Ha Noi, which means “within the river”, denotes the city’s strategic location along the vital waterway. Vietnam’s capital ranks among the world’s most attractive and interesting cities boasting a colorful mixture of skyscrapers, lakes, colonial-style houses, cute little cafés, ancient pagodas and a buzzing night-life.
The best to way to discover the city is to explore the numerous reminders of tradition, art and culture. The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is a fascinating place to step back into Vietnam’s turbulent past. The Ho Chi Minh Museum, Ho Chi Minh’s Vestige, the Presidential Palace Area, the One-Pillar Pagoda, the Fine Arts Museum, the Army Museum, the Revolution Museum and the Temple of Literature are some of the most famous attractions here.
For fun or leisure head towards Hoan Kiem Lake and the pleasant park surrounding it, which is Hanoi’s most popular strolling ground. The city’s own created myth, “the Legend of the Lake of the Recovered Sword” revolves around this lake, and if you’re very lucky, you might even spot some giant turtles there.
Hanoi is home to and surround by some of the most beautiful national parks and gardens which are ideal for rejuvenation when exhausted. It offers a large number of facilities which includes playgrounds and sporting areas like the Vuon Bach Thao, Thu Le and Cuc Phuong National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries. Another place nearby, which is especially popular on weekends is Ba Vi Park, where there is an orchid garden, a bird garden, and plenty of hiking opportunities.
Other attractions are Bach Ma Pagoda, Dong Xuan Market, Lang Pagoda, Lien Phai Pagoda, Quan Thanh Pagoda, St. Joseph’s Cathedral and Tran Quoc Pagoda.
Hanoi has a typical climate of northern Vietnam where summers, from May to October are hot and humid, and winters are cool and dry. So the best time to visit here is in the winter from November to March. Keep in mind that when the Viatnamese celebrate New Year’s, which is during the end of January/beginning of February, places are likely to get crowded and it’s advisable to book in advance.
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