The beautiful capital city of Vietnam, Hanoi was formerly the capital of North Vietnam, prior to the re-unification of the country, once the Vietnam War had ended.
Hanoi is a cauldron of exotic ancient monuments, modern skyscrapers and remnants of the colonial imperialism.
Being situated along the banks of the Red River affords the city of a cooler climate than what is often found in the southern regions of this country.
Hanoi offers the visitor a wealth of historical attractions and tourist sights considering how the city has become so modernized since the end of the Vietnam War and the re-unification of the country. From big, bustling metropolitan areas to the lush green countryside that the nation is known for, there is a multitude of things to see and do. From shopping a the local night markets to seeing the artists at work
However, we feel that the following 5 are the top ones and should be considered as “Must See” attractions and sights on your travel itinerary.
1. The Hanoi Hilton
Don’t let the name deceive you. This isn’t a hotel. This was a name given for ironic reasons to the original Hoa Lo Prison that housed many American prisoners during the Vietnam War. The list of prisoners included John McCain, the 2008 Republican candidate for US President, who spent a portion of his 5½ year imprisonment at this facility.
2. Hoan Kiem Lake
Referred to as the “Lake of the Restored Sword”, it is the center of many events for locals and is situated in the center of the city. It is an easy walk around the entire body of water and offers the tourist an abundance of excellent photographic opportunities including the view from the overlook of the Jade Mountain Temple.
3. One Pillar Pagoda
Regarded as one of the country’s most iconic attractions, this historic Buddhist temple is a small structure constructed out of timber and perched upon a single pillar of stone. Emperor Lý Thái Tông originally commissioned the structure in 1049.
4. The Presidential Palace
Designed in a uniquely Italian renaissance style, this was the former dwelling place of the French Governor General. The former Vietnamese leader, Ho Chi Minh also resided here at one time.
5. The Temple of Literature
Now used as a Confucian temple, the building was originally constructed in 1070 and was formerly the site of one of the oldest universities in Vietnam. Although Confucian temples are numerous throughout the country, this is the most famous of all and is targeted destination for many who visit Vietnam. Historically, it is considered to be one of the country’s finest sites and tourist attractions.
Hanoi Hotels recommended by Venere.com users:
- Blue Paradise Hotel – 3-star hotel in Hanoi Old Quarter
- Hanoi Boutique Hotel – 2-star hotel in Hanoi Old Quarter
- Splendid Star Hotel – 3-star hotel near Hoan Kiem Lake and St. Joseph’s Cathedral
Photo of Temple of Literature, Hanoi, Vietnam, by Danielguip