Hanoi is a large and fast paced city of nearly 8 million. There is something for everyone and as with nearly every other city, I could have spent more time in Hanoi. We hit the major tourist things, but there was more I would have liked to see, like a showing of a water puppet theatre and the Imperial Citadel.
Ho Chi Minh's Masoleum
8 Hung Vuong, Dien Bien, Ba Dinh, Hanoi
Is…interesting. Our G Adventures guide told us to go, just to see how Ho Chi Minh is honored, and how extreme his Masoleum is. The often long lines lead to his embalmed body on display. Security and the dress code is very strictly enforced – such as “Taking photos, talking or finger-pointing are strictly prohibited inside the mausoleums.” Despite the terribly ugly building and long wait, we still found it worth the experience.es and countries.
Ho Chi Minh's Presidential Palace
2 Hung Vuong, Ngoc Ha, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi
Stepping away from the harshness of the Masoleum and intensity of the War Remnants Museum, the Presidential Palace grounds are more like walking through a serene park set in the midst of beautifully preserved French Colonial buildings. The site has been left very much as it was when Ho Chi Minh passed away. I don’t know that I “needed” to go here, but I did enjoy wandering around the grounds and the change of pace it offered.
Hoan Kiem Lake & Ngoc Son Temple
Located just on the edge of the Old Quarter is this beautiful serene lake and temple in the heart of the city. It can get quite crowded, but it is worth taking a stroll around the lake and stopping at the temple. Read a little more about the legend of the lake HERE.
Temple of Literature
We walked around here without a tour, and not really knowing much about the center prior to arriving. There is not a ton of English, so read about it ahead of time. Although I saw mixed reviews, but I thought it was absolutely beautiful and worth visiting, but I’m really into architecture!
You might also be interested in my posts on Can Tho, Saigon, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Hue, and Halong Bay! For what we ate in Hanoi, check out THIS post. For specifics on each city, check out each post! Or find basic information and tips for traveling gluten free in Vietnam HERE.