Hanoi Travel : Undergoing 1000 years, witnessing all ups and downs of Vietnam history, Hanoi, the dynamic capital of Vietnam, is one of the “most-wanted” destinations and keeps inside many of the historic and cultural beauty spots. The ancient and modern beauty of Hanoi makes a great impression on international visitors. It is also a pride of Vietnamese people in general and Hanoi people in particular. More specifically, three famous tourist attractions which are highly recommended to visit when traveling to Hanoi are Hoan Kiem Lake, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Saint Joseph Cathedral.
1. Hanoi Travel : Hoan Kiem Lake
Located in the heart of Hanoi, Sword Lake is picturesque. Its ancient Tortoise tower, The Huc Bridge, Ngoc Son temple make Hanoi people incredibly proud of. The lake has been called by several names including Luc Thuy, Ta Vong, Huu Vong and Thuy Quan. The current name “Hoan Kiem” which is translated as “Lake of the Returned Sword” dates back to the 15th century.
The lake is associated with a legend in which the King returned a sword to a sacred turtle after defeating Ming dynasty invaders. The lake and its surroundings are one of the main attractions of Hanoi. Hoan Kiem lake is surrounded by many historical and cultural structures including the old towns with Hang Ngang, Hang Dao, Cau Go, Luong Van Can streets, the Western corner of French architecture with the Great Cathedral and so on. More specifically, Sword Lake is now situated inside a complex of Ngoc Son Temple, The Huc Bridge, and Pen Tower which makes a sparkling colorful natural picture. In spite of being surrounded by busy streets, Hoan Kiem Lake remains calm and romantic. Hoan Kiem Lake is considered one of the first destinations to visit when tourists arrive in this beautiful capital city. However, visitors are recommended to hire a tour guide or book a Hanoi day tour so that they can learn many interesting stories and legends about the lake and other attractions surrounding it
2. Hanoi Travel : Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is an important historical attraction of Hanoi, known for honoring the national hero: President Ho Chi Minh. The building is where visitors can express their admiration and gratitude towards the common father/uncle of Vietnamese people who has led the country to independence and reunification. Started building in 1973, the construction of the mausoleum was modeled on Lenin’s mausoleum in Russia and was first open to the public in 1975.
The granite building meant a great deal for many local people because it ensures that their beloved leader ‘lives on forever’. Noticeably, security is tight. Visitors should dress formally and everyone has to deposit their bags and cameras before getting in. Visitors are not allowed to stop and hold the constant queue up because the place is constantly busy. Taking photos, talking or finger-pointing is strictly prohibited inside the mausoleum.
3. Hanoi travel : Saint Joseph Cathedral
Saint Joseph Cathedral, located at 40 Nha Chung street, Hanoi, is a Roman Catholic cathedral with neo- gothic style, which was built about 120 years ago. In 1882, after the French army conquered Hanoi, the cathedral was constructed and completed in 1886.
The architecture with domes of the cathedral follows the Gothic style and design of Paris Cathedral. It is 64.5m in length, 20.5m in width with two bell towers of 31.5m height. The appearance of the cathedral from the doors, the colorful window glass to the religious paintings for decoration follows the Western style. The main interior part is decorated in Vietnamese way with two typical colors including yellow and red. In front of the cathedral is the statue of Mother Maria. Today, taking advantage of beautiful architecture and located at the center of the city, the area surrounding the cathedral is always packed with hundreds of local people and tourists hanging out with friends for drinking, talking, and watching the street. Nha Chung Street now becomes the “Lemon Tea” street which is a popular gathering place for many youngsters in Hanoi. This area is not only the place for Christian couples to hold their wedding, but also a great place for non-religious grooms and brides to take nice wedding pictures.