• Meredith Michael posted an update 6 months, 3 weeks ago

    Broad boulevards lined with buildings of French-inspired architecture, little roadside galleries filled with artwork, charming people in native hats and dress mixing with people wearing the latest fashions are what awaits those on a Vietnam tour of Hanoi, the town referred to as the cultural capital.

    Hanoi, the nation’s second largest city (which has a population of 6 million and covering 900 square km on the banks in the Red River), is claimed is the heart and soul from the country- something easily proven with a walk through the streets on this French-colonial city having its lakes and temples. Readily navigable on foot, there’s a lot to determine and do here at a straightforward pace; start your Vietnam tour from Hanoi and you’ll certainly feel the strong sense of laid-back tranquillity that just a timelessly old settlement can have.

    History. Going back to since three centuries before Christ, Hanoi had been referred to as Thang Long, and it was renamed Hanoi in 1831 at the same time when Hue was the capital. Present-day Hanoi, however, was largely built through the French occupation- a fact reflected in broad streets and charming French inspired buildings which can be sign 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 over the area is tantamount to stepping back in history – its streets are filled with scooters, traders and individuals simply out for any leisurely stroll in the neighborhood. Here, you can find ancient commercial streets named after their original businesses dating back to about 1,000 years, including names of cotton, jewellery, herbs, and silk. Although many of the concerns happen to be substituted for modern-day businesses, once can certainly still comprehend the sense of the way was a long time ago, and achieve a feeling of rich, old customs. Preserved shop-houses built somewhat over the century ago with street-facing facades and multiple courtyards inside are now alongside with hip cafes, bars, restaurants, bakeries, boutique shops and galleries and museums.

    Places to check out. Ho Chi Minh, the nation’s most popular leader (proven to his people as ‘Uncle Ho’) rests 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 is an extraordinary experience with a Vietnam tour- in fact, it is not just a normal attraction, it’s really a part of a nation’s history. For anyone visiting, it would flourish to remember the reverence the locals have for Uncle Ho-dress based (no shorts, sleeveless shirts and miniskirts) and everybody has got to deposit their bags and cameras before heading in.

    The world-famous Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre in Hanoi is a performance art rooted in a tradition dating back the 1200’s, from the time when rice paddy fields were flooded and villagers can make entertainment by standing in the waist-deep water with all the puppets performing on the water. Large rods to guide the puppets looks like these folks were moving throughout the water, together with the puppeteers hidden behind a screen. They’d tell traditional folk stories through operatic songs, together with an orchestra playing traditional music using drums, wooden bells, horns, bamboo flutes and cymbals. Today, the tradition continues.

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