Have you ever wonder that what what do you do to spend a full day in your own city or hometown with 10USD?
As you know,when you are wandering in Vietnam, the first stop you will choose is Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh city, I’ve talked to so many friends with one question whether they prefer Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh city, the answer were 80% preferring Hanoi – Capital of Vietnam. So, with 10USD – about 230.000 VND. What can we do to joy a full day exploring?
All of us knew that PHO – noodles soup with beef is the most famous food in Hanoi. Once you are here, make sure that you don’t miss a chance to try Pho. Especially in a cold winter day, to have a bowl of this would be a wonderful happiness ever. So ofcourse my very first stop is a Pho’s place, I walk from my hotel in the old quarter to Pho Thin nearby Hoan Kiem lake to give it a try. You cannot imagine that how tasty it is.
+ Pho Gia Truyen - 49 Bat Dan street
+ Pho Thin – 61 Dinh Tien Hoang street – nearby Hoan Kiem lake
On my way to the Pho, because during the time I’m in Hanoi, they are going to celebrate Tet holiday. They’re having a market just selling decoration stuff or all the things relevant to Tet such as lantern, lucky money envelop….
Then here you are, our star – Pho.
After having breakfast with Pho, I walk around Hoan Kiem lake and have a look into Ngoc Son Temple which just costs 30.000 VND for a ticket. This temple is honoring a military General of Tran Dynasty. Tran Hung Dao General who had beaten Yuan dynasty – the strongest one in Asia that time – for 3 times. Beside that, this temple are holding the body of a giant turtle found in the lake weighing 250kg.
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The 87 Ma May old house is one of the few houses preserved by the Hanoi city as a tourist attraction,exhibiting and providing information on the history of Hanoi. This is one of the cultural addresses that we shouldn’t miss when going around Hanoi old town.
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This house was built in the 19th century by the ordinary Hanoian, the total area of this house is 157m2, it is constructed perpendicular to the street. The house has changed owners so many times. In 1945, a norther drug dealer bought the house, then from 1954 to 1999, there were 5 families living here.
The house is characterized by ancient houses in Hanoi, that is in the form of tubular, varity usage. The house is narrow but it is expanded very wide inside, each rooms are separated by inner courtyards. The outer layer is a shop whichopen to the street to display its selling goods. Inside there is a big yard. Then the backyard, warehouse and kitchen. The second floor is the worship space and the bedroom. Between each rooms, there many flower pot showing the scenery, creating an eco friendly environment.
Especially, in the evening, this place often held Ca Tru Songs performed by the Thang Long school which is a traditional cutural events for Hanoian.
After visit the old house, I take a motorbike taxi to go to another destination which called Literature Temple, in Vietnam there is some service like Uber or Grab, you can take a grab car or grab bike, with a very cheap price you can go from a place to other places.
Ticket just costs 30.000 per person.
Here we go into the temple, following those stones which had subtitles brought to me so many helpful information. The temple was built in the 9th century, now it is a temple of Confucius in Hanoi, but before it hosted the Imperial Academy, and was the first National University in Vietnam. Nearly two centuries and this temple has preserved ancient architectural styles despite of wars and disasters.
The interior of the temple is divided into five courtyards, the first two courtyard are quiet areas with ancient tree and trimmed lawns where students could relax away from the bustle of the outside world.
The third courtyard which has Thien Quang well and 82 steles of doctors. On each steles, there are names,places of birth of 1307 graduated student through out 82 royal exams from 1442 to 1779 ( Le-Mac dynasty). These steles placed on the blue stone turtles to honour talent and encourage study.The fourth courtyard honouring disciples of Confucius and Chu Van An (a rector of the Imperial Academy).
See more information Literature Temple via wikipedia.org
The last courtyard where student studying, in which there are west and east classrooms, a storehouse for wooden printing blocks and two sets of three 25 room dormitories.
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The drump and uniforms of the students.
After the temple, it’s time to have lunch and I decide to have a set of Bun Cha – another famous food in Hanoi
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Keep walking I arrive at the Imperial Citadel which is about 15 minutes from the Literature Temple
The Imperial citadel is holding so many excavated items and mock-ups of the citadel itself.
It was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010, with many artefacts and items dating back to between the 6th and 20th centuries were excavated in 2004,including foudations of old palaces,ancient roads,ponds and wells.
My last stop is Tran Quoc Pagoda, from the citadel I walk through Ho Chi Minh Mausolium, some Vietnamese polictic building…
Catching Sunset at the west lake, I get into Tran Quoc Pagoda, temple and pagoda in Vietnam is so different. Temple honours a specific human who sarcrified their life to the country, but pagoda honours Buddist, and the monks still living there in the pagoda. Tran Quoc pagoda is one of the oldest and biggest pagoda in Hanoi, the pagoda was built in the 6th century. The worshipers who come inside the temple to pray can be here anytime they want. However, it is especially popular during the 1st month of the Lunar calendar...
So let see, I just spend less than 10 USD with a fullday exploring Hanoi. Why don’t you try this once? It’s lot of fun and bunch of information. See you in the next blog.
OVERALL TRAVEL SCORE: 40/50