• Kenney Mcclain posted an update 3 weeks, 5 days ago

    Broad boulevards lined with buildings of French-inspired architecture, little roadside galleries full of artwork, charming people native hats and dress mixing with others wearing products are what awaits those on a Vietnam tour of Hanoi, the town called the cultural capital.

    Hanoi, the nation’s second largest city (having a population of six million and covering 900 square km for the banks in the Red River), is claimed is the core of the country- something easily proven with a walk-through the streets of the French-colonial city using its lakes and temples. Readily navigable on foot, there’s a lot to find out and do here at a fairly easy pace; start your Vietnam tour from Hanoi and you may certainly have the strong a feeling of laid-back tranquillity that only a timelessly old settlement will surely have.

    History. Dating back as soon as three centuries before Christ, Hanoi had been generally known as Thang Long, and was renamed Hanoi in 1831 at any given time when Hue was the capital. Present-day Hanoi, however, was largely built during the French occupation- a fact reflected in broad streets and charming French inspired buildings which are sign of town.

    Old Quarter. Hoan Kiem District (aka the Old Quarter), considered the city’s business hub and main tourist destination, could very well be one of the most definitive of Hanoi. A walk with the area is tantamount to stepping back in its history – its streets are filled up with scooters, traders and folks simply out for a leisurely stroll around the block. Here, there are ancient commercial streets named after their original businesses dating back about 1,000 years, including names of cotton, jewellery, herbs, and silk. Although many of these concerns are already substituted with modern-day businesses, once can still appreciate the sense of the way it was obviously a years ago, and gain a sense of rich, old customs. Preserved shop-houses built a little over a century ago with street-facing facades and multiple courtyards inside are next to each other with hip cafes, bars, restaurants, bakeries, boutique shops and free galleries.

    Places to Visit. Ho Chi Minh, the country’s most widely used leader (proven to his people as ‘Uncle Ho’) rests here in a glass case in the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in central Hanoi (albeit against his wishes). A vacation to Uncle Ho’s final resting place is definitely an extraordinary experience on the Vietnam tour- in the end, it isn’t just a normal attraction, it’s actually a portion of a nation’s history. For the people visiting, it might flourish to keep in mind the reverence the locals have for Uncle Ho-dress with respect (no shorts, sleeveless shirts and miniskirts) and everybody has got to deposit their bags and cameras prior to going in.

    The world-famous Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre in Hanoi can be a performance art rooted in the tradition going back to the 11th century, coming from a time when rice paddy fields were flooded and villagers will make entertainment by standing in the waist-deep water using the puppets performing in the water. Large rods to support the puppets appeared as if they were moving through the water, with the puppeteers hidden behind a screen. They might tell traditional folk stories through operatic songs, together with an orchestra playing traditional music using drums, wooden bells, horns, bamboo flutes and cymbals. Today, the tradition continues.

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