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Hanoi City Tour

2nd Mar 2014
Photo of Hanoi City Tour 1/12 by Thien Anh
Inside the Museum of Ethnology
Photo of Hanoi City Tour 2/12 by Thien Anh
The Museum of Ethnology from outside
Photo of Hanoi City Tour 3/12 by Thien Anh
Moving along different tribal artifacts
Photo of Hanoi City Tour 4/12 by Thien Anh
Enriching culture showcased at the Museum
Photo of Hanoi City Tour 5/12 by Thien Anh
Ho Chi Minh's garage
Photo of Hanoi City Tour 6/12 by Thien Anh
Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum
Photo of Hanoi City Tour 7/12 by Thien Anh
Simply beautiful Uncle Ho's Stilt House
Photo of Hanoi City Tour 8/12 by Thien Anh
A French touch: Presidential Palace
Photo of Hanoi City Tour 9/12 by Thien Anh
The Temple of Literature
Photo of Hanoi City Tour 10/12 by Thien Anh
Cultural symbol of Tran Quoc Pagoda
Photo of Hanoi City Tour 11/12 by Thien Anh
One Pillar Pagoda
Photo of Hanoi City Tour 12/12 by Thien Anh
My tour guide licence

Every place, every city, every country has some story to tell. Some may bear witness to mythological sagas, while some may be enriched with their brave historical tales. History is the key source for every land’s existence. But only some are adept enough to preserve it for not just their future generations, but for the rest of the world to see. And Vietnam truly takes pride in its arduous history. If you are in the capital city, Hanoi, then this tour is cut out for you. From paying your respect to one of Vietnam’s great leader to getting a closer peek into the ethnic groups here, this day in Hanoi is well-packaged guide into the city.

The first part of this tour is to visit the Ho Chi Minh's complex, which was established by the Government in the honor of the nation's founder and leader, Ho Chi Minh. Pick up will be at 9:00 from the hotel. We will drive to the Ho Chi Minh’s complex to first see the mausoleum. He is a venerated national figure and that can be seen in the large crowds gathering to pay their respects towards him. The man they use to call Uncle Ho rests quietly in his glass sarcophagus. Moving along, one can see the extravagant Presidential Palace and the not so extravagant, but delightful in its simple look, the house Ho Chi Minh resided in.  This is a wooden house on stilts surrounded by gardens. Better known as ‘Uncle Ho's Stilt House’, this traditional house of Uncle Ho shows how simple a man he was. Certainly one of must-see places within the complex is a Pillar pagoda dating back to the eleventh century. From far view its shape appears like an enormous lotus and is bordered by a little pond.

The following stop may be the Temple of Literature, the cultural site of Vietnam's earliest college and devoted to among the world's most well-known students, Confucius. It is an interesting visit devoid of crowds and noise. Every part of this place is harmoniously designed, making it an absolute gem. The next destination of Tran Quoc Pagoda located by the dazzling West Lake will give you a real look at one of the picturesque attractions in Hanoi framed by a harmonious architecture taking advantage of the aqueous landscape. Visit the museum of Ethnology in the afternoon to understand about 54 different ethnic groups living in Vietnam. You can’t leave Hanoi without visiting this place as if you want to see and understand the cultural and historic existence of 54 ethnic groups. The tour ends with a walking tour in the old quarters to see Hanoian daily life.

This trip can qualify for more than just a relaxing sightseeing vacation. There is so much of Vietnam’s culture to explore that you would want to extend your stay.

The places you'll visit:

  • Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum
  • Presidential Palace
  • Ho Chi Minh’s residence
  • Pillar Pagoda
  • Temple of Literature
  • Tran Quoc Pagoda
  • Museum of Ethnology 
It is one of the historic places in Vietnam. Few know that Ho Chi Minh desired a simple cremation. But in honor of his dedication to the country, his body is kept here so that many Vietnamese generations can come and visit him. The museum was inaugurated on August 29, 1975. The mausoleum is built in the Ba Dinh Square, where he read the Independence Declaration on September 2nd, 1945. The Mausoleum is a three-storey structure and is made of marble and granite. In the second storey lies the famous President’s body, in a glass coffin and dim lights. In front of the mausoleum there are many cycad trees. The mausoleum is closed occasionally for restoration and preservation work of the body. Opening time: 5 days per week, except Monday and Friday Travel tip- Ensure you are fully clothed. Camera, cell phone, eating, smoking, drinking are not allowed inside. Hands must not be in pockets, nor arms crossed. It goes without saying that you try your best to not be impudent when here.
Photo of Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum, Hanoi, Vietnam by Thien Anh
Moving a few steps ahead, right next to the mausoleum is the Presidential Palace (Văn phòng Chủ tịch nước). It was built by the French colonialists as a palace of the General Indochina Governor. You will be able to see the beautiful French architecture that it has. Since 1954, the Vietnamese Government has taken over this Palace to house the President. But because of the painful past that this place has witnessed, Ho Chi Minh refused to live here. So, it was used as the Presidential Palace for high-ranking level diplomatic meetings.
Photo of Văn phòng Chủ tịch nước, Hùng Vương, Ngọc Hà, Hanoi, Vietnam by Thien Anh
Ho Chi Minh chose not to live in the luxurious looking French Palace but a simple wooden house with gardens, trees overlooking a small pond. He moved into this nature-oriented house constructed in a corner of the Presidential Palace's gardens in 1958 and it has been preserved since his death in 1969. The house has two floors and also contains his personal belongings like his bed, clock, desk, typewriter and some books.
Photo of Ho Chi Minh's Residence, Hanoi, Vietnam by Thien Anh
Another place you shouldn't miss is the city’s notable Buddhist temple, The Pillar Pagoda. The place has an interesting history. The beauty of this temple lies in the fact that it is built of wood on a single stone pillar and will remind you of a lotus blossom, which is a symbol of purity in Buddhism.
Photo of One Pillar Pagoda, Hanoi, Vietnam by Thien Anh
This first university of Vietnam educated the country's nobles, royalty, mandarins and other elite. Those who graduated were effective candidates who later grew to become mandarins within the Emperor's court and had their names engrave on the stone stele that sit on large stone turtles in the temple. Within the temple grounds you can see these steles on big stone turtles. In Vietnam's culture, the turtle signifies durability. The temple consists of 5 courtyards. The first two are gardens. The third one has a lotus pond and the stele. The final courtyard holds the shrine to Confucius.
Photo of Temple of Literature, Hanoi, Vietnam by Thien Anh
It is considered a cultural symbol of Vietnamese Buddhism partly since it is the oldest pagodas in the country. Spend some time appreciating its tranquil beauty. The construction of the pagoda started in 541 and was completed in 545 under the reign of King Ly Nam De. Today it is a religious relic and is surrounded by wonderful backdrop which no one should miss.
Photo of Tran Quoc Pagoda, Yên Phụ, Hanoi, Vietnam by Thien Anh
This museum showcases a collection of tribal art, artifacts and everyday objects gathered from across Vietnam. This is the best place to get to know the Vietnamese minorities better. The museum was opened to the public in 1997 and can be visited between 8:30 am to 5:30 pm, Tuesday to Sunday. A craft show sells an assortment of books, gorgeous postcards, and arts and crafts from these communities.
Photo of Museum of Ethnology, Nguyễn Văn Huyên, Nghĩa Đô, Hanoi, Vietnam by Thien Anh