Hanoi has remained relatively untouched, until now, by modern commercialism. This graceful city’s blend of Chinese influences and French architectural charm offers a lovely glimpse into the Vietnam of pre-war years. The Old Quarter in Hanoi is rich in colonial and pre-colonial architecture, with its charming narrow streets, flooded with bicycles and tuk-tuks.
The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, where Ho Chi Minh is interred, and the nearby Ho Chi Minh Museum, built in the shape of a white lotus, are first stops on most visitors’ lists. Its exhibits integrate the story of the Vietnam War with Ho Chi Minh’s own personal history. His modest stilt house, with minimal furnishing, and surrounded by gardens, gives a glimpse in how h lived until his death in l969.
Other Hanoi visitor attractions include the One Pillar Pagoda, the Army and Air Force Museums, National Museum of Vietnamese History and Museum of the Vietnamese Revolution as well as Ngoc Son Temple, Bach Ma Temple and the Temple of Literature. Your visit might also include Hoan Kiem Lake, which is a popular local park, or a visit to one of the wartime memorials such as Hoa Lo Prison, B-52 Lake or the Downed Aircraft Memorial.
Hanoi’s Vietnamese Women's Museum places an informative focus on the many female heroines of Vietnamese history. There are also a number of exhibitions on the rituals and traditions surrounding women in the family, as well as display of hand-made Vietnamese costumes. Exhibits also explore contemporary issues such as the hard lives of single mothers and street vendors, women’s role in traditional medicine, and Mother Goddess worship.