Unique Places in Hanoi

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    Tending the fields, Tam Coc.
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Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in Hanoi

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    Quan Thanh Temple

    by richiecdisc Updated Dec 28, 2004

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    Quan Thanh Temple is one of Hanoi’s more serene temples for good reason. It is a fair walk from the Old Quarter, even a few blocks north of the Ho Chi Minh complex. But that along with its scenic setting on Truc Bach Lake make it all the more worthwhile to make the effort to get here. It was not so quiet as it was TET but compared to the temples in the city center, it was a nice relief. Established by the Ly dynasty between 1050 and 1225, this shady oasis must be a summer paradise for those who come to worship. Located at the intersection of D Thanh Nien and Pho Quan Thanh. Cost is 2000 dong (12 cents) to enter.

    one of Hanoi's more serene temples
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    Tran Quoc Pagoda

    by richiecdisc Written Dec 28, 2004

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    Tran Quoc Pagoda is one of the oldest in Vietnam and worth the long walk to visit it. Situated on a narrow strip of land separating Ho Tay (West Lake) from Truc Bach Lake, this scenic complex has been rebuilt numerous times, the last time dating back to 1842. The best part was people watching during TET as it was a popular spot for locals to worship and accordingly, there are many vendors selling everything from popcorn to floral offerings. I imagine it is a great place in the heat of a summer’s day. It was a bit chilly out there in January! Located just off Thanh Nien.

    worth the hike
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    Cemeteries

    by jenniferchin Written Jan 10, 2005

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    Cemeteries in northern Vietnam are very distinctive. Historically, family members were buried in the fields where the family grew crops.

    Today, bodies must be placed in concentrated cemeteries. Bodies are first buried in the ground; after three years, the bones are dug up and reburied. These "villages of the dead" are found among rice paddies and fields.

    Tombstones are made of poured concrete and covered with colorful glazed tiles as families have the money to do so. Very poor families have only dirt mounds. From the many military engagements in Vietnam's history, military cemeteries are a common feature of the rural landscape.

    Tombstones in the fields

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    FLAG TOWER & you can visit the Army Museum

    by balhannah Written Sep 23, 2009

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    This Flag Tower was built in 1812, and was used by French troops as an observation tower and communication stations.
    It was built on the southern end of the citadel, much of which was destroyed towards the end of the 19th century.

    It has three platforms and a tower. You can walk inside and get some views over the city and the Army Museum's courtyard with its display of war vehicles.
    The tower receives sunlight through 36 flower-shaped and six fan-shaped windows.

    HOW TO GET THERE......

    * By Cyclo...I went on my city cyclo tour
    * Walk.....Using the Ho Hoan Kiem as the starting point, walk west along Hang Khay, which becomes Trang Thi after a while. Then you reach a split in the road; the right branch is Dien Bien Phu Street. Take that street, crossing the railway track and continuing on until you see the Army Museum on your right, and the triangular park with the statue of Lenin on your left. Cot Co Flag Tower is just behind the Army Museum.

    THE HANOI FLAG TOWER
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    ENDANGERED PRIMATES

    by balhannah Updated Sep 22, 2009

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    The endangered primates are at CUC PHUONG NATIONAL PARK

    It is a non-profit organization dedicated to the rehabilitation, breeding, research, and conservation of endangered primates, and to the protection of their habitats.

    When I visited, there were only 15 varieties of Primates living there.
    Some of them were the “Critically Endangered” grey-shanked douc langur, Delacour´s langur, Cat Ba langur and the “Endangered” Hatinh langur, black langur and Laos langur, Primates that you may not see anywhere else but here.

    The center and the continuation of its work depends upon the donations of organizations and individuals.

    The center also runs an “Adopt-A-Monkey-Program”.

    You get the admission ticket at the park entrance, and then go back to the Entrance of the Monkey Centre, and the guide will let you in and show you around the enclosures.

    ADMISSION IN 2008 was 10,000dong

    FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE CENTRE............www.primatecenter.org

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    • Zoo

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    B52 POND or HUU TIEP LAKE

    by balhannah Written Sep 23, 2009

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    Huu Tiep Lake, about a klm west of the Mausoleum is a nothing startling to look at.

    ITS FAME IS............

    The wreckage of an American B-52 Bomber, shot down during the Christmas period by North Vietnamese artillery in 1972 (when this whole area was undeveloped) has its remains still in the lake.

    If you are a war veteran, then you may want to visit here, and try and picture what it was like in the past, when this area was not developed.
    There's a partly submerged memorial plaque.

    I came here on a city tour with my Cyclo driver.

    LOCATION........just south of West Lake along Hoang Hoa Tham Rd., and a short walk down Lane 55 leading to the sight (a handwritten sign reads B-52 with an arrow).

    B52 POND
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    HISTORY MUSEUM

    by balhannah Written Sep 23, 2009

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    THE HISTORY MUSEUM is a stunning golden French/Vietnamese style building, (built in 1931) surrounded by a gorgeous garden area. A walk around the gardens, and you will see many sculptures, these are located on one side of the building, and there is also a Cafe here.

    The exhibits here, cover Vietnam’s past....from prehistoric times .....from the Cham people onwards ....to the end of the Second World War.
    There are a lot of objects and materials displayed in the museum.

    LOCATION............
    1 Trang Tien Street. If you are coming from the direction of the Hanoi Opera House, follow the road on the left side of the opera house. You will arrive at the History Museum within 5 minutes. It is on the right side of the road.

    ADMISSION ....US$1
    OPEN...8-11.30am & 1.30-4.30pm Tue-Sun

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    Ear of pigs!?

    by hientonkin Updated Apr 1, 2006

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    Yes, ear of pigs. It's one kind of Nem ( fresh spring rolls ). Lovely to try, if you dont dare, pass by to have a look how crowded it's.
    Trademark by the name " Nem tai Ba Hong " ( Mrs Hong - Ear's pork spring rolls ). It's a place a a gourmet in Hanoi, and of course, very local - place for young people, students, pupils gathering and chatting . Enjoy the feeling wrapping the spring rolls yourself with herbs, figs, and deep it in the sauce.. Yummy!
    Very cheap as well. For two, it costs about 15,000 vnd ( 1 usd).
    Add: 74 Cau Go st. Hanoi

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    Long Bien Bridge

    by hientonkin Written Apr 1, 2006

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    The old bridge over famous Red River is thought to be desinged by Eiffel ( Eiffel tower in Paris ), damaged by the American war. Before, only bicycles and pedestrians can pass by, but now also motorbikes allowed.
    From here it's great view of the Red River, the bridge is not crowed, so you can enjoy your time here, real quiet!
    * Location: Tran Nhat Duat street, parallel with Chuong Duong bridge

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    ST. JOSEPH'S CATHEDRAL

    by balhannah Written Sep 23, 2009

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    St. Joseph's Cathedral to me, was a rather dull, uninspiring Church. The dull, dark Grey colour probably didn't help, nor all the power lines around it.

    It opened in 1886, during the earliest days of colonial rule, and the Cathedral still holds mass twice daily.

    During other hours, you can enter through a door on the side of the cathedral.

    Pho Nha Chung
    Hanoi, Vietnam

    St. Joseph's Cathedral - Hanoi
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    Early bird!

    by hientonkin Written Apr 1, 2006

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    Vendors selling flowers along the streets are often been seen in Hanoi. But have you ever wonder how the flower market would be? It's bizzare, big hub between flower growers and retailers- romantic hustle and bustle.
    Open daily from 2:00 to 7:00 am in Au Co st. Just go until you meet the crowd.

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    The story of 1000 year-old city

    by hientonkin Written Apr 1, 2006

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    People think Hanoi citadel is closed, actually, it doesnt. Not many things left after the war, now just 2 gates , one tower, a ground from a palace court with 2 stone dragons from 15th century.
    But it's worth to go there to know , to listen to the calling of history.
    Northern Gate ( Cua Bac ) : Hoang Dieu street. Open from 8 -11:00, 13:00 - 16:00

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    The pagoda of resistance against the French

    by kokoryko Written Jan 19, 2008

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    Ba Da pagoda (Chua Ba Da) is hidden in the old streets of Hanoi, and walking in the morning before my day’s work I stepped by chance on this pagoda, looking at the houses and walls and, noticing several monks entering a small gate. . . . . . I followed them.
    I am always moved when entering places of living spiritualism (I mean where religion is still practised, not the museum-churches, temples or mosques), where people are living their faith (I have not that sort of faith!), places where people feel something above them, where they pray in one word!
    Pagoda of resistance: a small board at the entrance explains that this pagoda was a base for anti-French activists during the Liberation War. This pagoda has been built in the 15th century and reconstructed in the 18th century. The building itself is not remarkable, some rooms where the monks gather, have a tea, discuss of serious matters of the world. . . . and there is the temple itself, where are some copper or bronze plated Buddha statues and places where people leave pictures, artefacts, strange atmosphere; an old monk offered to be my guide and gave me an incense stick to light on and fit on an altar. (He also asked for some little money later. . . . ); we could only communicate with glimpses and gestures. . . . .
    A copper plated Buddha on the main picture , on the second picture, a monk woman I followed to enter, my “guide on the third picture, photographs on an altar on the fourth picture and a view of a prayer room of the pagoda on the fifth picture.
    I apologise, as I do not know about Buddhist religion and I may use inappropriate words for describing pagodas and temples.

    Na Tho street, southern side.
    Old city, between Hoan kiem Lake and the cathedral

    Buddha helped for resistance Follow the monk My guest Photographs on an altar Prayer room
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    Place du tertre ?

    by kokoryko Written Jan 19, 2008

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    Lots of tourists visiting Montmartre in Paris get solicitations to pose for a portrait they can take home as souvenir; in the streets of old Hanoi the same can be done, and on Hang Gai or Hang Manh streets, the painters work on the sidewalks; do not expect to see super artists, but in any case they draw and paint with skill and apparently their customers are mainly local tourists, but foreign tourists may get portrayed too!
    Painting is an important activity in Hanoi, and if you like exotic or some original paintings it is worth to walk in the evenings on some streets (Trang Tien, Hang Gai. . . ) where a number or galleries exhibit works of local painters, some working “online” in the shops or galleries; it looks a bit like industrial production in some cases, and with artificial light, I wonder how they manage to render colours of landscapes or skies; some paints can be purchased for less than 20 US$, but prices vary in wide ranges, and art has no price, it is only a matter of sensibility and taste, and what some consider as ugly daubing is looked as masterpieces by other (well, for my taste there were interesting and nice small naïve paints, but nothing I would have paid lots of money for). There is always something to see in the streets of Hanoi, day or night.

    Serious! Dark ! Keep serious!! Mass production Mass production, again
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    THE Velosolex.

    by kokoryko Written Jan 19, 2008

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    In France this sort of bike (a brand name) is called “Solex”. This sort of bike with the engine above the front wheel, transmitting the movement from the (two cycles) engine to the wheel with a cast-iron roller was very popular in France from the fifties to seventies. It was always black, had a terrific design, was reliable (despite the weight on front), and was very easy to get in movement when it ran out of fuel; it could be used as a regular bike.
    I was very surprised and happily delighted to see this one in the show window of a . . . furniture shop on the north end of Ku Pho Cho (Old quarter), on Hang Dau street.
    Nowadays, this bike is a vintage bike, this one here very well renovated. . . .

    Solex in the show window
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