Day tour to Hanoi visiting the main attractions
Trip to Hanoi exploring the many attractions that the capital of Vietnam offers, from the mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh to the Temple of Literature, from the But Thap pagoda to the Ngoc Son temple located on a small island into Hoan Kiem Lake. But Hanoi is not only history and museums: a stroll among street markets where people sell everything, allow visitors to better appreciate local life.
With more than six million inhabitants spread over an area of almost 3,500 square kilometers, Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam and, like most of the cities of Southeast Asia, streets are full of scooters.
The day tour in Hanoi starts visiting the mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh: this monument is dedicated to Ho Chi Minh, a political revolutionary who led Vietnam to independence. Inside the mausoleum, visitors may see the body of Ho Chi Minh, but the tours are not always possible, because the structure is occasionally closed for maintenance and restoration, especially in low season.
The Hanoi tour continues visiting the Temple of Literature, Vietnam's oldest seat of university, dedicated to Confucius. The Temple of Literature is dated back to the 11th century AD and is divided into several concentric courtyards separated by large gates, where students could access depending on their level of education.
The innermost courtyard of the Temple of Literature in Hanoi, contains altars with statues of Confucius.
Walking through the streets of downtown Hanoi, it is not difficult to come across street vendors carrying on bicycles or in the shoulder every kind of product.
Stalls selling fish and shellfish.
In Vietnam there are different types of rice. This stall sells also black rice.
This stall proposes instead eggs of quail, chicken and duck.
Selling vegetables and fruits.
A railroad passing between the buildings that, for its singularity, has become an attraction for visitors.
The train passes through buildings, including shops, restaurants and homes.
Among the street markets of Hanoi, there are numerous stalls selling all kinds of textile product.
Walking through the streets of Hanoi, the eye can not fall on the thousands of wires, disorderly stretched between trees and buildings, supported only by few real poles.
Photos of Hanoi. Not far from the center of Hanoi, the Hoan Kiem Lake hosts on a small island the small Buddhist temple of Ngoc Son, dated back to 18th century.
Photos of Ngoc Son Temple in Hanoi.
Hoan Kiem Lake is home to Ho Guom giant turtle: this specimen died in 1968 during the war against the Americans and was embalmed. Currently the lake is home to another turtle of the same species, which can be observed from time to time. The animal weighs 250 kilos and is 2 meters long.
Hanoi is home to Long Bien bridge, a structure almost 2.5 km long crossing the Red River and dated back to early 20th century. Built by architects Daydé Pille and Paris through the same company that built the Eiffel Tower, the bridge was heavily bombed during the Vietnam War because of its strategic location, but later restored. The left picture shows instead an overview of Hanoi night markets, seen from above the bridge.
On the outskirts of Hanoi, I visit the ancient temple of But Thap dating from the 17th century, that houses statues and other objects of great historical value.
But Thap Pagoda in Hanoi is attended by faithful who go there to pray burning incense.
The temple houses the largest statue of Avalokiteśvara currently existing (thousands eye and arms), an important example of Vietnamese art. In the photo above, instead, some ancient statues showing the phases of the life of Buddha.
The Bao Nghiem tower at But Thap temple.
Hanoi is a big city, but it's enough to go just out of the downtown, to be surrounded by countryside and extensive rice fields.
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English translation by Lorena Anzani.