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Hanoi – attractive destination for tourists
(Vietnam Travel) For several consecutive years, Hanoi has been voted by readers of the prestigious US Travel & Leisure Magazine as one of the ten most attractive cities in Asia.
Established in 1010 by King Ly Cong Uan, Hanoi has the greatest number of listed historical sites in the country, with two sites per sq.km on average. Many of them are closely connected with the process of founding and safeguarding the country, such as the Co Loa Citadel, the Soc Son historical site, Van Mieu-Quoc Tu Giam (Temple of Literature) – Viet Nam’s first university which was built in 1070, and the house on stilts where President Ho Chi Minh, who was recognised as a world cultural celebrity by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in 1990, lived and worked during the last years of his life.
Numerous museums, including the Viet Nam Museum of History, the Viet Nam Revolutionary Museum, the Viet Nam Military Museum and the Viet Nam Museum of Ethnology, offer insights into the nation’s history from its founding days throughout various wars of resistance against foreign aggressors.
The old quarter of Hanoi, with ancient houses and busy streets, is particularly appealing to foreign visitors, as here they can see the pulse of a thriving city.
The city also charms visitors with streets lined with old villas built during the period of French domination in the late 19th century.
The best time to visit Hanoi is possibly October when autumn comes, bringing warm sunlight, a gentle breeze and the streets at night are bathed in the sweet smell of various flowers.
Food is another attraction of the city. Hanoi’s delicious dishes have become well known around the world, such as pho bo (noodle soup with beef), Cha Ca La Vong (La Vong Grilled Fish Pies), Banh Cuon Thanh Tri (Thanh Tri Rolled Rice Pancake), and Gio Cha Uoc Le (Uoc Le Pork Pastes).
In addition, special dishes from all three regions of the country have found their way to Hanoi, and those foreign visitors who miss their home cooking can also find European and Asian dishes in many restaurants and hotels in the city.
Visitors to Hanoi should not miss out water puppetry performances. Viet Nam is compiling a file for this traditional art in order to propose to UNESCO to recognise it as a world cultural heritage.
Handicraft villages around Hanoi are also worth visiting, such as the Ngu Xa village, which is engaged in bronze casting, the Vong village, which makes roasted green rice, and Bat Trang ceramics-making village.
Staying in Hanoi is convenient and comfortable, as the city has 360 hotels with more than 10,000 rooms meeting international standards, 200 domestic and international travel agencies with over 1,000 tourist guides who are fluent in English, Russian, French, Spanish, Japanese and Chinese languages.
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Love village and people here
Our groups are mainly interested in culture, food, photography and we were lucky enough to catch the Bac Ha market during our Sapa trip. This tour company staffs were definitely one of the highlights of our 2 weeks in Vietnam. Our guide functioned as a translator and in this way we had very interesting talks with the friendly local village people. Our guide was very helpful, caring and knowledgeable. After spending one night in the village, we made a beautiful hike back to the road where the minivan picked us up. Tourists who are interested in the local people and are open for some adventure should definitely do this trip.
Amada Joame From Australia, Visited Sapa on January 2011
This was such a wonderful trekking trip
My husband convinced me to go on this tour and reluctantly I went along with it. I was pleased to find that personal attention was given to us during the entire trip. It felt like we were royalty as we were picked up by our guide at the Lao Cai train station and whisked away by car to Sa Pa to check in a have a brief rest. Our guide was very knowledgeable about the entire area and gave us in-depth tours of two ‘cat cat’ villages and a historic hydro station built during the French occupation.
Day 2 and 3 were no different – in fact I suspect our guide has some sort of history in the area as he knew more details than we could have ever imagined. Each night he specifically asked us if we needed anything, and in the mornings he asked if we had a good rest and if breakfast was to our satisfaction. While the tour was short in terms of time – it was packed full of adventure and service that we never imagined.
Johnathan, Couple from Canada Visited Sapa on July 2011