Broad boulevards lined with buildings of French-inspired architecture, little roadside galleries filled up with artwork, charming individuals native hats and dress mixing with folks wearing products are what awaits those on a Vietnam tour of Hanoi, the city referred to as cultural capital.
Hanoi, the nation’s second largest city (having a population of 6 000 0000 and covering 900 square km around the banks with the Red River), is said to be the core with the country- something easily proven by the walk through the streets of the French-colonial city with its lakes and temples. Readily navigable on foot, there’s a lot to see and do right here at a fairly easy pace; start your Vietnam tour from Hanoi and you may certainly notice the strong feeling of laid-back tranquillity that only a timelessly old settlement can have.
History. Going back as soon as three centuries before Christ, Hanoi was once known as Thang Long, and was renamed Hanoi in 1831 at any given time when Hue was the main city. Present-day Hanoi, however, was largely built during the French occupation- an undeniable fact reflected in broad streets and charming French inspired buildings that are manifestation of the town.
Old Quarter. Hoan Kiem District (aka the existing Quarter), considered the city’s business hub and main tourist destination, is probably the most definitive of Hanoi. A stroll with the area is tantamount to stepping back in its history – its streets are full of scooters, traders the ones simply out to get a leisurely stroll in the park. Here, you will find ancient commercial streets named after their original businesses going back about 1,000 years, including names of cotton, jewellery, herbs, and silk. Although many of such concerns have been substituted for more contemporary businesses, once can certainly still appreciate the a sense the way would be a long time ago, and acquire a a feeling of rich, old customs. Preserved shop-houses built a little on the century ago with street-facing facades and multiple courtyards inside are actually alongside with hip cafes, bars, restaurants, bakeries, boutique shops and galleries and museums.
Places to Visit. Ho Chi Minh, the country’s most widely used leader (seen to his people as ‘Uncle Ho’) rests here in a glass case with the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in central Hanoi (albeit against his wishes). Vacation to Uncle Ho’s final resting place can be an extraordinary experience with a Vietnam tour- all things considered, it is not just the average attraction, it is a portion of a nation’s history. For the people visiting, it could do well to remember the reverence the locals have for Uncle Ho-dress based (no shorts, sleeveless shirts and miniskirts) and everyone must deposit their bags and cameras before heading in.
The world-famous Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre in Hanoi can be a performance art rooted in a tradition dating back the 1200’s, from the time when rice paddy fields were flooded and villagers will make entertainment by waiting in the waist-deep water together with the puppets performing in the water. Large rods to guide the puppets appeared as if we were holding moving across the water, with the puppeteers hidden behind a screen. They might tell traditional folk stories through operatic songs, associated with an orchestra playing traditional music using drums, wooden bells, horns, bamboo flutes and cymbals. Today, the tradition continues.
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