Hanoi - Historical and Beautiful Capital in Vietnam

Hanoi in Vietnam attracts many tourists who then mostly conclude that it might be Asia’s most beautiful city. Besides beautiful, some use “historical and interesting” to describe Hanoi.

Hanoi is a capital of Vietnam and located in the North. This is the second largest city in Vietnam after Ho Chi Minh City (or Saigon). In term of political role, Hanoi is the most significant center. The infrastructure system of this city in the urban areas grows fast. Also, Hanoi is the renowned tourist attraction to visit once in a lifetime.

Brief History of Hanoi

The ancient Hanoians have long inhabited there at least 3000 BC. Historically, Co Loa Citadel was found as one of the first known permanent settlement about 200 BC ago. Going through the long history under the Chinese domination and French occupation, Hanoi has got various names, but then in the year of 1831, Ming Mang King officially named it as “Ha Noi” (meaning “the hinterland between the rivers”), which become the cherished name of the capital today. The other milestone to remember is on July 2, 1976 – Hanoi became the capital of the reunified Vietnam.


Hanoi is in the Red River Delta, in the center of Northern Vietnam. About the surrounding of the capital, it is Thai Nguyen and Vinh Phuc Provinces to the north; Bac Giang, Bac Ninh, and Hung Yen Provinces to the east; Hoa Binh and Phu Tho Provinces to the west, Hoa Binh and Ha Nam Provinces to the south. The territory of Hanoi is embraced and washed by the Red River of nearly 40km long. Besides, there are several other rivers that flow through the capital constantly.

Hoan Kiem Lake

Hoan Kiem Lake 

The historical Hoan Kiem Lake has long been an indispensable symbol of Hanoi. It reminds Vietnamese people of the mystic history that Emperor Le Loi returned the magic sword to a giant turtle there, resulting in its name: Hoan Kiem (meaning “restored sword”). Tourists today appreciate the history value of the Lake, and they love walking around it at the sunshine, midday, or after dark.
At the north corner of Hoan Kiem Lake, you see the footbridge leading to Ngoc Son Temple. The old temple could be dated back to 1225. It looks ancient, beautiful, and religious with Confucianism ornamentation. The tourists come to this tranquil spot to cherish its antique architecture, find peace of mind, etc.

Temple of Literature

Temple of Literature

This place of interest owns the incomparable peace and tranquility that takes you to the old world of Vietnamese education. Know that the Temple of Literature is the first university in Vietnam! Historically, the temple was built in 1070 during Ly Dynasty as a shrine to Confucius and his disciples. Six years later, it was converted into the national school for the royal and Mandarin’s sons and then opened to all kind of students. Coming here, you’ll be pleased with the pure lotus pools, the educational remnants, and the live performance of Vietnamese traditional folk music. The Temple of Literature is a must in nowadays Hanoi city tour !

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and One-Pillar Pagoda

Chua Mot Cot

The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum represents the wholehearted affection and respect of the Vietnamese people for their cherished “Uncle Ho.” So, if you share the love for Vietnam’s greatest President, visit his magnificent mausoleum. The solemnity and peace in the Mausoleum are praiseworthy.

Then, One-pillar Pagoda is the symbolic attraction in Hanoi. Originally, it was built during the reign of Emperor Ly Thai To who got inspiration about the pagoda from a dream. The one-pillar architecture still attracts many visitors today, and a trip to Hanoi will not be complete if you don’t come to see the one-pillar religious treasure.

The West Lake (Ho Tay), Tran Quoc Pagoda, and Quan Thanh Temple

Tran Quoc pagoda

The West Lake has witnessed the long and mystic history of Hanoi. It looks romantic, pretty, and spacious enough to become the big inspiration for Vietnamese artists. For years, the culinary, recreational, and social values of the Lake attract many people.
Around the Lake, there stand out the two significant religious addresses: Tran Quoc Pagoda and Quan Thanh Temple. Tran Quoc Pagoda is one of Vietnam’s oldest pagodas and the cultural symbol of Buddhism. It was constructed by King Ly Nam De (544-548). Today, the pilgrims and visitors gather at the pagoda to wish for luck, success, and happiness all year round. Quan Thanh Temple (or Tran Vu Temple) was built by Emperor Ly Thai To (1010-1028), and today is the holy religious heritage with the significant values of history, architecture, and culture. The image of the Temple has long appeared in Vietnamese folk verses.

The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology

Vietnam Museum of Ethnology

This museum was opened in November 1997 by French President Jacques Chirac and in the design of the antique Dong Son drum and the interior decoration by a French architect. Coming there, you see the big collections of objects related to 54 different ethnic groups in Vietnam. Besides, the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology pays some attention to the culture of other Southeast Asian countries. So, if you’re keen on ethnology exhibitions, come there to see the artifactsand relics of 54 ethnic groups; the exhibition of each group will interest you.

The Viet Nam Military History Museum

Vietnam Military History Museum

This Museum came into effect in July 1956 as Vietnam’s one of seven national museums. Visiting the Military History Museum, you see the remnants in the “history flow” from the past to the present. The famous events in Vietnamese history are clearly presented there, which let the later generations get the exact understanding of Dien Bien Phu Victory in 1954, Ho Chi Minh Campaign in spring 1975, etc. Some items on display to see include Cessna A-37 Dragonfly B model, Bell UH-1 Iroquois H model, Douglas A-1 Skyraider E and H models, etc.

Hanoi Old Quarter

The Old Quarter of 36 streets is in the center of the capital and mostly crowded with numerous shops. Just a walk around the Old Quarter, you can purchase various items, from the lacquered wood candle sticks to picture frames and decorative pieces. Remarkably, the vendors at each street sell the similar product, which resulted in its name. For instance, Hang Gai (Thread Street) is Hanoi’s best silk shop. The special vibe of Hanoi is kept in the 36 streets, regardless of the storms of numerous modern shops. The traditional and long-lasting shops are still preferable.

Water Puppetry Theater

The art of water puppetry appeared in the Red River Delta in the 11th century and became a great symbol of Hanoi. Enjoying this art right in Hanoi theater makes Hanoi tour more exciting and memorable than ever. As the ticket is affordable, everybody can view the night performance of water puppetry – the very healthy form of entertainment. You can think of the show like this: in a waist-deep pool, the puppeteers hide behind the screen and use the large rod under the water to control the puppet skillfully. The art is truly interesting and meaningful.

Best time to visit Hanoi in Vietnam

About Hanoi weather:

• December to February: Temperature can be as low as 100C, the sky is bright blue, which is ideal for walking tour. Then, in Tet holiday, the cool festive atmosphere makes the Tour enjoyable.

• March and May: Temperature can be over 200C, the sky is very clear, which is ideal for resting and sightseeing. However, drizzles might come, so you’ll need to bring an umbrella.

• June, July, and August: Temperature can reach 400 It’s hot with high humidity. So, if you accept the heat and sweat, bring a big water bottle to go out and explore Hanoi.

• September and November: Temperature steadily drops, then the weather condition becomes comfortable.
So, due to your preference, each month might be the best time to visit Hanoi Capital. In any case, please refer to the weather forecast before you go. In the common thoughts, the most comfortable time for touring Hanoi might be March-May and September-November.

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