Dive into Hanoi’s pulsating city streets, and you’ll capture the essence of Vietnamese life. The country’s capital is a burgeoning economic center that still clings strongly to traditional culture, managing to be a showcase of both old and modern Vietnam. The old quarter district hums with street vendor action; the cafés and restaurants are vibrant, contemporary scenes; and just trying to cross a road here can end up being an adrenaline-fueled escapade. When the crowds begin to wear you down, Hanoi has a bundle of sites where you can escape for some peace. Hoan Kiem Lake is a relaxing respite right within the city, while the Temple of Literature and Vietnam Museum of Ethnology provide plenty of opportunities to reflect on Vietnam’s grand history.
The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long:
As royal as the name suggests, the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long is perhaps Vietnam’s most intriguing relic denoting its historical and cultural importance. This 40 meter high UNESCO World Heritage Site is among the best places to visit in Hanoi for its architecture as well as a powerful symbol of the history of Hanoi. The erstwhile centre of ancient Hanoi, this citadel had served as the political centre of Vietnam for as long as eight centuries.
Hoan Kiem Lake :
Also known as Turtle Lake, the Hoan Kiem is a central feature of Hanoi and a famous place to hangout with friends and family. What adds beauty to this lake is the Ngoc Son Temple sitting on a small island in the middle of it, linked only by a small bridge where you can click pictures in the stunning backdrop of the lake and its green surroundings. Other than being one of the most charming Hanoi tourist attractions, Hoan Kiem serves as a good spot for young joggers and elderly people practicing Tai Chi and line dancing during sunrise and sunset.
Thang Long Puppet Theatre:
Every traveler’s favourite, this charming theatre showcases the ancient art form of water puppetry with a twist! Water puppetry has a long been associated with Hanoi, and while there are several theatres showcasing guests this art, it is only the popular Thang Long Puppet Theatre where guests can truly enjoy this uniquely Vietnamese take on Asia’s puppet tradition. The dancing and elegantly sliding puppets are the best things to see in Hanoi over a liquid stage. Catch the famous Legend of the Restored Sword of King Le show when you’re in town next!
In northern Vietnam, fresh water fish is widely used in dishes. This Hanoi food Bún Cá, is no exception. It is a light broth made from fish bones with golden fresh white fish lightly fried. At the bottom of the soup, is a bed of rice vermicelli noodles.