As the capital of Vietnam for almost a thousand years, Hanoi is considered to be the cultural center of Vietnam, where every dynasty has left behind their imprint.
Hanoi hosts more cultural sites than any city in Vietnam, including over 600 pagodas and temples. Even when the nation’s capital moved to Hue under the Nguyen dynasty in 1802, the city of Hanoi continued to flourish, especially after the French took control in 1888 and modeled the city’s architecture to their tastes, lending an important aesthetic to the city’s rich stylistic heritage.
The city boasts more than 1,000 years of history, and that of the past few hundred years has been well preserved.
Under French rule, as an administrative center for the French colony of Indochina, the French colonial architecture style became dominant, many examples remain today: the tree-lined boulevards (e.g. Phan Dinh Phung street), The Grand Opera House, The State Bank of Vietnam (formerly The Bank of Indochina), The Presidential Palace, (formerly Place of The Governor-General of French Indochina), The cathedral St-Joseph, Hanoi University (formerly University of Indochina), historic hotel Sofitel Metropole…
Some others prominent places are: The Temple of Literature (Van Mieu), site of the oldest university in Vietnam; One Pillar Pagoda (Chua Mot Cot); Flag Tower of Hanoi; The Old Quarter and Hoan Kiem Lake.
The Old Quarter, near Hoan Kiem Lake, has the original street layout and architecture of old Hanoi. At the beginning of the 20th century the city consisted of only about 36 streets, most of which are now part of the old quarter. Each street then comprised of merchants and households specialized in a particular trade, such as silk traders, jewelry, etc. The street names nowadays still reflect these specializations, although few of them remain exclusively in their original commerce. The area is famous for its small artisans and merchants, including many silk shops. A night market (along Hang Dao st.) in the heart of the district opens for business every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening with a variety of clothing, souvenirs and food.
Hanoi does not have the high-energy nightlife of Ho Chi Minh City. However, the unique blend of modern and traditional, eastern and European, and the colorful local culture can make for a number of exciting evenings. A more authentic experience is available on many street corners. Bia Hoi, fresh beer, is a cheap alternative to swilling pricy lowballs. Served up in liter or two liter bottles, the Vietnamese brew is enjoyed by locals any (sometimes every) night of the week. Vendors will wander by most places, hawking peanuts and other snack foods. Hanoi is a great place to experience both traditional and modern Vietnamese culture. The unique blend of local and international flavors makes Hanoi an exciting, even magical, place to visit. And, if all else fails, simply find the nearest Bia Hoi
Explore this charming destination and discuss with More Fun Travel consultant and we will work the rest.