Now it’s time to leave Saigon and begin day trips in Ha Noi capital in order to uncover the ancient beauty of a land with over 1.000 years of civilization. Hanoi – the Vietnam’s capital is where the marks of Chinese and French occupation are exposed. Apart from blaring horns of various vehicles along big streets, a glimpse at the Old Quarter will let you perceive the glorious history, rich culture, and the resilience of Hanoi people. Exploring this land means lots of fascinating activities must be experienced. For instance, it will be a great morning to wake up early in Hanoi, practice T’ai chi, have specialties for breakfast, and observe the Old Quarter’s soft charm from some corner.
Day trips in Ha Noi capital: Top things to see and do
Hoan Kiem Lake
Hoan Kiem Lake is viewed as a historical mark in Hanoi Capital as there is a legend hidden behind it. Be curious about the lake name (Hoan Kiem Lake means the lake where a sword was restored)? In mid-15th century, Ly Thai To intentionally got a magical sword which later he utilized to expel invaders from Vietnam. The war went by, and in one time when Ly Thai To cruised on this lake, a golden turtle appeared and asked for getting back this sword for its divine owner. Since, the lake has been called Hoan Kiem and also become a scared area where turtles are nurtured. That is the reason why lots of people are drawn by that destination.
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
For Vietnamese people, the president Ho Chi Minh is always known as a National Liberation Hero and called with an intimate name: Uncle Ho. He was exactly the person who established the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and led the country throughout difficult years of war. That is the reason why Vietnamese people expressed their love for him by building Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum with the aim of commemorating all what he did for the country. In fact, the mausoleum is where his body has been kept after his death on September 2nd 1969, which was actually against his will that his body must have been cremated and buried on North, Center and South hills.
Temple of Literature (Van Mieu-Quoc Tu Giam)
It is widely known by Vietnamese people that Temple of Literature lies in the list of the first universities in the world; it was constructed on May 10th 1070 under the reign of King Ly Thanh Tong. Making a trip to Hanoi capital without entering this temple is indeed great regret. Consider this as a big chance to explore the splendid history and the glittering architecture style of a building which used to be the most famous university in Vietnam where many generations of scholars were trained and became talents through Ly and Le dynasties. It is worth experiencing day trips in Hanoi capital for more understanding of Van Mieu-Quoc Tu Giam.
One Pillar Pagoda (Chua Mot Cot)
It is so hard to ignore this historic Buddhist temple when you are being on the journey to discover Hanoi – the Vietnam’s capital with the richness of history and culture. Alongside Perfume Temple, One Pillar Pagoda built under the Ly dynasty in 1049 is listed as one of the iconic temples of Vietnam. There is a legend going that the pagoda was based on the inspiration from the dream of King Ly Thai Tong that he was led to a lotus where Phat Ba Quan Am (also known as Kuan Yin, Guanyin or Kannon) was sitting; after the pagoda has been finished, each year, the king came here for the ceremony of bathing Buddha and releasing birds.
Quan Su Pagoda
Positioned at 73, Quan Su Street, Hoan Kiem district, Quan Su Pagoda is known as a valuable treasure of the Vietnam’s capital. In the past, this place used to be the embassy where ambassadors from Ai Lao (Laos) and Chiem Thanh (Champa), coming to offer tributes to Dai Viet (former name of Vietnam) were welcomed. Another reason for building this pagoda was due to the expectation of those ambassadors who were Buddhists and wished a place for their worship whilst they were in Dai Viet.
Traditional Handicraft Villages
There is no doubt that Hanoi Capital is the center of a variety of traditional handicraft villages where we will be astonished by exquisite handicrafts created by excellent artists. It is clear that the art of making each kind of handicrafts signifies age-long cultural values of the capital, and unique techniques have been passed from generation to generation to preserve these values. Don’t lose out on an opportunity to join a day trip in Ha Noi capital for peering into the cradle of the Vietnamese handicraft art, such as Bat Trang Pottery Village, Van Phuc Silk Village, Phu Vinh bamboo village, Thach Xa bamboo dragonfly, Tay Tuu Flower Village, Ngu Xa Bronze Casting Village, etc.
Duong Lam ancient village
A commune of Son Tay town, Hanoi capital, Duong Lam is viewed as the first and famous ancient village in Vietnam. What makes its reputation is that it is the hometown of two kings in the Vietnamese history: Phung Hung (761-802) and Ngo Quyen (896-944); they were the heroes leading the country through the fight against invaders and recovering the national independence. As a consequence, the temples dedicated to the kings were built in Duong Lam by the people to commemorate their contribution to the country.
Hanoi is rich in culture and history, yet for gourmets, the Hanoi cuisine will appeal to them the most. When it comes to top must-try food for day trips in Hanoi capital, the locals will recommend you to Pho (aka Hanoi beef noodle). Yes, the dish gets too familiar to international tourists because it is widespread through country thanks to the large number of migrants who move from poor provinces to big cities for work and bring specific cultural features with them. Nonetheless, it will be a wise decision to taste Pho in Hanoi since its flavor is utterly unique, compared to other places. Further, there are dozens of outstanding recipes suggested here, e.g. crab noodle soup (bun rieu), stir fried noodles (pho xao), vermicelli & tofu with shrimp paste, spring rolls, Steamed pork wraps, etc.