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  • Kenney Huang posted an update 9 months, 3 weeks ago

    Broad boulevards lined with buildings of French-inspired architecture, little roadside galleries full of artwork, charming folks native hats and dress mixing with others wearing clothes are what awaits those on a Vietnam tour of Hanoi, the city referred to as cultural capital.

    Hanoi, the nation’s second largest city (using a population of 6 million and covering 900 square km about the banks with the Red River), has been said is the core from the country- something easily proven by the walk-through the streets of the French-colonial city featuring its lakes and temples. Readily navigable by walking, there is lots to see and do at a straightforward pace; start your Vietnam tour from Hanoi and you’ll certainly have the strong feeling of laid-back tranquillity that only a timelessly old settlement may have.

    History. Dating back as early as three centuries before Christ, Hanoi once was known as Thang Long, and it was renamed Hanoi in 1831 at any given time when Hue was the funding. Present-day Hanoi, however, was largely built during the French occupation- a fact reflected in broad streets and charming French inspired buildings which are manifestation of the town.

    Old Quarter. Hoan Kiem District (aka the Old Quarter), considered the city’s business hub and main tourist destination, could very well be the most definitive of Hanoi. A stroll through the area is tantamount to stepping back in its history – its streets are filled with scooters, traders and individuals simply out for a leisurely stroll in the neighborhood. Here, you’ll find ancient commercial streets named after their original businesses dating back about 1,000 years, including names of cotton, jewellery, herbs, and silk. Even though many of these concerns have been substituted with newer businesses, once can certainly still appreciate the sense of how it would be a years ago, and obtain a a feeling of rich, old customs. Preserved shop-houses built a little more than a century ago with street-facing facades and multiple courtyards inside have become side-by-side with hip cafes, bars, restaurants, bakeries, boutique shops and art galleries.

    Places to Visit. Ho Chi Minh, the nation’s most widely used leader (proven to his people as ‘Uncle Ho’) rests throughout a glass case on the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in central Hanoi (albeit against his wishes). A vacation in Uncle Ho’s final resting place is an extraordinary experience over a Vietnam tour- in the end, it is not just an average attraction, it’s a part of a nation’s history. For anyone visiting, it might flourish to keep in mind the reverence the locals have for Uncle Ho-dress based (no shorts, sleeveless shirts and miniskirts) and everyone needs to deposit their bags and cameras before going in.

    The world-famous Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre in Hanoi can be a performance art rooted within a tradition going back the 1200’s, from the time when rice paddy fields were flooded and villagers can make entertainment by waiting in the waist-deep water using the puppets performing within the water. Large rods to support the puppets seemed like they were moving across the water, with the puppeteers hidden behind a screen. They might tell traditional folk stories through operatic songs, combined with an orchestra playing traditional music using drums, wooden bells, horns, bamboo flutes and cymbals. Today, the tradition continues.

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