1. Hoàn Kiếm Lake:
Hoan Kiem Lake (meaning "Lake of the Returned Sword" or "Lake of the Restored Sword"), also known as Hồ Gươm (Sword Lake), is a lake in the historical center of Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam. The lake is one of the major scenic spots in the city and serves as a focal point for its public life.
The lake is not only special in her history. The water color of Hoan Kiem Lake is not commonly found in other lakes elsewhere in the country: greenish, with dark or light shade depending on the reflection of the sky. The lake is full of tortoise, which is second to none to be found among Vietnamese lakes.
Hoan Kiem Lake is centrally located and minutes walking from Hanoi's Old Quarter, where most hotels gather. From Noi Bai Airport, it takes about 40 minutes to get here. If you stay in West Lake area, just take Yen Phu Road to reach the Old Quarter and head east to Hoan Kiem Lake.
2. Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum:
The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is a large memorial in Hanoi, Vietnam. It is located in the center of Ba Dinh Square, which is the place where Vietminh leader Ho Chi Minh, Chairman of the Communist Party of Vietnam from 1951 until his death in 1969, read the Declaration of Independence on 2 September 1945, establishing the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.
The structure is 21.6 meters (70.9 feet) high and 41.2 meters (135.2 feet) wide. Flanking the mausoleum are two platforms with seven steps for parade viewing. The plaza in front of the mausoleum is divided into 240 green squares separated by pathways. The gardens surrounding the mausoleum have nearly 250 different species of plants and flowers, all from different regions of Vietnam.
3. Temple of Literature, Hanoi:
The Temple of Literature is a Temple of Confucius in Hanoi, northern Vietnam. The temple hosts the "Imperial Academy", Vietnam's first national university. The temple was built in 1070 at the time of Emperor Lý Thánh Tông. It is one of several temples in Vietnam which is dedicated to Confucius, sages and scholars. The temple is located to the south of the Imperial Citadel of Thăng Long. The various pavilions, halls, statues and stelae of doctors are places where offering ceremonies, study sessions and the strict exams of the Đại Việt took place. The temple is featured on the back of the 100,000 Vietnamese đồng banknote. Just before the Vietnamese New Year celebration Tết, calligraphists will assemble outside the temple and write wishes in Hán characters. The art works are given away as gifts or are used as home decorations for special occasions.
The temple layout is similar to that of the temple at Qufu, Shandong, Confucius' birthplace. It covers an area of over 54000 square metres, including the Literature ("Van") lake, Giam Park and the interior courtyards which are surrounded by a brick wall. In front of the Great Gate are four tall pillars. On either side of the pillars are two stelae commanding horsemen to dismount.
4. Vietnam Museum of Ethnology:
The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is a museum in Hanoi, Vietnam, which focuses on the 54 officially recognized ethnic groups in Vietnam. It is located on a 3.27-acre (13,200 m2) property in the Cầu Giấy District, about 8 km from the city center.
It is widely considered to be the finest modern museum in Vietnam and a tourist attraction in Hanoi.
Opening hours is 8:30am to 5:30pm Tuesday to Sunday.
5. St. Joseph's Cathedral, Hanoi:
St. Joseph's Cathedral is a church on Nha Tho (Church) Street in the Hoàn Kiếm District of Hanoi, Vietnam. The late 19th-century Gothic Revival (Neo-Gothic style) church serves as the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hanoi to nearly 4 million Catholics in the country.
The cathedral conducts mass several times during the day. For Sunday evening mass at 6:00 PM, large crowds spill out into the streets. The prayer hymns are broadcast and Catholics who are unable to enter the cathedral congregate in the street and listen to hymns.
Built with stone slabs and in brick with concrete facing, the façade consists of two towers, square in shape, rising to a height of 103 ft. (31 m) and each tower fitted with five bells. The cathedral was built in a Gothic Revival (Neo-Gothic) style. The twin bell towers have often drawn comparisons to the ones at Notre Dame de Paris; the architects of St. Joseph's sought to emulate its Parisian counterpart. The exterior walls of the church are made of granite stone slabs. Over the years, the cathedral's exterior has become severely worn down due to heavy pollution.
6. West Lake (Hanoi):
West Lake is a freshwater lake in the center of Hanoi, Vietnam. With a shore length of 17 km (about 10.6 miles), this is the largest lake of the capital and a popular place for recreation with many surrounding gardens, hotels and villas. A small part of West Lake is divided by Thanh Nien road to form Trúc Bạch Lake. One district of Hanoi is named after the lake, Tây Hồ District.
As Hanoi's largest lake, located right in the center of Hanoi, West Lake is abundant with many gardens, hotels, restaurants and other entertainment centers. For this reason, real estate prices near West Lake are staggering and the surrounding quarters are often full of many imposingly large edifices occupied by wealthy Vietnamese people and expatriates.
7. One Pillar Pagoda:
The One Pillar Pagoda is a historic Buddhist temple in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. It is regarded alongside the Perfume Temple, as one of Vietnam's two most iconic temples.
The temple was located in what was then the Tây Cấm Garden in Thạch Bảo, Vĩnh Thuận district in the capital Thăng Long (now known as Hanoi). Before the pagoda was opened, prayers were held for the longevity of the monarch.
The temple is built of wood on a single stone pillar 1.25 m in diameter, and it is designed to resemble a lotus blossom, which is a Buddhist symbol of purity, since a lotus blossoms in a muddy pond. In 1954, the French Union forces destroyed the pagoda before withdrawing from Vietnam after the First Indochina War, It was rebuilt afterwards.
8. Hanoi Opera House:
The Hanoi Opera House is an opera house in central Hanoi, Vietnam. It was erected by the French colonial administration between 1901 and 1911.
It was modeled on the Palais Garnier, the older of Paris's two opera houses, and is considered to be one of the architectural landmarks of Hanoi. After the departure of the French the opera house became the scene for several political events. as well as the scene of street fighting during the fight for Hanoi.
9. Trấn Quốc Pagoda:
Trấn Quốc Pagoda, the oldest Buddhist temple in Hanoi, is located on a small island near the southeastern shore of Hanoi's West Lake, Vietnam.
On the grounds of Tran Quoc is a Bodhi tree taken as cutting of the original tree in Bodh Gaya, India under which the Buddha sat and achieved enlightenment. The gift was made in 1959, marking the visit of the Indian president Rajendra Prasad.
The worshipers who come inside the temple to pray can come anytime they want. However, it is especially popular during the 1st month of the lunar calendar. They pray in many small and large shrines all around the temple.