Hanoi Itineraries: Where East Meets West - A Cultural Melting Pot (Southern Circuit)

Heading south from the Old Quarter will lead you to another popular district – the French Quarter which boasts uptown funk and colonial architectural remains from the days of colonial rule by the French. You will be able to find upmarket dining and shopping options here which resembles Orchard Road. While it potentially offers you a break from the rest of the hectic Hanoi capital, I prefer the kampong vibe of the Old Quarter, as it was quainter and more unique an experience for me personally.



Hanoi Opera House

Certainly one of the more Instagrammable landmarks in Hanoi, the Opera House was built more than a century ago and was modelled after the Palais Garnier in Paris.


Step back and admire the magnificent French-influenced architecture of the Hanoi Opera House!

Standing on the August Revolution Square, the Opera House hosts a wide variety of concerts from classical performances to theatrical shows. Stepping into the building and admiring its Western-inspired architecture seemingly whizzes you to Europe. You may like to check out the timetables for a concert of your preference to enjoy the classy ambience or just snap a few photographs against the grand landmark whilst looking upon the busy streets before you.

The amazing ambience of elegance emanating from the Hanoi Opera House!
(Photo Credits: Hanoi Opera House)

Vietnamese Women’s Museum
Opening Hours: 0800h – 1700h (Daily)
Entrance Fee: VND 30,000

I am certainly not much of a museum person but I have heard this topic of the Vietnamese Women’s Museum being highly recommended by the tour guides during both organised day trips I took. They were both describing a certain exhibit depicting the life cycle of a lady in local culture from childbirth to death where it repeats over and over again, which intrigued me.

Vietnamese propaganda poster calling on females to protect their homes

The museum focusses on recognising the contributions that females throughout Vietnam’s history had made from multiple perspectives. It first sets the scene by expounding on how the Trung Sisters who rebelled against the exacting Chinese rule and managed to reclaim the land for a short period of time together with an army made up of mostly women. It also proceeds to display the significant roles that females have played in domestic life and resistance activities against the French and American aggressors.

What a wide variety of vibrant traditional clothing worn by local tribes!

The different ideals of beauty and fashion are also exhibited for the 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam by showcasing the various clothing and jewellery worn by the different tribal people. Portraying the country’s development through the lens of females and sharing life stories of ladies and their sacrifices is definitely unique, making the Women’s Museum one of the most recognised tourist attractions in Hanoi.

Hoa Lo Prison
Opening Hours: 0800h – 1130h, 1330h – 1630h (Tue – Sun)
Entrance Fee: VND 30,000

When you first arrive at Hoa Lo Prison, you will enter the yellow brick house with the imposing words Maison Centrale (meaning Central House in French).

Walking through this imposing gate must have been intimidating back in the day!

This building was used to house local political prisoners during the French occupation of Vietnam and offers haunting visual illustrations of the poor, inhumane conditions in the prison. The exhibits continuously emphasise on the severe overcrowding conditions of the cells and how the incarcerated had to bear the summer heat and freezing winter by huddling together.

A visual illustration of how the prisoners were incarcerated back in the day

The cells were extremely small and dark, potentially causing the prisoner to go berserk.

The prison cells feel colder, darker and eerier as you move further down the alley!

Hoa Lo Prison also has numerous exhibits dedicated to the political prisoners who remained loyal and faithful to the Vietnamese revolutionary movement by having to endure the hardship suffered during their incarceration. It celebrated and documented every incident when a political prisoner managed to escape either through holes or by blending into the visitor crowd, while commemorating those who were tortured and ill-treated in Hoa Lo Prison, many of whom died here. The nationalistic sentiments were extremely strong here, as you could really feel how these patriots loved their country.

A bronze carving of Vietnamese prisoners being physically tortured by the French

It then went on to juxtapose how the French mistreated the local heroes against how humane the Vietnamese treated the American prisoners-of-war who indiscriminately bombed the country during the Vietnam War. While I felt the injustice done to this country through the exhibits, the account seemed rather biased to me due to how abrupt this transition seemed, especially during the part when they showed how the American pilots seemed to be living the life in this prison. This may perhaps be the reason why these POWs named this place the Hanoi Hilton…

A harrowing mural showing the treatment of political prisoners during colonial rule

All in all, this place sheds some light on the hellish environment that the Vietnamese prisoners had to endure and gives a good introduction to the history of this nation that has suffered occupation by multiple foreign aggressors over the past millennium.


Temple of Literature (Van Mieu)
Opening Hours: 0830h – 1130h, 1330h – 1630h (Tue – Sun)
Entrance Fee: VND 30,000

The Temple of Literature is a temple dedicated to Confucius and is the home to the Imperial Academy which is the country’s first national university. 

The entrance to the temple is a magnificent display of intricate carving and sculpting!

This was the same location where the study sessions and national examinations took place during the Dai Viet era, understandably so as the natural ambience of peace must have made studying here extremely conducive and effective. If you visit Van Mieu during the Vietnamese New Year (Tet), you may even have an opportunity to get handwritten calligraphy with well wishes at the entrance of the temple – what could make a better souvenir than a blessing here?

An altar with various items offered by devout believers

Van Mieu is extremely large with numerous courtyards, ponds and gardens that all serve to make this place feel like heaven on earth. The temple offers tourists an out-of-this-world sense of tranquillity that magically shields out the honking of cars just outside its walls. The architectural style of the temple grounds and pagodas unsurprisingly resembles that of China, while many exhibits and banners on display are also written in traditional Chinese script. 

Little structures housing massive gongs can be found scattered in this temple!

This was definitely the most impressive temple I visited during my entire time in Vietnam and I would highly recommend it if you like visiting religious sites to have a taste of local life.

Lovely structures are formed when the joss-sticks have burnt off!

With this post, we have come to the end of our mini-series on Hanoi. I certainly hope that the tips and itineraries here have been helpful to you when planning a vacation to this charming capital city of Vietnam. Our next destination will be the mysterious little nation of Laos which is located in the vicinity of Vietnam, so you may wish to consider combining these 2 countries together in a trip which is popular amongst numerous travellers visiting Southeast Asia! Check it out right here.

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Comments

  1. A great guide to visiting Hanoi. As well as the varied architecture, I'm very interested in the contents of the Vietnamese Women's Museum, which I hadn't heard of before. I'd also like to visit both the prison museum and the temple dedicated to the literature of Confucious.

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    1. Thanks Kavita! It's the first time I've ever heard of a museum dedicated to celebrate the contributions of females to the country and thereafter expound on the elements of fashion and family. It is really an interesting concept!

      I'm sure you'll enjoy the other attractions since you're into culture and history, which the Temple of Literature and Hoa Lo Prison are brimming with! :)

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  2. I loved Hanoi but most of my friends wanted to leave after just one day. I loved the chaos and the culture but it definitely isn't for everybody

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    1. Hey Eli, I was very much overwhelmed myself on the first day when I arrived in Hanoi, as I was not expecting so much hustle and bustle in the city - with the motorcycles zooming and honking everywhere.

      Nevertheless, I was able to quickly adapt to the environment and found it to be quite unique and 'welcoming' in some way. The culture and food which Hanoi is full of really sealed the deal that I enjoyed my stay in this charming city! :)

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  3. This is a great list of things to do in Hanoi. A bit of everything in there from; culture and arts to history. I love the architecture around Ha Noi, It is so intriguing. Thanks for sharing, I will certainly finish off visiting some of these places on my next visit.

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    1. Hi Katie, great to hear that you're interested to return to Hanoi and explore some of these attractions which you have not visited yet!

      The Vietnamese way of infusing French colonial architecture with the traditional buildings is really unique and the way that these seemingly contrasting styles can coexist harmoniously is amazing! :)

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  4. This is a wonderful itinerary of Hanoi to get to know the city and culture a bit more. I also love the map in the beginning so you know where all the spots are. That's very helpful for those who've never been there.

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    1. Thank you! When reading travel blog posts, I love to have a visualisation of where an attraction is in relation to the others. That's why I decided to include the map to help readers get a clearer picture of what they're looking at!

      This is probably the itinerary with the longest walking distance between attractions, from the French Quarter to Ba Dinh District. Nevertheless, as the city is very walkable, it should not pose any issues for us travellers! :)

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  5. This part of Hanoi looks really fascinating. The Opera House is so elegant, it definitely evokes memories of Paris. Hoa Lo Prison also looks so intriguing, it must be an eerie experience visiting this place which must still echo with the anguished wails of the miserable prisoners who had been incarcerated there.

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    1. Hi Sandy, the Hanoi Opera House definitely looks magnificent and resembles the Parisian architecture. As I've never been to France yet, I'm looking forward to visiting it soon to admire more of such architectural genius!

      Indeed, the Hoa Lo Prison is a depressing place where you can vividly visualise how the prisoners must have been mistreated back in the day and their desire to break out to continue with their political agendas!

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  6. Beautiful pictures. The opera house looks magnificent

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    1. Thanks Alex! Hanoi has done a great job preserving the French architecture which was introduced here during the colonial times, which allows us the opportunity of admiring the ovely façade of the Opera House.

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  7. Hanoi looks like a beautiful melting pot. I do love the variety of architecture, old and new alike. That Opera House is stunning and would be worth a visit to catch a performance of some kind. I bet the acoustics are fantastic!

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    1. Absolutely, Rachelle! I would love to experience catching a performance in that grand theatre of the Opera House. The class and the style makes for the perfect ambience for a concert or play!

      I thought the exterior of the building was magnificent enough, but never fathomed how dazzling the interior was going to be as well!

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  8. I went to Hanoi last month and I wish I had this list! What a great compilation. The Old Quarter was fun albeit the noise and pollution drove me crazy! I have to admit I couldn't last long there and left after 2 short hours.

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    1. Hey Amy, I can understand how you felt about the traffic. I was shocked when I first arrived in the Old Quarter due to the overwhelming volume and noise of the traffic, but I was able to adapt to the environment by the next day.

      Perhaps, you may like to give it another chance, because the culture, architecture and food that Hanoi is able to offer is unparalleled and really impressive.

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  9. Wow! Hanoi has always been on the list of places I'd love to visit some day. This is a great, very useful list!

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    1. Thanks Priya! Hope that you'll be able to visit Hanoi really soon to take in the sights and sounds of this charming city. I'm sure you'll enjoy it tremendously! :)

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  10. I have not yet been to Vietnam. Your list of things to see and do in Hanoi is intriguing. I am impressed with the Woman's museum and would like to visit it.

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    1. Hi Rhonda, Hanoi is an amazing travel destination if you're interested in culture and history which the Vietnamese have made concerted efforts in preserving even during this day and age - it's really an impressive feat.

      Even if you're not, the Old Quarter offers various amazing food options from the renowned pho to exotic local fare like trung vit lon (balut). I'm sure you'll love it here! ;)

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  11. I was not knowing that Hanoi has mix of cultures from west with east. Would love to see French quarter and gongs of temples. Amalgamation of two cultures is quite visible from your post and photographs.

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    1. Hi Yukti, same here! I was expecting an oriental experience in Vietnam, but was surprised at the prominent French influence on the city - in terms of architecture and even cuisine (banh mi is essentially French baguette).

      Nevertheless, Hanoi manages to strike a balance between the two cultures and allow them to coexist in harmony without one overpowering the other! :)

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  12. I started watching a documentary on the Vietnam War and the events that lead up to it, but I couldn't finish it because it was too sad for me. A cop out, I know, but I think I'd like to see the memorials in Hanoi.

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    1. Hey there! Relics of the Vietnam War can be found scattered all around Hanoi - from the Military History Museum (housing wreckage of American planes shot down by North Vietnam) to the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long (with the headquarters of the North's miltary), from Hoa Lo Prison (housing American POWs captured during the war) to the Ho Chi Minh monuments (since he's the man behind the communist movement for North Vietnam). I'm sure you'll find the experience enriching, eye-opening and intriguing! :)

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  13. I was looking for a blog post like this since when I planned my trip to Vietnam. Very informative post. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Hey Jithin, great to hear that you found my blog post useful for planning your vacation to Vietnam!

      I prepare formatting my itineraries in a way that I explore certain attractions as a cluster based on geographical distance and themed day trips like culture and history to better comprehend them as a coherent trip. Guess this is what you're looking for as well! Hope you find my other itineraries useful too, thanks! :)

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  14. Thanks for sharing this! It reminded me of my travels toVietnam a few years back :) I absolutely loved the French architecture of the city and also Van Mieu temple is absolutely breathtaking :)

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    1. Hey Michael, I really like the idea of how the Vietnamese did not try to get rid of the remnants of the French influence back in the colonial days but rather carefully preserved and cleverly infused these elements into their culture and way of life.

      Van Mieu is absolutely breathtaking and seems to teleport us to a totally different dimension, far away from the hustle and bustle of the Hanoi city centre which surrounds the temple's perimeter!

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  15. I love the architecture in your photos! Both the Asian and western style buildings look incredible. And I'm so happy that there's a museum dedicated to Vietnamese women's history! I would love to visit that.

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    1. Thanks Linda! I'm sure you'll enjoy yourself and find the Women's Museum an enriching and educational visit.

      Even though the French colonial architecture and the traditional Oriental designs are rather contrasting, it is heartening to see that Hanoi has infused them both to create its unique blend of flavour which is special to this charming city. They have done a marvellous job preserving the relics of the East and the West, which allows us the privilege to admire them today!

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  16. Everything is so beautiful there! Especially traditional costumes, I love it! :D

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    1. Hey Alicja! The traditional costumes and apparel donned by the local tribes are really beautiful and well-sewn. I would love to visit the countryside where these tribal people reside to get a closer look into their livelihood and interact with them to understand more about their unique culture and traditions! :)

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  17. What an awesome list of things to do. Love the photos. I am sure to try your recommendation when in Vietnam next. I just love the Vietnamese food

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    1. Great to hear that you found my post useful for your future plans to visit Vietnam! Local fare has been popularised widely both in the Asian region and in the West with special mention to pho.

      Nevertheless, I would like to recommend that you try other more exotic local fare which is unique to Vietnam and Hanoi and may not be found that easily back home. Examples would include the original store which sold the wildly popular egg coffee (ca phe trung). If you're brave enough, give trung vit lon (balut) a go as well! :)

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  18. Great tips! I'm dying to get to Vietnam and this has really put my wanderlust into overdrive!

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    1. Thanks Erica! Hope you'll be able to visit Vietnam really soon, and I'm sure that you'll enjoy yourself tremendously when you're in this charming country.

      Vietnam has done a fantastic job preserving its rich history and heritage, so it will be easy to learn more about the local culture and traditions if you're a history buff. The amazing blend of Eastern and Western architecture is testament to that. Otherwise, food and shopping are everywhere in the Old Quarter, while natural landscapes can be admired in the countryside at places like Ninh Binh and the famous Halong Bay!

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  19. wow such beautiful and interesting sights here. The opera looks so grand and the visit to the prison must've been something.

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    1. Hey Kasia, I really enjoyed my visit to Hoa Lo Prison! Even though it had a cold, sombre atmosphere, it was really an educational, enriching experience for us to understand how the Vietnamese political prisoners were treated during colonial times with terribly overcrowded conditions and inhumane treatment. You can really visualise how it must have felt back in the day, so I highly recommend that travellers visit Hoa Lo Prison!

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  20. Great tour guide !! I loved these places and it really is a wonderful place and a very beautiful culture. I felt there and I feel like traveling to take a look at all the places that you presented

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    1. Hey Ana, great to hear that you're so interested to visit Vietnam! Indeed, it is very impressive to see how the locals have made such concerted efforts to preserve their historical monuments and heritage to allow us to have the opportunity to admire them today. Hanoi is really brimming with local culture for us to take in and learn more about! :)

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  21. So much to do in Hanoi! I also love staying in the older parts of town. It's almost always more charming and cute. I also love how beautiful the Opera house is! I think seeing an opera in Vietnam sounds fun!

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    1. Hey Brianna! If you would like to take in the local culture by staying in the older district, you may want to consider staying in the Old Quarter (as the name suggests) where most of the accommodation options can be found.

      The French Quarter, where the Opera House and Hoa Lo Prison are located, is actually the more upmarket area in Hanoi with your renowned hotel chains and high-rise buildings.

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  22. The prison cells here in Guatemala are about the same as the one you talked about here..except way smaller...up to 12 guys in an 8x8 room, no beds, food, water, nudda..one toilet..it's disgusting....great post!!! my son loves Vietnam!

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    1. Hey Iva, I'm sure the prisons around the world are equally terrible and frightening when one steps into a cell. One of the most disturbing ones I saw at Hoa Lo was a pitch-black cell with no windows at all and a heavy metal door (with a small opening to pass the prisoner his/her food). When you poke your camera through the gap and snap a picture, you could see a prisoner who looks berserk, which was really freaky!

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  23. I didn't know about all these great attractions in Hanoi! I especially love that there is a whole museum dedicated to how women have influenced Vietnam and it's history.

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    1. Hey there, I'm sure you'll enjoy visiting the Women's Museum and find it an educational, enriching experience to have a better understanding of how women have helped shape the history of the country and, in some cases, fought for the liberation of their homes against foreign aggressors.

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  24. Great content. It is really informative as you have included costs and opening times. By the way love the Traditional Costumes.

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    1. Thank you! Glad to hear that you found the information listed for the various attractions in Hanoi which I have recommended here useful for planning a vacation to the city.

      You may wish to check out my other itineraries of various prominent places of interest in Hanoi which you may be interested to visit as well! :)

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  25. Great article, and one I will come back to when I return to Hanoi. I spent a day there last August but my visit was cut short due to illness. Planning to go back this year. I loved the French feel the city had. It was like China meets France.

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    1. Hi Steve, I sure hope you are feeling better now! I'm guessing that you were on a Southeast Asian backpacking circuit since you only spent one day here in Hanoi - hope that was an enjoyable experience!

      Great to hear that you are interested to return to Hanoi this year to take in the sights and sounds of this bustling capital which you missed out previously. Hope that you find my other itineraries useful when planning your visit. Safe travels, man! :)

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  26. I have never been to Vietnam and is looking forward to visit the country. I have started scouting some articles and itineraries. This article is really helpful. Thank you so much.

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    1. Hi there! Hope that you will be able to visit this amazing country really soon. It's full of rich culture and heritage for you to take in when you are there, as the Vietnamese have preserved their historical relics and monuments well.

      Scrumptious local fare and picturesque natural landscapes are abundant in Vietnam as well. You may wish to check out my other itineraries and tips in the other posts below! :)

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  27. Lovely ! I never knew that Vietnam was once colonised by the French. The Women's Museum looks really interesting and informative. And I would love to sit in that Opera House someday. It is so grand !

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    1. Hey Basundhara! I'm sure that you'll enjoy yourself when you visit Hanoi. I would love to return to take in the sights and sounds of this charming city again.

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  28. This is a great guide and reading it brought back some wonderful memories of my trip to Hanoi. I missed out on seeing the Vietnamese women's museum, it sounds like a great place to visit and learn.

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    1. Hey Kelly! Great to hear that you had a wonderful time exploring Hanoi and were able to bring home with you some great memories.

      I guess it's normal for us to not be able to visit all the attractions available in the foreign cities we visit. It's what keeps us wanting to return to these places after all! The Women's Museum is a unique concept which I've never seen before in other countries, dedicated to celebrating the successes and contributions of the local women :)

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  29. I love it when two cultures meet. It's a beautiful thing! And the architecture is GORGEOUS!!

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    1. Hey Jennifer! Hanoi is really at the crossroads of East and West, cleverly infusing French colonial elements with traditional Vietnamese design and architecture. Unlike some countries which resent their colonial pasts and try to destroy all of these influences, Vietnam is able to create its own unique flavour of Oriental meets European, which is a pleasant surprise for me! :)

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  30. Really love the bronze images and its history. Memory lane

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    1. Hey there, I'm guessing that you've visited Hanoi and admired the bronze carvings in Hoa Lo Prison during your trip to Vietnam. Glad to hear that you had fantastic memories of your vacation - hope that you'll be able to return and take in more of the sights and sounds this country has to offer! :)

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  31. Your posts are very useful for anyone visiting Hanoi. Another great guide to a new part of the city. I absolutely loved the Opera house photo

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    1. Thanks Denny, great to hear that you have found another one of my itineraries for Hanoi useful in planning a potential vacation to this part of the world!

      Living in Southeast Asia, I've seen my fair share of traditional architecture. Since Vietnam was under Chinese influence for a prolonged period of time, the elements shared some semblances and were not that far off.

      The French Quarter, though, really offered me a visual treat as I feasted my eyes on the spectacular Western architectural façades of the different buildings including the Opera House. Très bien! :)

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  32. I've been following on your Hanoi posts and I must say I'm quite amazed with the variety of experiences this place offers. I love the architecture of the Opera House. I would definitely want to get clicked with it for that perfect instagram pic. Women's museum is another fascinating place I would love to visit. Those depictions of Hoa Lo prison are heart rending, but the place is a nice step-back in time for history lovers like me.

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    1. Hey Shaily, thanks for your support! Besides having lots of experiences to offer its travellers, Hanoi has all these attractions within walking distance. This makes it easy for visitors to move from one place to another within a really short period of time on foot. That's a big plus!

      The Opera House is really amazing and gives off classy vibes - be it when you're viewing its exterior from afar or admiring its interior designs. Fantastic visual treat! :)

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  33. Nowhere else had I ever heard of a Temple of Literature! Those costumes of local women is another thing that really caught my interest, they are simply so vibrant. And then, the Hanoi Opera House has such a grand look and feel, something I have not felt in the most luxurious palaces also. Thanks for the tour!

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    1. Hey Neha! The traditional costumes of the local tribes are very interesting, and I'd love to be able to head to the rural countryside to learn more about their cultures and traditions.

      If you are interested about this as well, you may wish to take a trip up north from Hanoi to Sapa, a mountainous region where many hill tribes including the Black Hmong call home. I know I would love to visit Sapa the next time I'm in the area! :)

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    2. Wow..that sounds great! Thanks for the info Nathan. I would definitely keep it in mind when I visit there. In the meanwhile, if you happen to visit Sapa, I would be eagerly awaiting to hear about your experience

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  34. Beautiful pictures you've got here and they are really nice places to visit!

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  35. Oh, look at that Opera House! It does look like the one in Paris, doesn't it, lovely! :) Didn't know that you can find this in Hanoi, such a lovely heritage.
    But to tell you the truth, I would love to visit that Temple of Literature, sounds like the one I'd love.
    Thanks for these nice Hanoi gems, will have to keep them in mind when the time comes to visit! :)

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    1. Hey Danijela, the Hanoi Opera House most certainly resembles the Palais Garner in Paris - which I'd love to visit and admire for myself in person.

      Indeed, the Temple of Literature was actually the first place I visited in Hanoi after arriving in the city centre! I was impressed with the efforts the locals have put in to preserve this national treasure and piece of local heritage. Its peace and tranquility, albeit in stark contrast against the Old Quarter, is very much sought after. I'm sure you'll enjoy Hanoi tremendously - hope you'll be able to visit really soon!

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  36. The prison sounds like it offers a great amount of information. I would be very interested in touring it. The temple of,literature would be very interesting to see as well. The grounds look beautiful and maybe I can get some luck! You've definitely got us excited for a trip to Vietnam.

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    1. Hey Christina! Being home to Vietnam's first national university and a temple dedicated to Confucius, the Temple of Literature promises to exhibit authentic Oriental architecture which is well preserved for travellers to admire.

      Being a melting pot of cultures, just head down the main road and you'll be in the French Quarter with its upmarket, classy architecture. I'm sure you'll enjoy yourself exploring this charming city!

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  37. This was great. Thanks for sharing. Museums are usually my first stop when I visit some place new, you learn so much about the are, it's customs and culture. I loved your photos of the architecture and the traditional clothing too.

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    1. Hi there! There is an abundance of museums in Hanoi which will be able to satiate your appetite for knowledge with regard to local culture and traditions.

      You may wish to check out the Ho Chi Minh Museum to discover more about the man's contributions to the nation's success which will explain why the locals worship him like a deity. Alternatively, the Military History Museum showcases prized exhibits of weaponry which shaped the country's history in the Vietnam War and other conflicts. Great way to learn more about the country!

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  38. Hanoi fits in very well with our kind of travel. So much of culture to imbibe here. The Opera House is stunning. Would love to catch a live performance here, if possible.

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    1. Absolutely, Punita! Hanoi has done a marvellous job preserving its local culture and infusing French colonial influences with it (instead of forsaking it altogether). This allows us to admire this melting pot of cultures today.

      You may wish to check out the Opera House's schedule to see which performances are available during your trip here. Alternatively, you may wish to visit the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre for an authentic Vietnamese theatrical experience.

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  39. Beautiful destination! Those traditional costumes look very much like the garments worn by the Ifugaonons and Igorots up north in Luzon, Philippines. I wouldn't be surprised if they have connections with explorers here. We would love to visit Hanoi someday. :)

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    1. Wow, thanks for sharing about similar cultures practised in the Philippines! That has certainly aroused my interest to explore more about the Igorots and Ifugaonons.

      Hanoi really is a charming place to visit! Even though it is as bustling as an urban city, this capital has managed to retain that rustic look and preserve its local culture really well. I'm sure you'll love it here!

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  40. The Hanoi Opera House looks beautiful! This is a great list of places to visit in Hanoi and I'll admit that when I went there I didn't visit any of these spots!

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    1. Thanks Tara! No worries, that is exactly the reason why we feel like visiting a destination moe than once - to check out the attractions which we missed the first time.

      I'm sure that you had a great time exploring the capital and I hope you'll be able to visit Hanoi really soon to visit these attractions for yourself.

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  41. oh wow - I totally missed all of this when I was in Hanoi

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  42. you have great pictures of Hanoi :)

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  43. Ah Hanoi is one of my favourite cities! So much history and culture to absorb. I haven't been in 4 years but I can't wait to return now I've read this :)

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    1. Hi Claire, same here! I really appreciate how much effort the country has put into preserving its relics of history till this very day to allow us travellers to admire these monuments and things of the past. Its rich culture is reflected in its architectural designs all over town with the fusion of French influences and local tradition to form a flavour unique to Vietnam.

      I would love to visit Vietnam again as well, possibly to Saigon to admire the remnants of French colonial rule which are more prevalent in the south. But I am definitely coming back to Hanoi just to take in those fabulous sights and sounds it has to offer.

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  44. hey dear,
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  45. I already visited Vietnam but only the south. I must go again and explore north. Hanoi seems amazing!

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  46. This sounds like such an amazing place! I'll definitely put it on my list, this guide looks super helpful!

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  47. I'm completely in love with the opera house, you can really see the French influence! I'd love to return to Vietnam to see Hanoi. It seems like such a vibrant and interesting city, with clearly plenty of things to do. A wonderful post.

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  48. Great idea's for Hanoi. The museum looks really good. I love all the outfits they have there. The prison sounds quite harrowing but interesting nonetheless.

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  49. It would definitely be interesting to visit Hanoi as an American, especially the prison. It's so sad to hear about how Vietnamese prisoners were treated under French occupation. But I think you are right to say it could be biased because many American POWs didn't feel that they were well treated during their imprisonment. It is easy for a country to just tell their version of events--we do this in the US all the time.

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