Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam with a crowded population of 10,000,000+ residences. The city is somewhat polluted, slightly run-down and very quaint. If you are in Hanoi, there are numbers of activities to do in order to fulfill your blue weekend.
All over Old Quarter of Hanoi you can see many French Colonial villas crumbling at every corner and in between. You will see many new and modern buildings springing up here and there. If you like to zoom to French colonial architecture, this is one of the best places.
Besides that, there are many local places that you can explore. Visit or explore in tiny alleyways and take a look into outdoor markets. Alleyways are always busy with people from all sides of angles. The Old Quarter is one of the busiest places in Hanoi with bikes, buses and cabs. Not including outdoor markets and floods of tourists along the street side. Sometimes you can see busses stuck in the middle of the street which will make the traffic become more congested. Old Quarter also a good place for you to enjoy Vietnamese Beer (Beer Hoi) as low as VND7000 for one glass. You will sit on a small plastic stools, chit chatting with local and watching people pass by like others do.
Hoan Kiem Lake
History says that Hoan Kiem Lake is the home of a great giant turtle. According to the legend, King Le Loi had been given a magical sword from the god to drive out China’s Ming Dynasty from the territory of Vietnam. One day, while boating at the lake side, he met with a giant turtle who grabbed his sword and carried it into the depths as a symbol of returning the to god. The giant turtle has been still roaming in the lake till now and old people mummified some of the death turtles at Jade Island which is located at the north side of the lake.
Outside Old Quarter
There is modern city outlook sprawling outside of the Old Quarter area. For history lovers, they may visit the Temple of Literature which was built in 1070 and also recognised as the country’s first university. You also may visit some historical places of the American Vietnam war and French Vietnam War sites as well. Besides, you may go to Museum of Vietnamese revolution, Army Museum, B-52 Lake as well as historical Hanoi Hilton.
You also may pay a visit to the preserved body of former leader, Ho Chi Minh. Instead of being cremated, Ho Chi Minh was mummified to safe the usage of land. Some said that, the mummy looks very creepy like a plastic. You need to remember, no talking and no camera allowed here. The army is very strict to guard and care for this special place.If you are hungry for more historical information about Ho Chi Minh, you may visit to the old Presidential Palace but sadly, there are not so many important details previewed, or in another word being skipped for some political reasons. The palace also poorly documented even this national historical information source centre.