Things to do in Hanoi

10:09 | 05/10/2018 Travel

(VEN) - Some attractive tourist destinations and culinary delights in Hanoi are listed.

things to do in hanoi

Attractive tourist destinations

Hanoi’s Old Quarter: The buzzing heart of Hanoi for more than 1,000 years, the Old Quarter is still a hub of everyday life for locals. Its 36 streets were originally named after the goods once traded there, and a few still specialize in these specific items.

Temple of Literature (Van Mieu-Quoc Tu Giam): Khue Van Cac (the pavilion of the constellation of literature) in Van Mieu-Quoc Tu Giam is one of the capital’s outstanding symbols. Tourists flock to the site, which was both a temple of literature and Vietnam’s first university.

Imperial Citadel of Thang Long: Closely associated with the history of Hanoi. Over a thousand years old, this site is one of the priceless historical and cultural values of Vietnam. In addition to unique architectural relics, thousands of artifacts representing cultures of different dynasties have been unearthed at the site, reflecting Vietnamese history from the seventh to the 19th century under the Ly, Tran, Le, Mac and Nguyen dynasties.

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum: This is a place of pilgrimage for many Vietnamese people who come to pay tribute to “Uncle Ho”, the man who led the fight for an independent, unified Vietnam. Queues to see Ho Chi Minh’s embalmed corpse can stretch for hours outside the gigantic mausoleum.

Bat Trang Pottery Village: Bat Trang, a traditional porcelain and pottery village, is an interesting attraction. Located in an area rich in clay, the village has the advantage of raw material for fine ceramics. Bat Trang ceramics are produced for daily household use (such as bowls, cups, plates, pots and bottles), worshipping, or decoration purposes. Nowadays, the pottery artists bring into ceramics many innovations in production techniques, and creativity in product features, even in those as mundane as a kitchen dish. In addition to domestic consumption, Bat Trang ceramics are exported to many countries in the world.

Van Phuc Silk Village: Renowned for its traditional weaving and premium quality silk products, Van Phuc is proud to be the most ancient silk village in Vietnam. Visitors can buy authentic Ha Dong silk products and witness the process of silk production by artisans.

Duong Lam Ancient Village: Duong Lam Village in Son Tay Town is the first ancient village recognized as a national relic. The village has also been described as the last stronghold of wet rice farming culture in northern Vietnam with its unique infrastructure. The cluster of housing around Duong Lam Village is formed by nine hamlets that have maintained the same customs, practices and beliefs for thousands of years.

Native culinary delights

Bun Thang (vermicelli with chicken, pork and egg): Bun Thang is one of the traditional noodle soups that represent the elegance of Hanoi cuisine. A Bun Thang bowl looks like a colorful, harmonious painting. Traditional Bun Thang is made of nearly 20 ingredients, among them rice vermicelli, scrambled eggs, chicken, dried shrimps, shiitake mushrooms, dried pickled radishes, and of course spring onions and laksa leaves. The mix is delicious and nutritious. Addresses: 48 Cau Go Street, 29 Hang Hanh Street.

Pho: A quintessential staple, Pho consists of flat rice noodles in a light, meat-based broth. The dish is usually accompanied by basil, lime, chili, and other extras on the side for seasoning to individual tastes. Addresses: 49 Bat Dan Street, 10 Ly Quoc Su Street.

Cha Ca (grilled fish): Definitely the most unique dish of the capital city, based on a filleted Hemibagrus, a large river fish. The fish is cut into matchbox-sized pieces, marinated in galangal and turmeric along with other spices, which are then placed into bamboo clips to be grilled on charcoal until both sides are almost cooked. The fish is then placed in a frying pan with hot oil, together with dill and spring onion, for a short time. It must be served while hot with rice vermicelli, fried peanuts and coriander, all to be dipped in Vietnamese dipping sauce (contains fish sauce, vinegar, salt, sugar, garlic) or shrimp paste (mam tom) mixed with lime juice. The grilled fish pieces must not be broken or too dry, but yellow, tasty, fresh and fatty. Addresses: 14 Cha Ca Street, 19-21 Duong Thanh Street.

Banh Cuon (steamed rice rolls): Rice sheets rolled into layers as thin as paper and covered in sauce. The rice chosen to make rolled sheets is always of the highest quality. The sauce is made from fish sauce, sticky rice vinegar, some slices of fresh chili, and fried onions. Addresses: 66 To Hien Thanh Street, 12-14 Hang Ga Street.

Egg coffee: An absolute must-try is the local egg coffee (ca phe trung). Somewhere between a beverage and a dessert, this creation involves beaten egg whites poured over an espresso, resulting in a sweet caffeinated mousse that’s utterly delicious. Addresses: 39 Nguyen Huu Huan Street.

Hoa Quynh