Ha Noi - The capital of Viet Nam is an inspiring mix of East and West, combining conventional Sino-Vietnamese motifs and French style. Known as the 'Paris of the East', the city retains much of its older French-inspired charm of bygone eras, especially in the Old Quarter. , However, it is now going through a building boom, making it a swiftly developing city in Southeast Asia and standing out as a must - go city attraction in Asia where the exotic chic of old Asia colonial legacy blends with the modern outlook of new Asia.
Inside a modern and dynamic capital city of Viet Nam, there appears a centuries-old quarter which represents the eternal soul of the city. Most locals and foreigners often call it “Hà Nội – Ba mươi sáu phố phường” (translated as “Ha Noi – 36 districts” or “Hanoi – 36 Old Streets”), or “Phố cổ Hà Nội” (translated as “Hanoi’s Old Quarter”).
WHAT TO SEE
Every single natural sight and historical monument in Hanoi is spectacularly related to a legend. The more you know about the stories about Hanoi, the more fascinating you will feel about its history and culture.
Hanoi’s Old Quarter
It takes you about 45 minutes away from Noi Bai International Airport and 15 minutes from Hanoi Train Station by car to this city’s top historical vestige and sight-seeing spot. Situated between Hoan Kiem Lake, Long Bien Bridge, a former city rampart, and a citadel wall, the Old Quarter used to be was a snake and alligator-infested swamp. It later evolved into a handicraft complex made up of a cluster of workshop villages and soon gained its reputation as the most vibrant business trading areas of the Red River delta. The Old Quarter boasts its unique architecture, long history, culture and a variety of wares which brings the delightful life for its residents. Skilled craftsmen migrated to the Quarter to live and work together for years. Craftsmen or merchants producing similar goods locate their business in the same guilds, which forms a cooperative system for merchandise transportation to particular streets. Under French administration, the Old Quarter soon became a marketplace for trading goods between locals and merchants from China, India and France.
You will certainly be eager to walk around the old streets and stop by stores and buy specialties. Here are some suggestions for tourists who would like to explore the Old Quarter, with some names of specialized streets on each product and service: China bowls (Bat Su St.), grilled fish (Cha Ca St.), silver or jewelries (Hang Bac St.), women accessories (Cau Go St.), shoes and sandals (Hang Dau St.), silk (Hang Gai St.), mixed fruits (To Tich St.), combs (Hang Luoc St.), jars (Hang Chinh St.), tour services (Ma May St.), candies and dry apricot (Hang Duong St.), fried and roasted sour pork hash (Tam Thuong lane on Hang Bong Street St.), bamboo products (Hang Buom St.), etc. In addition, visitors, as well as city dwellers, can go to the night market taking place along four walking streets: Hang Dao – Hang Ngang – Hang Duong – Dong Xuan in the evening from Friday to Sunday to taste exotic street delicacies and shop for lovely souvenirs A trip to Hanoi would be incomplete without the Old Quarter. Exotic chaos lies inside a maze of old streets, creating an experience not to be found anywhere.
Temple of Literature
Located about 2km west of Hoan Kiem Lake, the Temple of Literature is the first national university in Viet Nam. Founded in 1070 by Emperor Ly Thanh Tong, the temple was first devoted to Confucius (Khong Tu) and honors Viet Nam’s finest intellectuals and men of literary accomplishment. At this time, the entrance was only granted to those of royal class, but after 1442 a more egalitarian approach was adopted and talented individuals from all over the country headed to Hanoi to learn the principles of Confucianism, literature and poetry. Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam is a rare example of well-preserved traditional Vietnamese architecture. Located in an over 54000m2 plot, the temple is divided into five courtyard, each has its own features and history. The first courtyard stretches from the main gate to Dai Trung gate; the second stands out with Khue Van Cac pavilion, which is designated as an emblem of the city. You will find doctors’ names listed on a tombstone above tortoise backs in the third courtyard. There are a total of 82 tombstones, with names and origins of 1307 doctors, matching 82 examination courses from 1442 to 1779. When it comes to exam season or New Year, many Vietnamese students come here and rub the tortoises’ heads. It is believed that such action brings luckiness to their studies. The fourth courtyard is bordered on either side by great pavilions which once contained altars of 72 of Confucius’ greatest students. However, nowadays, these pavilions have been replaced by offices, a gift shop and a small museum which displays inkwells, pens, books and personal artifacts belonging to some of the students that have studied here through the years. At the far end of the courtyard is the altar with statues of Confucius and his four closest disciples. Although the Temple of Literature has gone through lots of restoration work, the temple still retains its very first original shape. This is definitely a place that you should spend time to explore and enjoy its tranquility.
Tran Quoc Pagoda
Tran Quoc pagoda – one of the oldest pagoda in Ha Noi, after many times of relocated and reparation, Tran Quoc pagoda still kept its own spirit and standstill with pride and honor. Viet Nam has a lot of pagodas, some of them are very old and very marvelous. As a Hanoian, you can be proud of Tran Quoc pagoda – one of the oldest temple in Ha Noi and also in Viet Nam. Placed on the peninsula on the south of Westlake near Thanh Niên road, Tran Quoc pagoda is famous for being a marvelous place and also a very attractive destination for Buddhists and tourists. According to history’s records, Tran Quoc pagoda was built in Lý Nam Đế’s period, named Khai Quốc (inauguration of a nation). This is a pagoda related closely to the beginning of the first state of Viet Nam Van Xuan. After many times of relocated and reparation (1615 – 1842), Tran Quoc pagoda still kept its own spirit and standstill with pride and honor. All are related to the career of building, developing and protecting the nation, that is the spirit and the pride of Tran Quoc pagoda. With 3000m2 and an only big road made of red brick, the geomancy is very good and the gate is placed on the right back of the temple near Thanh Nien road, which is a convenience for Buddhist and tourist. Inside, the pagoda has so many architecture works placed very harmonious, specific for the rule of Buddhism architecture. With many layers of houses, divide up in 3 main house: forecourt, Burn incense, upper house connect with each other to create a “Công” word. The forecourt is on the left, 2 sides of Burn incense and upper house are two halls, the left hall has a monastery, the right hall now has a guest room with a lot of pictures about the story of Thích Ca Buddha. The pagoda now keeping 14 steles, on one stele, there is still a story of temple restoration Dr.Dang Quy Thich in 1815. Used to be a central of Buddhism in Lý and Trần dynasty with beautiful design, Tran Quoc pagoda was a place for the King and feudal lord to visit sites and make ceremonial offerings. With more than 1500 years old, became a symbol of Ha Noi architecture. Nowadays, tourist still comes here not only for ceremonial offerings but also for visiting sites.
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
Located in the center of Ba Dinh Square, approximately 3.5km from Hoan Kiem Lake, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is one of the most significant and iconic historical destinations in Ha Noi, honoring President Ho Chi Minh., The mausoleum was constructed by Vietnamese people in order to express gratitude and admiration to their great leader, and at the same time considered as their father or uncle who leads the nation to independence and reunification. The Mausoleum is opened in the morning for the visitor. From April 01 to October 31, it is opened from 7.30 a.m. to 10.30 a.m. from Monday to Friday, and 7.30 a.m. to 11.00 a.m.on Saturday and Sunday. From November 01to March 31, it is opened in the morning from 08:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m,, Monday to Friday, and from 8:00 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. However, it is advised that you check before visiting as the mausoleum might be closed occasionally for maintenance. It is interesting also to observe the flag raising and lowering ceremony at 6 AM and 9 PM every day at Ba Dinh Square. There is no entrance fee to visit but it is very likely that there will be long queue. About dressing code, as Ho Chi Minh mausoleum is a sacred destination, it is not permitted to wear shorts, tank tops or similar cloths. Besides, photography is strictly prohibited in the mausoleum.
Long Bien bridge – history witness
Long Bien bridge-one of 3 main bridge cross over the red river was first named “Doumer” and became the biggest bridge in the Indochina in the 90s last century. By the time the French dominated, they have built much architectural work like Hoa Lo prison, church... during the first colony exploited in Viet Nam (1897-1914). One of the most famous architectural work is Long Bien bridge. Built by Dayde & Pille company, started in 1899 and completed in 1902. Long Bien bridge was first named “Doumer” and became the biggest bridge in the Indochina that time. The French proudly called it “The 2 centuries connection bridge”.
With 2290m long, 19 cadences of steel placed on 20 pillars, 40m height, 896m of the bridge leading road and a rail in the middle, Long Bien bridge was first built for the train to carry materials, the 2 others side was for small vehicles and walkers. For Ha Noi, Long Bien bridge is one of the most favorite history witnesses. It has been through 2 wars and had so many memories with the people there. Although had been strafed very violently by bombs and guns, Long Bien bridge still stand still with pride. Nowadays, Long Bien bridge is forbidden to use because of the downgrade. But it now became a new favorite place for the youth, photographer to take photos.
Hoa Lo Prison
Mention to Ha Noi, we talk about many amazing natural sights and historical monument like Hoan Kiem lake, Ha Noi opera house, Ha Noi old quarter or temple of literature. Also, Hoa Lo prison is a very good choice for you. Hoa Lo prison was rated by CNN as one of the scariest places in South East Asia, along with Killing fields in Cambodia, Penang war museum in Malaysia,…Built in 1896 by the French colonist, Hoa Lo prison’s original name was Maison Centrale. It used to be a place to keep prisoner who fought against the colonial, especially the communist. There were many Communists were kept and tortured there, some of them are very famous like Nguyen Van Kien or general secretary Truong Chinh. Nowadays, Hoa Lo prison is one of the most visited in Ha Noi with thousands of visitor, more than 70% are foreigners. You can visit the place every day even holiday from 8 AM to 5 PM, with 20,000 VND for an adult ticket and 10,000VND for a child ticket.
Bat Trang Ceramic Village
Bat Trang Ceramic Village is a famous destination in Hanoi. With more than 7 centuries of history, it has plenty of exclusive artworks crafted by skillful craftsmen. Whether you are looking for an outdoor adventure or a contemporary city break, Bat Trang is a notable place of interest in Hanoi. The seven-century old pottery village is situated on the left bank of the Red River, about 10km away from the center of Hanoi. You may feel like it is just a small town, but don’t let its size fool you: its small workshops pack a serious pottery punch. There is a variety of shapes, colors, designs, and sizes of pottery available in Bat Trang, partly because each family has their own pottery making techniques. Skillful potters use their hands to mold the exact same mold into different shapes. But there are still some common themes in the designs traced on the ceramics once they have been shaped. Visit the ancient village on the bank of the Red River to experience the rural life and the profusion of pottery and ceramic wares. Try to make your own pottery or stop by street side shops to find your own gifts for family or friends.
Duong Lam Ancient Village
When talking about Duong Lam village, we always see an old and traditional picture. Through many thousand years, Duong Lam still maintains the features of pure Vietnamese ancient village with a variety of values. Situated about 20km far from Ha Noi center, when talking about Duong Lam village, we always see an old and traditional picture. It takes about one and half hour from Ha Noi to Duong Lam. This is a famous place where two Kings of Viet Nam: Ngo Quyen and Phung Hung were born and giving it the prestige. Up to now, through many thousand years, Duong Lam still maintains the features of pure Vietnamese ancient village with a variety of values. The village is not only famous for many ancient houses but also is well-known by many cultural and historical relics including temples, pagodas, stone steles. Seven of them were recognized as national relics. The village is the hometown of many specialties: Sugar, Mia Chicken, soybean sauce, etc. If you have a chance coming here, you should buy them as a souvenir for your friends and your family. Duong Lam has more than nine hundred traditional houses with special construction. Being built from the laterite blocks is one of the characteristics of the houses here. Almost the main ones were built with wooden pillars, red tile roofs, and a lot of big jars of soybean sauce are placed right on the bijou brick-paved yard. Lanes structure in Duong Lam is very unique because they are shaped fish bone frame. The architectural design is so deliberate when going from the temple of the village, you will not turn back to the door, showing respect to those who are worshiped there. With 287 Buddha statues, Mia pagoda became one of the pagodas had the largest number of Buddha statues in Viet Nam. Besides, Mong Phu gate also is one of the important relics with a great traditional architecture value. Annually, Duong Lam organizes the local festivals to honor the national heroes. You can visit here in the end or the beginning of the new year to join the festive atmosphere surrounding. (Photo credit: duonglamvillage.com)
There is a small village called Chuong in suburban capital. It has maintained the reputation of making conical hats – one of the most famous costumes of Viet Nam for over three centuries. It’s about 40 kilometers from center of Hanoi to the village. Chuong’s famous Non was given their own pride by the villagers. In the past, the conical hats were used to hide the rain and the sun. They used a bamboo frame to fabricate and used the leaf to cover the conical hats. Each family can produce conical hats. “Non la” has become a feature of Vietnamese culture. Every year, they are producing thousands of Chuong village conical hats to beautify lives and many skilled artisans, who live and die with the craft of their ancestors are enriched. Chuong hat has 16 circles in a frame, the outermost is the biggest, most extensive, and following smaller cone circles progressively. To finish the hat they have to cover three layers of leaves. The beautiful hat mostly is the light hat. A long time ago, when coming to Chuong village, you easily see someone sewing anywhere. Children aged five to seven feed buffaloes and bring hats go set stitch, the elders chew betel and areca, chat and sew hats.
Dong Ho Painting Village
Dong Ho is the only village where people know to make the “Dzo” painting with completely natural materials so this destination is very famous. Dong Ho village is known with another name: Mai village, in the Song Ho commune, Thuan Thanh District, Bac Ninh province. It is 30 km to the East of Hanoi, located along the southern bank of Duong River Dyke. When you come to Dong Ho village, you must try to collect some paintings as a souvenir for your friends. One of distinct Vietnamese folk art is Dong Ho Painting (Tranh Đông Hồ in Vietnamese). It reflects the innermost, wishes, and simple dreams of people. Dong Ho is the only village where people know to make the “Dzo” painting with completely natural materials so this destination is very famous. “Dzo” printing paper is made of the bark of a tree. The general color of the paper is white. People always use natural materials to make the colors of the papers. The most colors are usually orange, pink, yellow; purple … They made the colors from various kind of leaves you can find easily in Viet Nam. To protect the painting and colors they cover a layer of sticky rice paste on. It will keep the paintings cannot be dimmer even time of daylight. Normally, households start to produce pictures for Tet in December. Dong Ho pictures were sold at most rural markets. Vietnamese believe that if you get the Dong Ho paintings to décor for Tet Holiday they can get the luck for whole next year. Visit the village, you will have a chance to know how the craftsman makes a painting, and if you want to experience you actually can try. Nowadays, people don’t make paintings as much as centuries ago. But, local families still keep printing new copies on orders placed by customers as a special gift for visitors.
WHAT TO EAT
Food is one of the most enjoyable things for travelers in Hanoi. The capital of Viet Nam is much appreciated by food-loving global trotters thanks to its countless variety of reasonable and tasty eats and drinks, ranging from soups, noodles, buns, rolls and sandwiches perfectly paired with plenty of fresh herbs to fresh beer, coffee and green tea. Wandering around the main streets of Hanoi, and down many of the side streets and alleyways, you will find many interesting dining spots from luxury restaurants, charming cafeteria to lovely food stalls which is everywhere that you look and becomes an integral part of the livelihoods of many locals.hes perfectly paired with plenty of fresh herbs to fresh beer, coffee and green tea. Wander around the main streets of Hanoi, and down many of the side streets and alleyways, you will find many interesting dining spots from luxury restaurants, charming cafeteria to lovely food stalls which is everywhere that you look and becomes an integral part of the livelihoods of many locals.
The classic Hanoi noodle soup that is sold from sunrise. From long-boiled beef bones and spices, the broth is made. Phở with beef is Phở bò, while chicken refers to Phở gà. There is also another way of Phở Bò but it's made like spring roll called Phở cuốn. It includes beef and salad with Phở paper wrapping around. Phở cuốn is eaten with sauce.
Among the delicious street food, pho in Hanoi has been placed at No. 20 among the world’s best 500 culinary experiences by the Lonely Planet travel guide. The noodle soup is typically associated with the capital city, as late Vietnamese writer Thach Lam wrote: "Pho is a specialty of Hanoi. You can taste it in other places. But only in Hanoi can you have delicious pho." Pho has become a standard of Hanoi’s culinary elite, which is a great combination of broth, meat, spices, herbs and banh pho (the rice noodle). Place to eat: 10 Ly Quoc Su/49 Bat Dan.
This rice vermicelli is cooked with many different ingredients. Similar to Phở, vermicelli which is eaten with beef is called Bún bò. Bún chả is made with grilled pork. Together with a salty and sweet broth, herbs, vermicelli, the swine is so amazing that you definitely can't wait to enjoy it. At lunch, the air is full of the scent of the grilled pork that attracts you to go there. Another vermicelli is eaten with slow-moving sea snails called Bún ốc. Place to eat: To Hien Thanh St., Trieu Viet Vuong St. or 32-48 Cau Go St., 11 Hang Hom St. or 2 Hang Chi St.
It's Vietnamese baguette stuffed with pâté, pickled carrots, daikon and mayonnaise, jalapenos and cold cuts. People can change by adding their favorite foods inside. Banh mi is the most popular food not only in Viet Nam. The name of “Banh mi” is brought into the Oxford dictionary.
Vietnamese Grilled Pork Meatballs with Vermicelli Noodles (Bun Cha) is a classic Northern Vietnamese dish. Bun Cha features flavorful and juicy pork meatballs, vermicelli noodles, plenty of refreshing herbs and traditional lime fish sauce dipping. It is the dish all Hanoians, as well as many Northerners, hold dear in their hearts.
Bun Cha is thought to originate in Hanoi, but it is also a popular dish in other Northern cities. This dish can be found at every corner of Hanoi, from big streets to small alleys. People in Hanoi eat these grilled pork meatballs with vermicelli noodles for either lunch or dinner.
Restaurants or street food stalls selling bun cha usually look modest with basic plastic tables and chairs. Of course, you can find this dish on the menu of fancier restaurants, but those aren’t the places the locals go to eat bun cha. Even Chef Anthony Bourdain chose a street food shop to treat the former President Obama to bun cha in his Parts Unknown series. (Source: delightfulplate.com – Photo credit: prettywildworld.com)
Chả cá Lã Vọng
Chunks of fish are anointed with plenty of turmerics, then sizzled with heaps of dill and served with rice noodles. Place to eat: 14 Cha Ca, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
The coffee is quite strong and is described as an electric jolt to the nervous system. Drink coffee after having breakfast and keep yourself updated with newspapers has become a common habit for many Vietnamese You will be definitely surprised at a cup of “egg coffee” made from coffee and egg. Place to drink: Along Nguyen Huu Huan (close to Old Quarters) or Trieu Viet Vuong St. or Phan Dinh Phung St.
Ca phe trung (Vietnamese "egg coffee"): The creamy soft, meringue-like egg white foam perched on the dense Vietnamese coffee will have even those who don't normally crave a cup of joe licking their spoons with delight. In Hanoi, follow the tiny alley between the kitschy souvenir shops at 11 Hang Gai into the clearing and up several flights of increasingly dicey stairs to pair your ca phe trung with an unbeatable view of Hoan Kiem Lake.
WHAT TO BUY
Hanoi is the shopping heaven in the North of Viet Nam. From its bustling markets, colonial shop houses, flash boutiques and shopping malls; you can find every strange unique thing that cannot be found anywhere else. Escape the afternoon heat to some shopping malls or shop to bring some of these things back home with you like a small piece of Hanoi
Silk and Clothing
Silk is like in every corner of Hanoi: you can find silk and silk goods everywhere, from rolled and stacked fabric to finished dresses, man’s ties, Ao dai, scarves, sleeping bags, etc. Hang Gai street, Hang Da market or farther, Van Phuc village are the addresses you can consider. Tailored clothing is also a good thing you should try. Just give them your requirement or choose from their sample/catalog, in a matter of days, you will get what you always long for.
Embroider is Northern Viet Nam’s specialty, but if your trip is not too long to afford a short journey to the north, let’s go to some shops to get pieces of stunning embroidered cotton and linens. Beautiful embroidery can be found in any budget, from the patterns of ethnic minorities, pillow cases, table cloths, placemats to dresses of the fine art quality work hung in galleries.
Lacquerware is one of the best known Vietnamese crafts, beautiful and available in a wide range of choices: wall paintings, flower vases, jewelry boxes, trays, chessboards, and folding screens. You can find them easily on the streets such as Hang Manh, Hang Trong or Hang Hom. Some lacquerware shops with a higher price are a good choice if you want to have guaranteed quality. Although it also exists in other Asian countries, Vietnamese lacquer ware is usually of a better.
Made from the bark of Do tree (a wild river plant), Dó paper is a Vietnamese unique material widely used in making postcards, notebook, paintings and stationery sets with reasonable price. You can also buy some raw Dó paper for writing a letter to make your words become one-of-a-kind and a big surprise for the receiver. Dó paper and goods can be easily found on Hang Gai Street, Hang Bac Street or Craft-link near The Temple of Literature.
Bamboo and Rattan goods
Bamboo and rattan goods are the most sophisticated souvenirs you can find in town. From uncouth material, the artisans create everything you can imagine, from tiny chopsticks to intricately woman full-size chair with a very reasonable price. Shops along Quang Trung Street and Hang Hanh Street are some good choices you can try to drop by.
Jewelry and Silver
As you can see from the name, Hang Bac was named after its main product: silver, because “bac” means silver in English. Almost Hanoian comes here when they need to buy jewelry and silver, from a tiny simple ring, necklaces to a whole set to give to their fiancé or worshipping articles. Strongly believed as a powerful element to drive evil away; silver will be a very meaningful gift for your beloved ones.
Dried fruit and O Mai (salted or sugared dry fruits)
Dried fruits, which varied in kinds and taste, are the most special and widely loved snacks in Hanoi. Hang Duong is a heaven on earth for dried fruit and O Mai lovers; you can go there to bring some taste of Hanoi back home with you. Besides, if you are finding some beautifully packed dried fruits, you can consider Hong Lam stores, Toan Thinh, etc.
Water Puppet Show
Water puppetry has been a long tradition dating back as far as the 11th century originating in the villages of the Red River Delta area of northern Viet Nam. Today’s Vietnamese water puppetry is a unique variation on the ancient Asian puppet tradition.
The ancient art of Vietnamese water puppets stems from the tradition that rice paddies were flooded and villagers stood in the waist-deep water with the puppets and performed a mini show of puppets over the water. A large rod which supports the puppet under the water is used by the puppeteers to move the puppets across the water.
Nowadays, water puppet shows are performed in a pool of water at the modern theatre. The puppets are controlled by no more than eight puppeteers hiding behind a bamboo screen. Today’s performances usually include a number of short sketches rather than one long story. These sketches reflect the Vietnamese rural life, agricultural harvests, dances and legend. The live music plays an integral part of the show with singers often shouting words of encouragement to the puppets.
Quang Ba Flower Market
Wake up very early in the morning and take a ride to the busy night flower market full of flowers, fragrance, locals and continues until just past sunrise. It’s the floral hub for wholesalers who arrive with bundles of roses and chrysanthemums tied to their bikes and mopeds. Even if you do not wish to buy flowers, it is an ideal place for taking photographs. Quang Ba flower-market, located in Tay Ho district, meets year-round at 2 AM.
Closer the Tet (Vietnamese New Year Holiday), the market gets busier and merrier, not only flower dealers come here to buy flowers for resale but also many just come to see and enjoy Tet atmosphere. On 28th or 29th of lunar December, it’s chilly but the market still gets crowded and noisy right from early hours (2 or 3 am). It is packed with fragrance. Not only flowers, but decorative papers, colored strings and so many things are also found here. From low-price to high-priced flowers, from home-grown to imported ones, it has all to offer. The sellers and buyers as well, all have an electric torch in hand because the sun is still sleeping.
The day gets lighter and faces are more clearly seen, flowers look more colorful and are sold by retailers on many streets and lanes in Hanoi. The market is over and everybody comes back home and prepares for a new day.
Hanoi Opera House
Hanoi Opera House is the largest theatre in Viet Nam. Built during the French colonial period in 1911, and renovated in the late 1990s, it has a similar architectural style of the Opera House in France. As being built three centuries after the Paris Opera House, Hanoi Opera House’s aesthetically is said to be even more magnificent and appealing. The foundations of the theatre were built on a big pond, adjacent to the city gate of Tay Long of the ancient Thang Long Capital, which caused many difficulties in constructing. Before building a concrete foundation, which was nearly one meter thick, the pond was emptied and dredged, then 30,000 hard bamboo stakes were situated on its bed. The theatre manifests unique French architecture and typical Gothic and Mosaic characters reflected on the door domes and the glassed room. The facade is a graceful blend of French neo-classical design with pillars, shuttered windows, wrought iron balconies overlooking the city center and tiles friezes. The interior consist of a large stage and a main audience room of 24m in length and 24m in width, along with many small rooms for VIP audience. The middle staircase leads to a large Hall on the second floor. The sub-staircase and corridors are placed on both sides.
Hanoi Opera House possesses a special history and architectural value. It was historical evidence of Vietnamese social and cultural development under French rule, a vestige for an architectural development stage dating back to the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries in Viet Nam. The theatre hosted many significant historical events associated with the August Revolution and the early years of Viet Nam Democratic Republic. Nowadays, the 900-seat opera house is one of Hanoi’s cultural centers where art shows, cultural activities, and other international events usually take place. It is a favorite place for those who love theatrical performance and classic art of symphonies, opera, opera and ballet.
Viet Nam’s Women Museum
The role of Vietnamese women in the History and currently play in Arts and in the Family life was shown by more than 1000 materials, photos and objects displayed. Near the central Hoan Kiem Lake and the old quarter, in Ly Thuong Kiet street you will find the Viet Nam Women’s museum. It was published in 1995 and had been renovated between 2006 and 2010. Vietnamese Women dedicated the museum. The role of Vietnamese women in History and currently play in Arts and in the Family life was shown by more than 1000 materials, photos and objects displayed in the permanent exhibition. It also organizes thematic exhibitions showing changes and development of contemporary society. After a short period of renovation, the museum reopened to the public in 2010 with contemporary architecture and modern decoration and a new exhibition organized around three main themes: Women In History, Women In Family and Women’s Fashion. With the new renovation, Women’s Museum becomes one of Hanoi’s best in terms of contemporary curation and storytelling. You should try to work out to know how gender politics play out in Viet Nam. This is still a powerfully patriarchal system at many levels. All over 5 floors the collections have been run with material on Hanoi’s women street vendors, marriage and family life, as well as displays on the role of women in Viet Nam’s wars against the French and the US-backed South Vietnamese Government. Women’s fashion and variations of the traditional Vietnamese ao dai – national costumes were presented on the top floor. This museum is one of Hanoi’s best destination. It features simple, compelling exhibits and has plenty of English captioning.
Viet Nam Musem of Fine Arts
Viet Nam’s fine arts from a range of historical periods and much of the 20th Century art and folk narratives of a nation in defense were showcased in the first primary art museum of Viet Nam. If you want to know more about abstraction and architecture around Ha Noi capital, you can choose one of the most special Museum of the city in Nguyen Thai Hoc street: Viet Nam Museum of Fine Arts. Viet Nam’s fine arts from a range of historical periods were showcased in the museum. This is the first primary art museum in Viet Nam. You could be overwhelmed by a collection it draws on themes of martyrdom, patriotism, military strategy and overcoming enemy incursion. A small collection of late 20th and early 21st Century painting was presented in the museum with some works by artists who are exploring abstraction and abstract impressionism, giving greater attention to the individualist artist. The government established this Museum as a national museum to preserve and present the country’s artistic treasures. It is a combination of old French style architecture with traditional architectural elements of Viet Nam. Otherwise, the Museum contemplates great works of art produced by generations of artists whose lives and works reflect the country’s major artistic achievements and historical landmarks of the 20th-century.
Viet Nam National Museum of History
Viet Nam National Museum of History is one of the most architecturally remarkable museums blending successfully French colonial and traditional Vietnamese design elements. The Viet Nam National Museum of History is located in Kiem district, right in the heart of Ha Noi Capital City. Built in the early 20th century, from 1925 to 1932, the National Museum has approximately 200,000 Viet Nam’s artifacts from thousand years prehistory to the present days, in its 2,200 m2 area. There are two buildings displaying Viet Nam artifacts in different period of time. The first building is about the period from prehistoric to Nguyen Dynasty, which is located in No 1 Trang Tien Street. The second building is about modern history from 1858 until now. The Mausoleum is opened in the morning from 8:00 – 12:00, and in the afternoon from 13:30 – 17:00. Also, the museum is closed on the first Monday of every month. You will need to buy an entrance ticket, which is 40.000 VND/ticket (about US$2). It should be noticed also that in order to take photos or filming within the premises, you will have to pay for an amount varying from 15.000 to 400.000 VND.
Viet Nam Museum of Ethnology
Being constructed for nearly 10 years, Viet Nam Museum of Ethnology officially opened to the public in 1997 and has become the largest and one of the most remarkable and exciting places to see in Ha Noi. There is a fabulous wide range of Viet Nam’s 53 ethnic minorities’ collections from tribal art, artifacts to daily life objects being displayed and labeled in Vietnamese, English and French. The Museum has highlighted traditional houses of the minorities throughout Viet Nam within a 3.27 acre (13,200 m2) property. During certain periods of time, such as the Mid-Autumn Festival, and Lunar New Year, the Museum organizes series of activities from traditional games to authentic culture shows by the ethnic people and thus it is very crowded. The Viet Nam Museum of Ethnology is located in Nguyen Van Huyen street, Cau Giay district, Ha Noi, approximately 7km from the city centre and you can travel there by local bus, taxi or request in your package tour. The current ticket price for adult is 40,000 VND (nearly $2). The opening time is from 8:30 – 17:30, Tuesday-Sunday. If you are into anthropology, it might take you a day with your guide to experience all places, otherwise, it would normally take 2 hours to half a day to visit the whole museum./.