A Glance Of Hanoi: Where should you go first

[Vietnamese below]

Hanoi – the capital city of Vietnam – has always been pictured as a tranquil and ancient capital due to its long-standing and historically cultural buildings.

Hanoi may simultaneously surprise, charm, and cheer you up. But, particularly, where will you find these feelings? Check out Merite Hanoi suggested stops in Hanoi to find your answer!

Hoan Kiem Lake

Hoan Kiem Lake is Hanoi's symbol. When you visit this lake, you will feel the breath of history and be amazed by the other attractions built within it, including the Turtle Tower, the Huc Bridge, and the Ngoc Son Temple. Because it is close to the Old Quarter, Hoan Kiem Lake is easily accessible. Also, other famous destinations of Hanoi are Trang Tien Plaza, the Old Quarter, the Hanoi Post Office, and the French Quarter are all nearby. 
Standing on The Huc Bridge and taking photos is completely free. However, admission to Ngoc Son temple costs 30,000 VND per person. Walking around the lake is the best way to see it. 
Every hour of the day has a distinct atmosphere. People will be exercising very early in the morning. In the afternoon, most people walk around the lake to get away from the city's busy streets. The red bridge, temples, and Turtle Tower are all beautifully illuminated in the evening. In the late afternoon on weekends, many streets around the lake will be turning into the Walking Street. There are a lot of cultural and fun activities organized within folk games, concerts, new year countdowns, pavement musical performances, and dancing contests… 
πŸ“Œ π—§π—Άπ—½π˜€: 
- Ask for prices carefully before visiting the sidewalk food stalls around Hoan Kiem Lake in the evening. They may offer a wicked price because they know you're a tourist! 
- Many people are dressed as beggars in this area. Don't give them cash, and don't be a soft touch if they beg. 

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Where our great former President's corpse is preserved and remembered. At this place, every morning at 6:00 AM and evening at 9:00 PM holds the flag-salute ceremony, which is highly recommended to see. 
Ba Dinh Square is home to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. Many more sights surround the square, most of which are dedicated to Ho Chi Minh. To begin, there is a Ho Chi Minh museum right next to the Mausoleum. The museum is divided into several levels, each of which is dedicated to a different aspect of Ho Chi Minh's life. The presidential palace is located behind the Mausoleum. He never lived there because he preferred to live in a simple house like the rest of the Vietnamese and because the palace was a reminder of the French colonial era. Instead, he stayed in a simple stilt house near the palace, which is now open to the public. Last but not least, The One Pillar Pagoda, located between the Mausoleum and the Museum, is one of Hanoi's most sacred temples. 
πŸ“Œ π—§π—Άπ—½π˜€: 
- Please arrive as early as possible because long lines can form throughout the day. 
- Follow the visitor guidelines, such as dressing appropriately, not making too much noise, and not taking photos or videos inside the Mausoleum. 

The Temple of Literature

It was constructed in 1070 by King Ly Thanh Tong as a place of worship for Confucius, Confucian scholars, scholars, and sages. The Temple of Literature is also regarded as Vietnam's first university, having opened around 700 years ago and educating hundreds of well-known scholars and mandarins. It has retained its architectural and cultural significance despite constant wars and disasters. Covering an area of over 54000 square meters, the Temple of Literature, which is surrounded by an ancient brick wall, consists of five courtyards in different styles. 

Before the important exam days, students from all over the country will gather here, worship, and pray to achieve the desired results. 
πŸ“Œ π—§π—Άπ—½π˜€: 
- Bring cash because the ticket office does not accept credit cards. 
- Arrive early: you should allow at least one hour to explore the Temple of Literature, so plan accordingly. 
- Photography is permitted, but please be respectful: do not laugh or talk too loudly in the worship area. 

Thang Long Water Puppet Theater

A charming theatre showcases the ancient art form of water puppetry with a twist! The fairy tales and Vietnam historical legends are vividly reproduced by wooden puppets and uniquely performed on water. The water puppet show goes back around 1000 years, in peace and prosperity. 

The show has not changed much today; The typical themes around a water puppet show are still the same, about Vietnamese folk tales and legends with topics such as the celebration of the rice harvest that is portrayed humorously. Performances are accompanied by a Vietnamese orchestra that plays traditional music with drums, wooden bells, horns, and bamboo flutes.
 πŸ“Œ π—§π—Άπ—½π˜€: 
- Buying tickets: Because tickets for this show sell out quickly, it is best to purchase them as soon as possible. You can go to the theatre in the morning to buy a ticket for a later afternoon performance. Aside from the VND 50,000 general admission fee, there are additional camera or video costs if you want to photograph or film the show. 
- Seating: It is wise to pay a little more to sit closer to the (water) stage because the theatre is large and the puppets are not that big. 

Imperial Citadel of Thang Long

In 1010, King Ly Thai To moved the capital from Hoa Lu (Ninh Binh) to Dai La (former name of Hanoi) and renamed it Thang Long. The Citadel was built in the same place, over the top of the torn-down fortress. From then on, the Citadel remained the center of regional political power for 13 consecutive centuries. Throughout Vietnam's history, the Citadel witnessed a series of dramatic changes and endured several destructive wars. 
The Citadel's most notable feature is the Central Sector, which was designated as a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site in 2010. This campus is home to a number of imperial palaces and other ancient royal structures that date back thousands of years to the feudal era. It has remained the country's political center to this day. There are 5 significant sectors of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long: Flag Tower (Ky Dai), Kinh Thien Palace, Doan Mon (South Gate), Bac Mon (North Gate), Hau Lau (Princess Pagoda) 
πŸ“Œ π—§π—Άπ—½π˜€: 
- You can easily reach the site by taxi, motorbike, or Grab. A bus is another sound option, as a bus stop is very close to the entrance. 
- Most historical sites will require you to dress appropriately, and the Imperial Citadel is no exception. Visitors are asked to avoid shorts, miniskirts, tank tops, and transparent clothing. 
- The archeological site is across the road. Make sure you get the area when visiting the Citadel. 
- Consider joining a night tour in Thang Long Imperial Citadel. It'll take about 90 minutes. During this time, you will experience the space and past royal ceremonies of Vietnam and look over thousand years old antiquities underground. It'll take place every Friday and Saturday at 07:00 PM and lasts about 1.5 hours. The price is 300.000 VND (off 50% for children under 12 y/o and FREE for children under 5 y/o)