Hanoi - A thousand year city
HaNoi City , Vietnam - A thousand year city!Ha Noi’s history stretches back nearly a thousand years when the city was founded by Emperor Ly Thai To, who in 1010 renamed the area Thang Long – ‘Soaring Dragon’. Soon after some of the city’s oldest structures were built including the Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s oldest university.
Ha Noi is a city rich in tradition and legend. Probably the most famous legend of all is the Arthurian tale of Hoan Kiem Lake. Legend has it that in the 15th century Emperor Le Thai To vanquished the invading Chinese with the help of a magical sword. Whilst rowing on the lake an enormous turtle seized the sword from his grasp. The Emperor took this to mean that peace had returned and the sword had been given back to its guardian spirit. In honor of the event he renamed the lake ‘Ho Hoan Kiem’ – Lake of the Restored Sword.
Although nearly a thousand years old, Ha Noi had to wait until 1831 to regain its former name, when Emperor Minh Mang established it as the capital of the Northern Province. Indeed the last Vietnamese dynasty, the Nguyen Dynasty moved their capital from Ha Noi to Hue. The name Ha Noi means ‘ where the river bends’, the river being the Song Hong or Red River.
The city’s main period of growth stems from the arrival of the French in 1888. Within a short time Ha Noi was transformed into an elegant city with broad tree-lined boulevards, avenues and parks, making it one of the greenest cities in Asia. Fortunately many of the old boulevards and residences have survived and are used to house Foreign Embassies and Government institutions. From 1902 until 1953 the city served as the capital of French Indochina, although in 1945 Ho Chi Minh proclaimed in his independence speech from Ba Dinh square that Hanoi would henceforth be the capital of Vietnam.
Today Ha Noi is a bustling capital city of nearly 4 million people. Its focal point is the Hoan Kiem Lake and the Old Quarter, immediately to its north
Here’s a list of some of the capital’s main attractions:
Ngoc Son Temple
Set on a tiny island on the Hoan Kiem Lake, its history dates back to the 13th century.
Also known as the 36 streets, this bustling area of narrow streets is home to literally thousands of small businesses and shopkeepers. Originally each of the 36 streets names’ was related to the products being sold there. Hence you can walk from Fish Street to Tin Street to Bamboo Street. It’s a great place to explore on foot with numerous photo opportunities.
Ho Chi Minh Complex
Completed in 1975 the complex contains Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum, his former stilt-house residence, the Presidential Palace and the Ho Chi Minh museum. When visiting the mausoleum the following rules need to be observed: No short sleeves & skirts are allowed. Silence should be observed when entering the tomb and definitely no photographs (in fact all bags have to be left outside). It’s quite an experience as you queue with many Vietnamese, some of whom have traveled many miles to make the pilgrimage.
Temple of Literature
Originally built as a temple to Confucius, this is the site of Vietnam’s first university dating back to 1070. Inside are the stone stele mounted on the backs of turtles, inscribed with the names of the university’s graduates. The complex is divided into five courtyards with different paths that would originally have been reserved for the Emperor and his mandarins. One of the courtyards contains the statue of Confucius guarded by two beautiful bronze storks standing on turtles. The temple highlights the importance that Vietnamese society placed then and now on education.
Hoa Lo Prison
Better known by its former inmates as ‘The Hanoi Hilton’ it became famous during the American War as many US POWs were incarcerated here. Notable prisoners included Republican senator John McCain and Douglas Peterson who later became the first post-war US Ambassador to Vietnam.
Museum of Ethnology
A must for anyone intending to visit either Mai Chao or Sapa in particular. This museum is widely acknowledged as the best in the country and has an extensive display dedicated to Vietnam’s 54 Ethnic minority peoples. As well as the comprehensive array of exhibits inside, there are also traditional tribal houses reconstructed within the grounds.
Water Puppet Theatre
This is a uniquely Vietnamese creation with its origins dating back nearly a thousand years. Originally these plays would have taken place on lakes and ponds during the monsoon season, depicting daily life as well as numerous tales and legends. The stories remain the same but now the production takes place in a specially designed theatre with a stage knee-deep in water. The puppeteers are hidden behind a bamboo screen and the whole experience is both entertaining and amusing
Quan Thanh Temple
There are many interesting temples in the city, but one of the best is the Quan Thanh on the West Lake. It is dedicated to Than Vu a legendary general. At the centre is the four meter bronze statue dedicated to the man who later became the guardian saint of the city. It is believed that if you rub the statue’s right foot it will bring you good luck.
Hanoi a thousand year city 'The city with traditional handicraft,, historical, fascinating charm'!
Code: PV – HN 31 - 12
Routes: Hanoi to its heritage , Bat Trang cercamic work shop, Dong ky - smithin village Duration: 2 days/ 1 night
Feature: Alive with its tree-lined boulevards and lakes and its blend of French, Chinese and Vietnamese architecture, Hanoi is the jewel of Asia. Charming pagodas and the "36 streets and 36 wares" of the fascinating Old Quarter will vie for your attention. And, there are a multitude of other famous sights: the impressive Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi Opera House, the Museum of Ethnology, the ancient Temple of Literature...
Itinerary in Detail:
Day 1: Hanoi city tour - the one thausand years
One - pillar pagoda
Depart at 8:00 am from your hotel by car. We will begin our day by visiting Uncle Ho, learning about his great life at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Presidential Palace, and his residential place. Next stop is the nearby Temple of Literature. The site of Vietnam's first University, built in twelfth century, to teach the royals the Confucius theory. Here we will also have a chance to see a traditional music performance. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant for a taste of authentic Hanoi Pho (noodle soup) . In the afternoon, choose one from the numerous museums or temples around Hanoi (Museum of Ethnology, Women's Museum, History Museum or Quan Thanh Temple).A late afternoon walk around Hoan Kiem lake and Hanoi's fascinating Old Quarter for some great fun, shopping, and street side traditional food. This is your chance to be part of typical Hanoian style and its traditional Vietnamese culture. We finish our relaxing but informative day by attending a Water Puppet Show, a favorite experience for all visitors to Vietnam.We can help you get back to your hotel if you wish, but often our guests would just rather spend the evening enjoying a drink with a view of the city.
Day 2: Bat Trang, Dong Ky – the traditional handicraft villages
Bat Trang village
AM: Pick you up at your hotel at 8.00. Transfer to visit Bat Trang pottery village. On the way to Bat Trang village, you have a chance to see the property of the villages located along the two banks of the Red River Dykes and the lifestyles of dwellers. Two hours visiting Bat Trang village, then have lunch at a Vietnamese traditional restaurant.PM: The guide takes you to visit Dong Ho folk painting where you will be surprised by the folk paintings made by the skilful persons with natural materials and colors. After that visiting But Thap Pagoda, the cradle of Buddhism in Vietnam with the unique architecture makes you impressed by its charms and history. Visit DONG KY - carpentry village .Here they made furniture inlaid with mother of pearl and finished off with layer of clear lacquer .In laying the mother of pearlis highly labour intensive, see how it is delicately sawed info fine fish-bone sliver and paints takingly set into wood. Finish tour.
Prices ($US) Your price when; Standard Superior Deluxe you are 2 persons: 145/ person N/A N/A you are 4 persons: 125/ person N/A N/AIncluded: E.S. guide, hotel, Ac transport, spacious boat, admission fees, meal as specified.
Excluded: Drinks, other personal expenses. Tips are welcome!
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