Hanoi will astound, enchant, and devour you all at once. Established beside the Red River, Emperor Ly Thai To dubbed Hanoi Thang Long, or “soaring dragon,” in 1010. After more than a millennium of warfare, calamities, and political changes, the once swamplands of the city transformed into the captivating metropolis it is today. Admire the Old Quarter’s intricate intricacies, ride motorbikes against the millennial onslaught, and sip on fresh bia hơi. These are 11 Hanoi must-see locations.

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum 

This commanding construction was built from 1973 to 1975 to house the embalmed body of Vietnam’s greatest political leader, Hồ Chí Minh. Visitors and Vietnamese queue for hours every morning to pay their respects to the cadaver, dressed in a khaki wardrobe and encased in a glass sarcophagus.

One Pillar Pagoda

Emperor Ly Thai To erected this Buddhist timber pagoda in 1049 on a lone stone pillar in the centre of a lotus pond. According to the archives, it was constructed in remembrance of the Goddess of Mercy, who granted the Emperor’s wish for a male heir. The building is intended to mimic a lotus flower, which is a Buddhist symbol of purity, blooming from murky waters.

The Old Quarter

The 36 streets that make up Hanoi’s historic Old Quarter span a single square kilometre. Every street has been inhabited by artists and craftspeople who dealt in the particular goods for which it was named since the fifteenth century. The allure of these streets is still present today. As you stroll from silk street to decorating street, from silver street to bamboo street, all within walking distance of one another, get ready to be amazed.

TIP: At night, head down to bia hơi corner (the intersection between Ta Hien and Luong Ngoc Quyen) to sample sensational street food and bargain brews.

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