Hanoi which means literally inside the river. This city is nestled along the Red River delta. For this reason, Hanoi has scenic lakes to offer. It is a vibrant city, which has a fascinating blend of East and West. It has a Sino-Vietnamese concept and accented with French elegance.
Non-Bai International airport is the only gateway in Hanoi. Most major airlines and even budget airlines fly here. If you are backpacking in southeast asia. It can be acccessed on land by Laos and Cambodia land border.
Great things not to miss
Visit the Old Quarter
Old Quarter is a maze of 36 streets crisscrossing each other. Its origin can be traced back to 13th century. It is the commercial hub and business of Hanoi. Every street is named after a product or a trade. For example; Hang Thiec Street, or Tinsmith Street, is still the place to buy tin receptacles and for sheet-metal work. In Old Quarter, you can find anything here, from silk, souvenirs, bags, mentioned it, has it all.
Tips: it is recommended to explore this place on foot.
Hoan Kiem Lake
It is also known as ‘ The Lake of the Returned Sword”.This lake is a stone’s throw away from the Old Quarter. Just exit at Cau Go Street and you can see the lake. It is a prominent place in Hanoi. It has a red bridge that connects you to Ngoc Son temple located in the middle of the lake.
Ho Chi Minh Complex
This complex is a must see to learn the culture and history of Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh is the father of Vietnam independence. In the complex, you can visit Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum, The Presidential Palace and Ba Dinh Square and Ho Chi Minh’s Residence and Museum.
courtesy of http://www.hanoifreetourguides.com
One Pillar Pagoda
This pagoda is made of wood, erected in the centre of a lotus pond. The architecture of the pagoda is inspired by a blossoming lotus flower.
Temple of Literature
This was the first university in Vietnam. This temple of dedicated to Confucius.It is built on a large, rectangular complex entangled in five walled courtyards linked by gateways, visitors will be greeted by the reflecting pool.
courtesy of http://www.north-vietnam.com
Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
It is a comprehensive and informative museum of ethnology in Vietnam. It showcases the different tribes from Northern to Southern Vietnam. It has a miniature replica of the houses of each tribe. It displays the different clothing and even customs and traditions of each tribe. Before heading to trekking, it is encouraged to drop at this museum to give you a glimpse of the culture of the ethnic tribe you are visiting to.
Hoa Lo Prison
Hoa Loa Prison (later known as Hanoi Hilton) was a famous prison located in Hanoi’s French District that received great notoriety because of its use by French colonial government, and later North Vietnamese fighters during the Vietnam War. In its long history, this place became a breeding ground for the Vietnamese resistance movement, and later on became main holding camp for American Prisoners of War that were captured during the war. During its active years, the conditions in this prison deteriorated as the number of prisoners increased, and in the years of the Vietnam War American, POWs were held there in truly horrific environment, although Vietnam government denies those claims to this day. (information is taken from www.travelfish.com)