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Updated by Maggie Tulliver (Umanga Kahandawaarachchi) on Jun 19, 2016
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5 Places to Visit in Hanoi – Best of Vietnam

Located on the Red River Delta Hanoi, capital of Vietnam is one of Asia's most historical cities. Founded in 1010AD the city has splendid vintage and modern attractions for you to explore.


Visit the Old Quarter

The old quarter is a marvellous hodge podge of winding alleys and narrow lanes. The pavements are scattered with wares put out by tinsmiths and stone carvers who carry on working unhindered. The pavements are also make-shift stalls for sellers of herbal plants, chocolates, prayer leaves and even whisky. Stop at a street side noodle stall or indulge in a cup of Vietnamese coffee tipped to be the strongest in the region. Bia Hoi – Vietnamese beer is available in plenty around the Old Quarter and nothing beats the heat than a tall chilled glass.


Explore the Temple of Literature

This beautiful pagoda was first built in 1070 as a tribute to Chinese philosopher Confucius who cast a huge influence over Vietnam. The temple was also revered as the exam centre for those wanting to be classified in the rank of Mandarin.


Discover Hoan Kiem Lake

Translated to the 'Lake of the Returned Sword' Hoan Kiem is located within the historic city centre of Hanoi. It is an iconic attraction of Hanoi and steeped in legend. The Lake is an area of immense beauty and also known as the largest open air gym in Vietnam. Head over to the Lake during early morning and you will come across crowds of people exercising, enjoying the fresh air and beautiful surroundings. The place is ideal for walks, badminton, practising Tai Chi and snapping up the most beautiful pictures of Hanoi. If you choose accommodation at a serviced apartment in Hanoi do make an early morning trek to Hoan Kiem Lake; the perfect start to another vibrant day in Hanoi.


Tran Quoc Pagoda

The Tran Quoc Pagoda sits on an island on the West Lake overseen by the Somerset West Lake Hanoi. It was constructed in the 6th century and is the oldest pagoda in Hanoi. The original location was on the banks of the Red River until being relocated to its present location. Tran Quoc is of immense importance as it is believed to be the icon of Vietnamese Buddhism. Within the pagoda are many historic statues of immense value pertaining to Buddhism while it is also the best place to experience the rich heritage that is Vietnamese sculpture art. The most important item within the compound is the Bo-Tree standing serenely in the garden. This tree is said to be a branch of the original tree under which Lord Buddha attained enlightenment. The best time to visit the pagoda is close to sunset for the setting sun against the backdrop of the temple is quite a memorable sight.


Shopping in Hanoi

The most attractive aspect of any holiday is not forgotten in Hanoi. The Old Quarter is the best place to start. There virtually everything overflows onto the pavements and you can buy just about anything and everything. Hanoi is also home to fine collection of designer malls and budget shops; catering to all lifestyles. Look forward to buying exquisite silk products, traditional crafts and fashion from around the world.