What to See in Hanoi (Vietnam)

By | July 9, 2022

According to ITYPEMBA, Hanoi – the capital of Vietnam, is a mixture of oriental flavor with western influences. It is a city of pagodas and temples, colonial villas, bustling streets and wide boulevards.

In 2010, Hanoi will celebrate its 1000th anniversary. It originated on the Red River and quickly became a trading center, rich and densely populated. In the following centuries, Hanoi became the center of the fight against Chinese invasions from the north. During its history, the city became the main one in Vietnam several times, and in 1010 it was declared its capital. He changed several names – Thang Long, Dong Do, Dong Kinh and, finally, in 1831 was named Hanoi, which means “the area between the rivers.”

Despite the fact that the city went through several wars and suffered many natural disasters, many ancient monuments have been preserved here. One of its oldest monuments is the Temple of Literature. It is an ensemble of two buildings: the Temple of Literature itself, built in 1070 in honor of Confucius, and the first Vietnamese University, built in 1076. There are about 500 palaces and pagodas in Hanoi. The symbol of Hanoi can rightfully be considered the Pagoda on one pillar (1049), which was damaged by an explosion during the retreat of the French in 1954.

Among this large number of temples, you should definitely visit the temples of Ngoc Son and Quang Thanh, the Tran Quoc pagoda. Ngoc Son Temple (XVIII century) is located on the shores of Hoan Kiem Lake. The following legend is connected with this lake, the name of which is translated as “the lake that keeps the sword”. When Emperor Le Loi, who shortly before defeated the Chinese troops with the help of a magic sword, rode a boat on a lake on the outskirts of Hanoi, a huge turtle surfaced. She grabbed a sword with her teeth and dragged it to the bottom, returning the weapons to the gods, which they gave to the lucky emperor. Now in the middle of the lake there is a turtle tower, and in the temple there is a copy of the same reptile. It is curious that in this reservoir, until recently, turtles of enormous size were actually found. Not far from the temple of Ngoc Son is the building of the National Puppet Theater on the water, where you can not only watch the original performance, but also listen to national Vietnamese music, including the performance of the single-stringed danbau instrument.

Quang Thanh Temple was built in the 12th century. and is dedicated to the God of the North, the lord of the strong north winds that caused floods. To this day, there is a bronze statue of this deity of the 17th century in the temple, as well as its symbols – snakes and turtles. Tran Quoc Pagoda is one of the oldest pagodas in Vietnam. It was founded in the 12th century and has been rebuilt several times since then. Here is a stele, the hieroglyphs on which tell the story of the emergence and development of the pagoda. There are several tombs of prominent monks in the courtyard of the pagoda. The most visited place in the capital is the mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh City. On the territory of the mausoleum there is an old pile house in which the leader lived.

Hanoi Cathedral is built on the ruins of the Bao Thien tower. It is also known as St. Joseph’s Cathedral. It is noteworthy that the design of the Cathedral is similar to the architecture of Notre Dame Cathedral.

Hanoi Flag Tower (Cat Koh) is one of the rarest examples of Hanoi architecture that remained untouched during clashes with the French between 1894 and 1897. It was built in 1812 and consists of three platforms and the tower itself. On the east door are inscribed the words ngyen huk, which means “to meet the rays of the rising sun,” on the west door, hoi kuang, which means “to reflect the light,” and on the south door, huong min, which means “directed toward the sun.” All sunlight enters here through 36 flower-shaped windows and six fan-shaped windows.

In the center of Hanoi is a quarter with narrow and noisy streets, where the oldest buildings in the city, temples and chapels of local saints are located. 36 streets were founded by thirty-six guilds of Hanoi artisans in the 13th century., cafes and souvenir shops.

There are many interesting museums in Hanoi. The Museum of the History of Vietnam has one of the most complete expositions telling about the history of this ancient and amazing country. Each of the stages of the country’s development is reflected in this museum: relics of the Paleolithic and Neolithic times, exhibits from the times of great empires and the struggle for the country’s independence.

The Museum of the Revolution houses more than forty thousand historical exhibits that tell about the events that took place during the national liberation movement against the French and before the establishment of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh Museum buildingin shape it resembles a lotus flower, which is a symbol of the noble character of the leader. The main hall contains more than two thousand documents, articles, photographs and exhibits illustrating not only the historical events that took place in the life of Ho Chi Minh, but also the facts that have taken place in the world since the end of the 19th century.

The Museum of Fine Arts of Vietnam presents many interesting facts and fascinating stories about the culture, ethnography and history of Vietnam.. The museum is divided into many sections dedicated to the culture and life of ethnic minorities, unique finds from the Neolithic, Paleolithic and Bronze Ages, the feudal period in the life of the country, outstanding works of ancient sculpture and folk art, technological fine arts, as well as the work of artists of the first half of the 20th century.

The Museum of the Vietnamese Army was opened in 1959. It exhibits items and documents related to the formation and development of the Vietnamese armed forces. The path that the Vietnam People’s Army traveled (1946-1954) is shown in the form of weapons, maps and items left over from the famous Dien Bien Phu campaign, as well as personal items that once belonged to Vietnamese soldiers.

In Hanoi there are 18 lakes surrounded by parks. The largest and most beautiful of them is West Lake. It once served as a resort for mandarins and kings. Many buildings have been erected on its banks, including Thii Hoa Palace, Ham Nguyen Sanctuary, Ty Hoa Palace, Kim Lien Pagoda and Ngoc Dam Palace. A 14 km path around the lake leads to Nghi Tam Flower Village, Nhat Tan Peach Garden and Tai Ho Temple, built in honor of Princess Lieu.

Hanoi (Vietnam)