Hanoi - Some Places to Visit
The Old Quarter
This stretches from just north of Hoan Kiem lake eastwards to the Red River. It is a maze of 36 main streets plus numerous alleys. Each street is named after the type of merchant that used to trade in that street. Even today you will see particular types of shops grouped together in one area. This is an excellent place to buy gifts and souvenirs. Don't be afraid to haggle over the price, it's fun, but don't loose you temper and remember that once a deal is done that's it.
Ngoc Temple & Hoan Kiem Lake
Located in the centre of the city Hoan Kiem Lake is a peaceful place to stroll and relax for a while. Postcard sellers can be a minor nuisance but they are polite and if you do not want to buy will leave you alone. At the north side of the lake is Ngoc Temple. It is reached by a red painted wooden bridge and is from morning to early evening. Across the main street at the north end of the lake is the Water Puppet Theatre.
Temple of Literature
Located about 2km west of Hoan Kiem Lake the Temple of Literature (know locally as Van Mieu) is a very good and well preserved example of traditional Vietnamese architecture. It comprises 5 separate courtyards covering an area of 24,500 sq. m. Across Van Mieu Street which is at the east side of the temple is the Koto restaurant. this provides training and employment for former street children.
One Pillar Pagoda
The original pagoda was destroyed by the French in 1954 but has since been rebuilt. The wooden structure which resembles a lotus blossom stands on a single stone pillar and is located close to Hoi Chi Minh's Mausoleum.
Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum and Ho Chi Minh's Museum
The building are located next to each other about 4km west of Hoan Kiem lake. Photography is not permitted inside the buildings and visitors must dress appropriately (no vests or shorts). Check the opening times with your hotel.
Ho Tay (West) Lake
Located in the north of Hanoi Ho Tay lake is almost 13km in circumference. At the
south-east corner of Ho Tay you will find Tran Quoc Pagoda. A number of good restaurants are located on
the south bank.