A Day In Hanoi
Hanoi is a VERY busy city but there are beautiful lakes here! Hoàn Kiếm Lake is the jewel of Hanoi. It is big, glittering and surrounded by temples, locals playing games and many brides taking wedding photos. Early in the morning, you can find locals doing all types of exercise around the lake. You can find vendors selling cold beverages, snacks and souvenirs around the lake too. I was mesmerized by the lake upon first glance. It was so fun to see families with their small children, strolling the lake and relaxing. It is definitely a much-needed oasis in Hanoi. It is also centrally located so from there, we were able to walk to the Old Quarter and to various restaurants. We also walked to the Hanoi Opera House from the lake.
Quan Su Pagoda was such a surprise! It is a Buddhist Temple in the middle of Hanoi. It was so calming and peaceful. I have never heard Monks chant before so that was a soothing first time experience. There were a lot of people around so we made sure to be respectful. You cannot go into the temple unless you remove your shoes. You cannot even photograph too close to the temple before someone yells at you to take off your shoes so remember that if you decide to visit the Pagoda. There was no charge to enter.
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is a sight to behold. Ho Chi Minh was the leader of Vietnam until he died in 1969. Although he led a simple life, he ended up being buried in a giant mausoleum. The space surrounding the mausoleum is spacious. It is all government buildings that are grand and painted a mustard yellow. There are guards watching you the entire time. We couldn’t get to close to the gate of the mustard colored building before a guard yelled at us to back up. Outside of the mausoleum, there are also guards walking up and down. This area is very busy with tourists, buses and tour groups.
Near the mausoleum stands One Pillar Pagoda. There is a gorgeous shrine inside. You are able to climb up the steps of the pagoda and view the shrine. There is so much attention to detail.