Some regard Pho as the world's best soup

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Hanoi's French Colonial Architecture

Hanoi

Some of the street scenes in Hanoi could be Paris. The French-style mansions and tree-lined boulevards help retain the city's reputation as being "The Paris of the East". Hanoi's culture, however, is uniquely Vietnamese and it exhibits few of the scars of the Indochina War.

Hoan Kiem Lake is regarded by locals as being one of the city's most beautiful spots. Jade Hill Pagoda is built on an island linked to the shore by a red, arched bridge.

Old Town, north of the lake has 36 quaint, narrow streets named after the goods they sell. There is Basket Street, Silk Street, etc.

The Temple of Literature is the largest temple complex in Hanoi. It was dedicated to Confucian philosophy. Built in 1070 it became a spiritual and cultural center of the kingdom where scholars took their examination to become Mandarins.

The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is a major Hanoi landmark as is the the former Presidential Palace nearby. "Uncle Ho" refused to live in the palace preferring a modest house next to a small lake.

Water Puppetry is a form of theatre that is uniquely Vietnamese. It uses the surface of the water as a stage with puppeteers concealed behind a bamboo screen. History and religious plays, legends and stories of village life are accompanied by singers, traditional orchestras and occasionally fireworks.
Water Puppet Music


Jewels of the Mekong
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