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                         Introduction about Hanoi Vietnam
Ha Noi Tours - Vietnam tours

The Vietnamese nation was born among the lagoons and marshes of the Red River Delta around 4000 years ago and for most of its independent existence has been ruled from Hanoi, Vietnam's small, elegant capital lying in the heart of the northern delta. Given the political and historical importance of Hanoi and its burgeoning population of three million, it's still a surprisingly low-key city, with the character of a provincial town – though with a dramatic rise in motorbike ownership, increased traffic and Western-style retail outlets, it's catching up fast with the brash, young Ho Chi Minh City. For the time being, however, it remains relatively laid-back. It still retains buildings from the eleventh-century court of its founding father King Ly Thai To, most notably the Temple of Literature, and some of the streets in the Old Quarter still trade in the same speciality goods they dealt in 500 years ago. In 1887, the French turned Hanoi into the centre of government for the entire Union of Indochina, replacing ancient monuments with grand colonial residences, many of which survive today. Hanoi finally became the capital of independent Vietnam in 1954, with Ho Chi Minh its first president: Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum is now the city's biggest crowd-puller. The city sustained serious damage in the American War, particularly the infamous Christmas Bombing campaign of 1972, much of it lucidly chronicled in the Army Museum. Until recently, political isolation together with lack of resources preserved what was essentially the city of the 1950s. However, since the advent of tourism in 1993, the city has seen an explosion in travellers' cafés, mini-hotels and cybercafés. Indeed, Hang Bac, one of the Old Quarter's main drags which is home to a large number of traveller hangouts, is starting to resemble a little piece of Bangkok's Khao San Road in Hanoi. The big question now is how much of central Hanoi will survive the onslaught of modernization.
Popular attractions in Hanoi
Temple Of Literatures
In 1070 King Ly Thanh Tong founded this temple to pay tribute to education and to those of high academic achievement. Six years later, it became home to Hanoi's first university. Even now, more than 200 years after the last national examination, the site's five courtyards still enjoy an atmosphere of higher learning. Today, art students sit on the grass and try to reproduce the traditional Vietnamese architecture on paper. Stone stelae record the names of successful doctorates of the past at this quiet retreat into Vietnamese educational history.

Hoan Kiem Lake
This small lake between the Old Quarter and the French Quarter is central to Hanoian folklore. A ghostly shrine (the Turtle Pagoda) standing on an islet at its center pays homage to a golden turtle. In the 15th century, this heroic reptile is said to have returned a magic sword to its home in the lake after it had been taken. These days, the sculptured park along the banks plays host to postcard sellers, hawkers, old men playing chess, freelance money changers, lone photographers looking for a lucrative snap and, at about 5am every day, locals practicing tai chi.

One Pillar Pagoda
Sadly, the first One Pillar Pagoda was destroyed during the French War. The new Vietnamese government rebuilt the temple in 1955. It was originally constructed by Emperor Ly Thai Tong to commemorate the long awaited birth of an heir. He believed that the luck had been foretold in a dream about the Goddess of Mercy handing him a male child on a lotus flower. He then built the original small wooden pagoda to resemble a lotus blossom to pay tribute to his good fortune.

Ho Tay Lake Park
The latest addition to Hanoi's entertainment parks, the Ho Tay Lake Water Park is having the same success as a similar park found in Ho Chi Minh City. With 12 large and small slides, including some group tube rides, it is a big attraction for Hanoi families. Most Vietnamese cannot swim, but the slides, wave making pool and floating tube lake have been crowded since opening, with safety staff on guard at all times. The water appears a little murky, but the staff assures customers it is filtered and chlorinated constantly.

Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
A short taxi or motorbike ride outside of Hanoi's center brings you to the Museum of Ethnology. The French-designed building and surrounding grounds, which simulate life in the provinces, warrant the trip even before you step inside. The museum displays a dizzying array of artifacts from all over Vietnam. Brief descriptions in French, English and Vietnamese of tools, clothing and recreated homes provide a sketch of several Vietnamese ethnic minorities. A craft shop sells books, bags and other items from various ethnic communities at reasonable prices.

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
Despite Ho Chi Minh's request to be cremated, like communist leaders before him, he was embalmed and put on display. A visit to the mausoleum is a somber experience in the spiritual center of Vietnamese independence. The guards are not terribly friendly and Uncle Ho looks a little yellow, but the quiet line that forms to view his body is a vision of respect and may even feature a few tears. Ho's mausoleum is open only in the mornings, every day except Monday and Friday. The mausoleum sits in front of Ho's stilt house.

Municipal Water Puppet Theater
This amazing form of puppetry based on a liquid stage is more than 1,000 years old. The puppets, typically designed to look like the characters in Vietnamese fables, are controlled by 11 puppeteers, who launch fire-breathing dragons, acrobatic rice farmers and dancing maidens across the watery stage. The band is also important and impressive, providing the music that keeps the legends alive, giving tourists a taste of the beauty of Vietnamese sounds. Performances are held regularly

St. Joseph's Cathedral
St. Joseph's Cathedral, which anchors one of Hanoi's most touristy streets, offers a glimpse into a bygone era. Speckles of light still dance through stained glass work, leaving a kaleidoscope of color on the towers, which stretch toward the sky. Its doors first swung open in 1886, during the earliest days of colonial rule, and the cathedral still holds mass twice daily. During other hours, visitors can enter through a door on the side of the cathedral.

Ngoc Son Temple
This temple sits on a small island on the north end of Hoan Kiem Lake. These days, souvenir and art shops take up as much space as the historic and religious displays. Even so, the island is a nice place to escape the noisy streets that surround the lake. The temple honors some scholars and military heroes, but perhaps its most interesting draw is a preserved turtle corpse. This turtle was found in 1968, and some believe it old enough to be the legendary turtle of the lake's mythology.

Le Nin Park
Lenin Park, including the large lake in the center, was once Hanoi's dumping ground for household waste. Originally called Seven-Hectare Lake, the area lacked any appeal until after the French were defeated. Ho Chi Minh adorned the grounds around the lake with gardens, paths, statues and even an area for theatrical performance. The newly named Reunification Park became, and still is, one of the most beautiful parks in Hanoi. It was later renamed Lenin Park when the then Soviet Union befriended Vietnam during the American War. Every morning it fills with joggers and every evening with couples.

How To Get to Hanoi from others City
Vietnam Flight Noi Bai Airport is 35km from Hanoi, about 1 hour drive. A taxi from the airport to the city costs 140,000 VND or less. For a minibus intothe city, wait outside the terminal building, it costs 22,000 VND for Vietnamese and 44,000 VND for foreigners.
Vietnam Railways Hanoi train station located at 120 Le Duan St. There are regular daily connections with Hochiminh city. Advance booking is required. There are also trains to Haiphong, Lang Son, Beijing, Kunming (China).
Vietnam Transportation There is a good coach service to go to other cities and provinces. There are 3 coach station in Hanoi:
• Gia Lam Station which is located on Nguyen Van Cu St. Gia Lam town, Tel: 8271529. • Kim Ma Station is at 116 Nguyen Thai Hoc St., Hanoi, Tel: 8452846. From here coaches depart daily for the western provinces and towns.• Southern Station, 255 Giai Phong Road, Tel: 8641467. Buses depart for all provinces, cities and towns in the South.

HoChiMinh City Sapa Hanoi Capital Hue Can tho Halong Bay Da Nang Hoian Ancient Town Nha trang, Vin Pearl Vietnam Dalat Phan thiet