What to see in Hanoi, itinerary including the main places of interest in the capital of Vietnam, including the Returned Sword Lake and the Temple of Literature.
Capital of Vietnam, Hanoi is located in Tonkin, a region of northern Vietnam, and is crossed by the Song Hong, called the Red River.
Hanoi's old quarter is the vital heart of the city, with its narrow streets full of traffic, a labyrinth of narrow streets called by the name of the goods that in the past were sold by the shops of that street.
Today this is no longer the case, as the street names do not always reflect the products that are treated there.
In this area we note the houses called gallery, for the narrow facades and the rooms that develop in depth, built in this way to avoid having to pay a higher tax, according to what was foreseen in the feudal period, which saw the amount of tribute proportional to the width of the facade that overlooked the street, moreover these buildings have a height that does not exceed two floors, since it had been imposed that they should not be higher than the Royal Palace.
On the banks of Hoan Kiem Lake, known as Returned Sword Lake and located on the edge of the old quarter, there are beautiful gardens that offer the opportunity to make enchanting walks, in a city environment also dedicated to cultural and sporting activities.
In the middle of the lake stands the red bridge Huc, the bridge of the rising sun, which leads to an islet where there is the Temple of the Jade Mountain, dating back to the fourteenth century, the center of Hanoi's tradition and culture.
The place is linked to the legend of the return of the magic sword to the goddess Kim Quy, who emerged from the lake in the form of a golden turtle.
King Thai To, who had borrowed the magic sword during the revolt against the Chinese Ming, after the victory returned the sword to the goddess, who plunged again into the lake without ever re-emerging.
Near the Hoam Kiem lake is the Temple of Literature, a well-preserved example of traditional Vietnamese architecture.
The temple was built in 1070 by the emperor Ly Thanh Tong, in homage to Vietnamese scholars and writers.Recommended readings
- Hoi An (Vietnam): what to see in the historic town
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- Vietnam: useful information
- Hanoi (Vietnam): what to see in the capital
- Ha Long: a bay off Hon Gay
A few years later it became the home of the first university in the country, aimed at studying literary disciplines and the principles of Confucianism.
The university was active until the beginning of the nineteenth century, when it was transferred to Hué, which was the capital of Vietnam for a period.
About 2 kilometers from the old quarter, the western lake, the Ho Tay, extends the largest lake in the city, which houses on a small island the Tran Quoc Pagoda, one of the oldest in Vietnam, with a long history beyond 1500 years old, although rebuilt in the fifteenth century and then again in the nineteenth century.
Between the Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, the funeral monument that houses the body of the Vietnamese leader, and the Museum dedicated to him, there is the Chua Mot Cot Pagoda, one of the most representative buildings in Hanoi, its construction, made of wood and resting on a single stone pillar, it resembles a lotus flower.
This Pagoda was built in 1049, as a sign of gratitude, by the Emperor Ly Thai Tong, who, according to a legend, finding himself without heirs, dreamed of the goddess of Mercy sitting on a lotus flower while offering him a male child, who king had actually marrying a young peasant woman.
The building, destroyed in 1954 by the French, was later rebuilt.
In Hanoi there are some agencies that organize boat cruises to the Ha Long bay, about 180 kilometers from the capital, a wonder of nature declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, characterized by about two thousand islands that dot the emerald green waters of the Gulf del Tonchino, rich in caves carved by the wind and the waves, a trip not to be missed.