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Enjoy a Grand Time in Hanoi, Vietnam

Oct 26, 2007
The capital city of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Hanoi is an enchanting destination, situated in the Red Delta River, in the center of northern Vietnam. With lush green trees, beautiful boulevards, ancient shrines, dozens of dazzling lakes, and splendid French edifices, Hanoi is truly an interesting spot to enjoy a memorable vacation. Hanoi, through out its history, was marked by several wars, destructions, and natural calamities. But, Hanoi is now a modern city, with an incredible array of attractions.

The greatest of all attractions in the region is perhaps its more than 500 pagodas and temples. Among which most popular is One Pillar Pagoda, erected in 1049 during the reign of King Ly Thai Tong. Dedicated to Lord Buddha, this beautiful wooden pagoda is supported by just a single pillar, which takes after a lotus seat on which a statue of Buddha has been seated.

Prominent among the temples in the region are the Temple of Literature, which is one of the most sanctified places for the disciples of Confucius; Hai Ba Trung Temple, dedicated to two heroines, Trung Nhi and Trung Trac; and Ngoc Son Temple, located in the middle of Hoan Kiem Lake. Other religious landmarks in the area are Tran Quoc Pagoda, the oldest of its kind in the region, and Ambassadors Pagoda, which is regarded as the seat of Buddhism in the country.

A must-see destination in Hanoi is Old Quarter, boasting of more than 35 winding streets, each of them selling a variety of items such as handicrafts, porcelain, jade carvings, wickerwork and Russian Vodka. Located outside the Royal Citadel, the Old Quarter is regarded as the best destination to enjoy the spirit of the one thousand-year-old Hanoi.

Another sight-seeing option in Hanoi is the Presidential Palace, which is a fine example of the French colonial architecture. Constructed between 1900 and 1906, this splendid structure is within the Ho Chi Minh's Relic Area.

Situated within the French Quarters of the city is Hanoi Opera House, a structure noted for its marvelous construction, reflecting French colonial architecture. Several performances are conducted here every week. Also, a landmark in Hanoi is Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum - the spot where the embalmed body of Ho Chi Minh, acknowledged as the 'father of the modern state,' is displayed.

Not to miss attractions in Hanoi also cover a plethora of traditional handicrafts villages such as Yen Thai glossy silk village, Bat Trang pottery village, and Ngu Xa bronze casting village, where you can see artisans engaged in bronze molding, embroidery works, and silver carving and lacquer.

Lakes - Hanoi's attractions also include more than 15 charming lakes, and some of them are Hoan Kiem Lake - the main leisure area in the city, West Lake - the largest in the city, and Truc Bach Lake. A specialty of these lakes is that each of them is surrounded by wonderful gardens and trees.

Museums - Hanoi is home to a number of remarkable museums, which among many others, are

- Vietnam History Museum, exhibiting artifacts that date back to various periods of Vietnam's history
- Vietnam Army Museum, with collections related to the armed forces of Vietnam
- Fine Arts Museum, displaying a superb collection of paintings and sculpture
- Ho Chi Minh Museum with art objects such as documents, press articles, and pictures of the times of Ho Chi Minh, apart from memorabilia of the 19th century

Gastronomy - Hanoi boasts of an excellent gastronomy, influenced by the French Colonial Era. Just few among the sumptuous cuisines available here are pho, gio lau or pork sausage, nem ran, and cha ca. The place's vegetable and seafood specialties are also much famed.

Festivals - Hanoi hosts an array of lively, colorful festivals, Dong Nhan Temple Festival, Lady Tam's Temple festival, Thay Pagoda Festival, Chuong Village Festival, Tran Vo Festival, and Dong Festival.

With these incredible attractions, it is no wonder why people flock to Hanoi year-round. No matter you are corporate, budget-conscious or a luxury-loving traveler, a myriad of accommodation choices options are available here to choose from according to your taste and pocket.

Mostly, luxurious accommodations are replete with world-class facilities such as color TV with satellite programs, music system, and mini bar. Since many of the hotels and resorts have their own websites, it allows for easy booking of hotel rooms online. Many of them offer best deals on packages inclusive of accommodation, dining, and to and fro transportation for sightseeing.
About the Author
The Accor Group manages Hotels with the Sofitel, Novotel, Mercure, All Seasons, Ibis, Formule 1, Grand Mercure brands and offers services to corporate clients and public institutions: 23 million people in 35 countries use a broad range of services engineered and managed by Accor Services.
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