Ha Noi is Vietnam’s capital and the Country’s second largest-populated city. When visiting, consider staying in the Old Quarter part of town if you want to be near flea markets, shops, restaurants and more. Also, here are some recommended items for your “to do” list. – Tips and photos by Jenni Burdette, May 2013
- Visit the Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s first national university.
- Take a stroll through the streets of Old Quarter. Old Quarter maintains the original street layout and architecture of Old Ha Noi.
- Walk around Hoan Kiem Lake.
- Tour Hoa Lo Prison. This is the prison where Senator McCain was held prisoner during the Vietnam War.
- Explore the residence of former Vietnamese leader, Ho Chi Minh. Also called Nha Bac Ho.
- Visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. Located in Ba Dinh Square, this is the place where Vietnam leader, Ho Chi Minh, read the Declaration of Independence on September 2, 1945.
- Eat Pho, a popular Vietnamese dish, consisting of broth, rice noodles, herbs and meat.
- For beer lovers, be sure to enjoy a Bia Ha Noi, Ha Noi’s local beer.
- See a show at the Thang Long Water Puppet Theater. The show portrays Vietnam’s traditions and historical tales through puppetry.
- Walk through Hang Gai Street, also known as the Street of Hemp. Purchase silk, silver and souvenirs at this popular street market.
- Visit the Vietnam Military History Museum. Learn about Vietnam’s military history. Displays include captured machinery and aircraft, as well as propaganda and documents from previous wars.
- Walk by the Presidential Palace. Built by the French in the early 1900s, this historical building is located near the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.
- Climb to the top of the Ha Noi Flag Tower. Nearly two centuries old, this tower has great views of the city of Ha Noi.
Take a cruise through Halong Bay and explore Vietnam’s coast and all its beauty. Cruise packages vary from a one night cruise to four nights. Tours can be booked online through Halong Opera Cruises or Paradise Cruises Halong Bay. Some hotels in Ha Noi may provide last-minute booking assistance. Most cruise companies offer a bus that will pick you up and drive you to Halong Bay, a two to three hour bus ride. During a two day and one night cruise, travelers can enjoy kayaking through caves, exploring a local fish farm, taking a cooking class aboard the ship, fishing for squid, touring sea caves and more. Please note that the Paradise Luxury has newer boats. – Tips and photos by Jenni Burdette, May 2013
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