Steeped in history, Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, offers plenty to explore amidst the city’s unique character; here are some must-visit attractions to add to your itinerary.
The bustling Old Quarter is the main commercial district home to colonial architecture, traditional brick houses and numerous streets offering plenty of shopping. Easy to reach from a hotel Hanoi has to offer near West Lake, this locale is where one can also visit the Hanoi Opera House and try delectable local dishes.
In the Tay Ho District is West Lake, the city’s largest freshwater lake. It’s an ideal place to unwind and catch magical sunsets from rooftop bars like The Summit at Pan Pacific Hanoi. Along the shore, you will find cafes, restaurants and a pathway for cycling; on an island nearby, there’s also an ancient pagoda (more on that, next!).
Tran Quoc Pagoda
On an island near West Lake is the towering Tran Quoc Pagoda, the city’s oldest Buddhist temple. Dating to the 6th century, the pagoda has been changed through the centuries but still retains its charm. Here, you will also find an incense burning house, sacred Bodhi tree, museum, remarkable statues and more.
Thang Long Puppet Theatre
Amongst the best things to do in Hanoi is to watch water puppetry at the Thang Long Puppet Theatre. This art form goes back to the 11th century when puppetry took place in water-filled paddy fields; today, a water-filled stage is used instead and visitors can enjoy storytelling performances accompanied by traditional music.