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  • Top 5 tourist sights in Hanoi



    Vietnam is a fascinating country, and one of its most interesting destinations is Hanoi, the capital and second largest city in the country. A fascinating mix of East and West, Hanoi is really what you need if you want a holiday that will allow you to combine culture and tradition with modern city life.

    Hanoi has a long and rich history, so there are lost of historical attractions to see, but on the other hand it is a paradise for shoppers, and a delight for the amateur foodie. Here are the top 5 tourist sights in Hanoi.

    Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

    The legendary leader of Vietnam is entombed at the Ho Chi Minhn mausoleum, much in the style of Lenin, although it was against his wishes. This is a solemn place, where you are not allowed to do anything even remotely disrespectful (no shorts, definitely no laughing or talking, and no photos inside the building).Entrance to the museum is free, but be warned that a couple of months each year, Ho Chi Minh’s body is taken away for maintenance.

    Temple of Literature

    The Temple of Literature is possibly one of the oldest buildings in the city, and it was established as a university in 1070. It is a temple dedicated to Confucius, and although it was destroyed and rebuilt several times throughout history, it is a truly fascinating historical building.

    The temple’s courtyard features stone tablets mounted on the back of stone turtles, with the names of former graduates written on them.

    Hoan Kiem Lake

    The Hoan Kiem Lake part is a very pleasant oasis of calm and vegetation in the middle of the city, within easy walking distance from the Old Quarter. In the morning, you can see people practicing tai chi, and in the afternoon, lots of people are taking walks around the park.

    Hoa Lo Prison

    photo by Gerald Ford

    This prison was built at the beginning of the 20th century by the French, so in style it is very similar to French prisons from the turn of the century.

    Many Vietnamese freedom fighters were imprisoned in Hoa Lo, and during the Vietnam war, it was the place where American POV’s were kept – so it got the nickname of Hanoi Hilton. It is a museum commemorating the horrors of wars.

    Night Market

    A visit to the night market is something every visitor should do, even if you don’t really intend to find anything. The market is a sight in itself, filled with people, lights, enticing smells and all the merchandise you can ever dream of. You can find DVD’s, traditional ornaments, street food and countless other things. It opens at 7 PM in the Old Quarter.

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