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Best Things To Do In Hanoi in 2020 – Part 1

Best Things To Do In Hanoi in 2020 – Part 1

Introduction

We have for you our list of the best things to do in Hanoi in 2020. This entry is for those visiting Hanoi for the first time. However, if you have been living in Hanoi for some time already and would like to do something spontenous this weekend, you are welcome to scroll through this list we have for you.

Since this is a blog post by a Spa, we do recommend our services within this list. But, we have a good reason to. Read on.

 

In Brief

Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam. It is the largest city in Vietnam. It is growing by the year. This city is rich in culture and history. Therefore, Hanoi is the cultural, educational, and economic center of Nothern Vietnam. 

In 1010, the monarch named Ly Thai To, founded the city Thang Long. In 1831, Thanh Long was renamed to Hanoi. From 1833 to 1945, Hanoi was under the French colonial rule. Much of Hanoi architecture was heavily impacted by French influence. Until this day, you can still see the reminance of this period.

Like any capital city you may have visited in the past, Hanoi offer so many things. We can easily be overwhelmed with the possibilities. Therefore, we hope that our list could offer you some helpful suggestions on things you can do while you are here.

 

Content Summary

Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam. It is the largest city in Vietnam. It is growing by the year. This city is rich in culture and history. Therefore, Hanoi is the cultural, educational, and economic center of Nothern Vietnam. 

In 1010, the monarch named Ly Thai To, founded the city Thang Long. In 1831, Thanh Long was renamed to Hanoi. From 1833 to 1945, Hanoi was under the French colonial rule. Much of Hanoi architecture was heavily impacted by French influence. Until this day, you can still see the reminance of this period.

Like any capital city you may have visited in the past, Hanoi offer so many things. We can easily be overwhelmed with the possibilities. Therefore, we hope that our list could offer you some helpful suggestions on things you can do while you are here.

 

  1. Go on a Free-Walking Tour 
  2. Visit Imperial Citadel of Thang Long
  3. Attend a Cooking Class 
  4. Enjoy a Unique and High-Quality Traditional Spa Treatment 
  5. Watch Water Puppet Theatre
  6. Go on a Food Tour
  7. Stroll around HCM Mausoleum 
  8. Bike or walk around HK Lake
  9. Visit the Temple of Literature 

Free Walking Tour

Walking tour is one of the most interesting ways to learn about the city you are visiting. Moreover, the touristic scene in Vietnam is buzzing, especially, in Hanoi. Most likely, you can find a few dozen free walking tours when you search online. Further, there are plenty of options on Tripadvisor to choose from. If you are looking for a paid tour, we suggest sticking to the review section on google or TripAdvisor.

Additionally, you will enjoy being on foot more than you think. Hanoi is infamous for busy traffic. Therefore, if you do not have to be in it, choose the alternative. You should choose the option to walk and observe the web and flow of motorbikes and cars in the buzzing streets. Additionally, when on foot you can easily navigate inside cool alleyways to fully experience the Vietnamese urban life.

Here is a trustworthy and updated list from TripAdvisor: Hanoi Free Walking Tours

 

best things to do in hanoi - traffice

Imperial Citadel of Thang Long

The top of your “what to do in Hanoi” list must have this. Imperial Citadel of Thang Long is the most historical site in Hanoi. It is also known as Hanoi Citadel. This relic was built in 1010 by the Ly dynasty. It has witness many stages of vietnamese history. Hanoi Citadel’s central was listed as UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.

Here, you will find many relics of time past in the Museum display. Futher, there are some ancient Vietnamese artifacts that are hundreds of years old. During the was with the US, D67 Tunnel and House was situated here. D67 was the headquarters of the People’s Army of Vietnam.

what to do in hanoi - citadel walls

Cooking Class

Food. Food. Vietnam is famous for its cuisine. Markedly, with the Vietnamese spread across the world, people have come to know some of our main dishes. Most notably, Pho, Bun Cha, and Banh My. However, if you think those are good, wait until you try the other 90 percent of our dishes and flavors.

Although one could attempt to make a huge list of all the dishes of Vietnamese cuisine and go hunt them down, we suggest a better alternative. Rather than just taste, you can learn to make. Moreover, it will certainly be worth your time to learn how Vietnamese foods are made. Firstly, you will learn what are the basic ingredients, flavors, and techniques used here. Secondly, you can begin to understand our food preparation process from the chef teaching. Thirdly, you can experience doing the dishes yourself. Lastly, you will get to taste your food, your classmates’ food, and compare that with the food made by the professional chef teaching the class.

There are many offers to choose from. We suggest looking up the ones that have many review first. Thanks to the trusted TripAdvisor. Also, if you feel adventurous enough, give some of the smaller classes that are newer a try to.

A Unique Traditional Spa Treatment

As you may have already noticed, the beauty and spa service has become a major part of tourism. However, the majority of these offerings are not unique to the area. Most massage and spa parlor all over Asia offers the same services. If you are looking for a truly unique Vietnamese experience, we recommend to you Body and Soul Spa Hanoi.

Here, you can expect a truly unique experience. With over 20 years of experience in the spa industry, we have created a list of offers that makes us truly stand out. We combine the ancient Vietnamese healing methods with a modern system. A great example is our spa pack that offers in its traditional Vietnamese herbal steam shower. This healing method is rooted deeply in Vietnamese culture. In addition, there is also a ginger body scrub.  At Body and Soul, we have kept the ancient and modernized certain aspect to present you the Nirvana Tet Spa Ritual.

best things to do in hanoi - ginger scrub

Water Puppet Theatre

This is a truly unique art form of Vietnam. The direct translation from Vietnamese translates to “Making puppets dance on water” according to Wikipedia. This tradition is over 1000 years old. It originated in northern Vietnam, conveniently the Red River Delta area. The puppets that the artists used are made out of wood and then lacquered. There are many variations of puppets. Puppet making itself has become quite an art.

You might be able to find these puppets on corner shops and souvenirs shops in the old quarter. However, we recommend that you see them in action before buying one as a gift. The stories that the water puppet artist are able to tell with inanimated toys are simply amazing. They perform ancient Vietnamese stories and give these puppets characters and souls. You can see them interact with each other, sing songs, and do various activities specific to the culture of Vietnam.

what to do in hanoi - water puppets

A Food Tour

Yes, we do not have to say much here. One of the best things you should do in Hanoi is to go on a food tour. These tours can take you to all the best places to eat in Hanoi. You will not regret this experience no matter which tour you pick. The nice thing is that you not only get to try the food but also ask the merchants about their food as well. Instead of struggling to order, the tour guide will be super helpful on your food journey here.

Stroll Around HCM Mausoleum

This is certainly a must-see if you are in Hanoi. Perhaps it is not the best thing to do in Hanoi but it is a necessary place to visit. This place is filled with history. If you are lucky you might encounter a changing of the guards’ ceremony. When you walk around this area, a lot of the houses are historically preserved. Many government buildings are located here in a beautiful French villa.

The streets here are a bit wider and calmer than other parts of Hanoi. You will find long sidewalks with symmetrical rows of trees. It is as if they also preserved the atmosphere of the 20th century Hanoi here. You can certainly expect to spend 2 hours wandering around here. Meanwhile, you can also stop by the Ho Chi Minh Museum and check out the house on stilts where he used to live.

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Bike or Walk Around Hoan Kiem Lake

Often described as the heart of the city. Even living here, the residence of Hanoi often go on walks around this lake once a week. Especially on the weekend nights, the streets are closed off so that people can freely walk around here. Moreover, during this time is where these streets come alive. Both the young and the old meet here to relax and enjoy life. You will encounter Hanoian of all sorts here.

Seeing Hoan Kiem lake by night is quite a treat as well. It does not matter the season you visit, these streets are vibrant all year. If you are in Hanoi, you must come and experience this at least for one night.

best things to do in hanoi - hoan kiem lake

Explore the Temple Of Literature

This is a unique ancient artifact of Vietnam. It is also known by the name Van Mieu University. It is built originally like a private college campus in 1070 for Vietnamese princes.

In 1076, the King Ly Nhan Tong open this institution up to the public scholars. Thanks to him, this is considered the first University of  Vietnam. It is the perfect place for the pursuit of knowledge. You will see wonderful greenery, ponds, pagodas, well-kept gardens and statues of kings and scholars.

In the past, this is the place where scholars around Vietnam went to be tested. Those who passed these examination process here become mandarins received government roles.