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Thread: Hanoi Adventures

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    17

    Default Hanoi Adventures

    Hello from Hanoi. I have worked here for several months - and people ask me what is there to see and do in and around Hanoi. So, here are some thoughts.

    First, the Vietnamese are over the war, although Americans largely are not. In Hanoi there are several museums that portray the struggle of the Northern Vietnamese and portray they way they outlasted, outsmarted, and utlimately triumphed over the "imperial powers." (This is the Vietnamese viewpoint, obviously. Vietnam Vets will tell you the real deal.)

    A brief background: The Northern Vietnamese during the war were inspired and led by Ho Chi Minh. "Uncle Ho" as the Vietnamese sometimes refer to him, is viewed as a common citizen that led the country without enriching himself or his family.

    Ho Chi Minh Stuff:
    (1) Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. Open 8 to 11:30 AM, closed Monday and Friday and all of November. Built by the Soviet Union in 1975 as a gift to the Vietnamese people. There are strict rule for visiting the mausoleum, like no shorts, tank tops, cameras, bags, etc.

    (2) Ho Chi Minh Stilt House. Behind the Mausoleum, set in the Presidential Garden. The house is made of polished wood and in a tranquil setting. There is also a "peaceful" lake in front of the house.

    (3) Ho Chi Minh Museum. Tel 845-5435. 8:30-11:00; 1:30-4:30pm. Closed Mon and Friday. A symbolic exhibition relating the history of Ho Chi Minh and Vietnam's struggle for national independence. Has some US war related photos and displays including old US uniforms, nick nacks, guitars, etc.

    War Stuff:
    (1) Ha Lo Prison Museam. 1 Ho Lo. Tel 824-6358, 8:30 - 11am, 1:30 - 4:30 pm. Closed Monday. Probably the most visited place in all Hanoi by Americans. This is the original site of the famous "Hanoi Hilton" where the Vietnamese held American POWs, including John McCain. The prison in the 1970s occupied an entire city block. However, 80% of the city block has been replaced by a high-rise serviced apartment and office tower which together are referred to the "Hanoi Towers (See below)."

    What remains of the Ha Lo Prison is a strange museum to the "strength and will of the Vietnamese people." The Prison focuses on the time before the US Vietnam war - when the Vietnamese were held prisoner by the French Occupation forces in the early 20th century. However, there is a section that shows where the American's were held with interesting displays that show how the Vietnamese provided health care, clothing, food, entertainment, and books to the American prisoners. Basically, lots of pro-Vietnamese propoganda. But what do you expect from a museum in Vietnam?

    Incidently, I am writing this from Hanoi Towers apartment block. The name of the serviced apartments here is "Somerset Grand Hanoi, 49 Hai Ba Trung." It is up-scale here and provides executive-level accomodations and service. There is a great restaurant on the 4th floor called "Jaccs" that has good buffets and is popular for lunch. Lots of expats hang out here.

    (2) Museum of the Revolution. 25 Ton Dan. Tel 825-4151. Same hours as Ho Lo Prison above. "Documents the struggle of the Vietnamese people agains foreign domination and the development of communism in Vietnam."

    (3) The Army Museum. 86 Truong Chinh. Tel 563-0630. Same hours as Ho Lo Prison, except closed Monday and Friday. Aircraft and weapons on display and working model of the Dien Bien Phu victory and other battles.

    (4) Air Force Museum. 86 Trong Chinh. Same hours as Army Muesem. Very interesting place to visit for those interested in war and its history. Planes, helicopters, and weapons. Again, very pro-vietnamese.

    (5) Truc Bach Lake. Often overlooked as this is a smaller lake separated from West Lake by a causeway. Truc Bach Lake is where McCain was shot down and landed. (When coming down in a parashute it is best to seek a safe, unobstructed landing - and this lake was the best spot I guess). A vietnamese man "resued" him and there is actually a memorial to this "rescue" along the causeway.

    Other Stuff:

    Pagodas, Temples, Lakes. Many web sites and guide books provide info on the Pagoda and temples around Hanoi. So many they make your head swim. The most popular lake is the "Hoan Kiem Lake" which is the symbolic center of the city, surrounded by summer flowering trees. Well used by locals who like to sit, talk, play, excerise around the lake. Also, they have a "Starbucks sytle" coffee cafe that is a great spot to sit and watch all the people and surroundings.

    That is it for now. Interesting city with a unique history. And, it is growing very fast as the economy is expanding at an impressive clip. Many new building being built and the Vietnames are incresingly becoming accustomed to Western syle lifestyles. You will see shop after shop filled with the latest color TVs, stereos, cell phones, and electronics (many imported from nearby China) as well as clothing shops (filled with western brands manufactured in both Vietnam and China).

    Enjoy!!!!!!!!!!
    Last edited by 4Snoopy; 02-25-2005 at 08:35 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    3

    Exclamation Re: Hanoi Adventures

    The Vietnamese "viewpoint"? American vets will tell you otherwise? Apart from those outrageously stupid and biased p.o.v this was a quite good review-the Vietnamese did not call it-until recently-the Museum of American War Crimes for nothing.
    P.S ask those still suffering from the effects of Agent Orange if the war is still forgotten...those children still being born missing limbs and those who live and work with the "leftover"casualties.Yes the Vietnamese seem to have forgiven,what choice do they have?May I suggest you visit the same museum in Saigon and see the medal returned by an ex Vietnam vet(American)who returned his medal as he was disgusted at what he done?I am not trying to judge here,please just do not forget that we are visitors in THEIR country and we have the reason to feel ashamed,not they.Please nots let act like all forgiving,understanding people when there is still so much to be ashamed of?
    Last edited by lolly; 03-14-2005 at 06:25 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Hanoi Adventures

    My daughter and I will be traveling to Viet Nam in late May and then onward to China the next weekend.
    She is a fencer and has to attend meets to qualify for the O thing.
    I am really nervous about traveling to Viet Nam because of guilt. It will be hard to look people in the eye and not remember all the crap that went on during the war.
    Any suggestions to a place to make some kind of donation for the people there? Viet Nam has a fencing team and we could donate some equipment or something.
    I see really ugly stuff when I travel. It is no wonder that so many people don't like Americans all that much. It is like egos on the road.
    Momster

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Hanoi Adventures

    wanted to go in august and sept travel down the coast is the weather going to spoil things

    trying to make desission on booking my flights


    could really do with some advise


    thanks

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    1

    Smile Re: Hanoi Adventures

    There are many types of travel for you to choose, in these months I thinks the best choices are going to mountainous regions such as Sapa, or going to some beach such as Ha Long, Do Son in the North or Phu Quoc Island, Nha Trang beach in the south

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Hanoi Adventures

    I have made two vacation trips to Vietnam, and especially love Hanoi (much much more than Saigon).
    I agree that all of Vietnam is fast changing it's ways, and soon will resemble that country to the west called Thailand! I realize this is only progress, and I'm glad that the Vietnamese are advancing so well, but it also means the loss of that wonderful innocence that I so love about this country. I came to Vietnam initially because I had known several Viet Kieu (Vietnamese Immigrants) in California, and because it was one of the cheapest destinations in Asia. Little did I realize what I was in for, but now have grown to love this land and it's people. There are more beautiful places and there are more exciting places on this Earth, but there is nowhere as welcoming as Vietnam! Vietnam is very special because the Vietnamese genuinely want to meet the rest of the world - no one is alone in this country for long.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Uk
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Hanoi Adventures

    Good deatails, thanx

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    The US
    Posts
    4

    Default Hanoi Adventures

    We are trying to finalize an itinerary for a one day visit to Hanoi. Our guide has included the below places along with some shopping. She had some museums, which we arent interested in, so we have some time to visit other places. We also arent interested in going to the Hanoi Hilton. Are there any other places that we should think about including in our visit to Hanoi? Literature Temple, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum One-Pillar Pagoda Hoan Kiem Lake Ngoc Son Temple

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Hanoi
    Posts
    2

    Lightbulb Re: Hanoi Adventures

    Quote Originally Posted by InemeTino View Post
    We are trying to finalize an itinerary for a one day visit to Hanoi. Our guide has included the below places along with some shopping. She had some museums, which we arent interested in, so we have some time to visit other places. We also arent interested in going to the Hanoi Hilton. Are there any other places that we should think about including in our visit to Hanoi? Literature Temple, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum One-Pillar Pagoda Hoan Kiem Lake Ngoc Son Temple

    Enjoy full day Ha Noi city tour you can visit Literature Temple, One-Pillar Pagoda Hoan Kiem Lake Ngoc Son Temple, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum .... please note the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum opening time: Open from Tuesday to Thursday and weekends from 8 AM to 11pm. Closed on Mondays and Fridays.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Hanoi Adventures

    A day biking tour to Hanoi countryside can be a fun experience too.

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