Hanoi not only has many sights of interest for the visitor, but I found it also an attractive city just to walk or cycle around in. It has its areas where motorbikes race around you with all the noise that comes with them, it has areas with quiet tree-lined avenues, it has the old quarter where you can buy almost anything you can imagine, with often old Vietnamese women walking the streets with heavy loads of fruit and other merchandise on their seemingly fragile bamboo carrying devices.
It has old, sometimes Chinese, temples and pagodas, lakes in the heart of the city (notably Hoan Kiem Lake), and you can also visit the famous Temple of Literature. This is an almost 1000 years old place dedicated to the famous Chinese philosopher Confucius, and also place of the first university of Vietnam. One of the most notable parts of the temple are the stelae which were erected for students who received their doctorate during some centuries. The stelae are placed on the back of giant stone turtles.
One other obvious sight to see is the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum. A huge building on a large square, holding the embalmed body of Vietnam's most prominent leader of the 20th century. His body is actually flown each year to Russia to receive additional treatment for it's preservation. Leave all bags behind at the checkpoint and you are supposed to walk in a steady pace into the building, past Uncle Ho, and out of it in a matter of minutes.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Hanoi (Vietnam). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Hanoi.
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