ho Chi Minh’s complex, I used the remaining time of the day to bike around West Lake. As the largest lake in Hanoi, this one offered me a clean environment to calm myself down, and an opportunity to engage in some water sports. This is also the reason why many 5-star hotels surround the lake to supply a restful site.
Aside from religious points, namely Tran Quoc Pagoda and Phu Tay Ho, the lake is illustrious for shrimp in batter. That striking food is sold at a restaurant opposite Tran Quoc Pagoda. After having lunch at the restaurant, I couldn’t control myself, and then had to visit it again to savor the unforgettable meal for my dinner.
Move far from the inner city
Extra attractions in Hanoi are craft villages in the suburb. On the 4th day of my vacation in Hanoi, I continued my journey to Bat Trang Village and Van Phuc Village. But firstly, I decided to view Long Bien Bridge. It is unbelievable that the bridge was also designed by Eiffel Gustave, an architect who architected Eiffel Tower in France. Perhaps this is the explanation why the bridge is made of steel too. Suffering from loads of destructions by bombs, the bridge has still existed for railway transportation until now.
After that, I presented in Bat Trang Village in the morning. The sector specializes in producing ceramic products, for example, cups, vases, bowls and plates which are desirable souvenirs for your family members. I registered a course to learn how to make a ceramic object there. The lesson was great. But due to the lack of meticulousness, my own fruition was very terrible.
In the afternoon, I went back to the city center, and directed to the south, where Van Phuc Village lies. Different from Bat Trang Village, the locality is famous for handmade silk clothes. Actually, vivid clothes there surprised me as I enter the village. Ironically, after checking in some stores, I couldn’t make a decision of what I should buy. Because all of them are high-quality. Handkerchief and customary Vietnam clothes, “Ao dai”, were the things I purchased for my girlfriend in the end.
Present in Perfume Pagoda
Far from the south of Hanoi center is Perfume Pagoda. The spot hides iself in mountains and streams, providing a perfect space to be close to nature. Because of a long journey awaiting me, my final day in Hanoi was only for it. Starting with sitting in a boat to move on Yen Stream, I walked to the top of the mountain to view Huong Tich Cave, an incredible natural gift. In the case travelers cannot cope with a tough adventure on foot, they should use aerial cables instead. Though I was exhausted, this vista is worth my effort. Several temples and pagodas are on the way of traveling as well.
In general, that is a typical vacation in Hanoi which enables you to have an excursion of eminent locations there. Whatever you need, embarking on dynamic nightlife, or achieving peace in mind, the city, obviously, has an ability to meet any of your private demands.