Vietnam - Hoan Kiem Lake - Tortoise Pagoda - 800x450


Visit the stilt-house home and the guarded mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is a blend of long established traditions and modern imprints of Western influence.

Begin the day visiting Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum where his embalmed body is kept for homage visits in the cooled, central hall of the mausoleum, protected by a military honour guard. The body lies in a glass case with dim lights. Take a walk from the mausoleum through the park to see the former French Governor’s Palace and the wooden cabin commonly known as Ho Chi Minh’s Stilt House in which he lived from 1958 till his final days in 1969. This humble house has been preserved just as he left it.

The Temple of Literature, the Museum of Ethnology, and the historical Ngoc Son Temple await you

Then visit the 11th century Temple of Literature, dedicated to Confucius and once the Mandarin Training School in the olden days. Continue to visit the 11th century lotus-shaped One Pillar Pagoda.

At the Museum of Ethnology (closed on Monday & Vietnamese New Year) you can see a comprehensive collection of artefacts and architectural models that reflect the diversified arts, cultures and traditions of Vietnam’s 54 ethnic groups that inhabit the country from the coastal plains to the plateaus and high mountains.

Head on to Hoan Kiem Lake to visit the historical Ngoc Son Temple, built on a lush green islet. Ngoc Son Temple is reached via the red painted, wooden The Huc (Rising Sun) Bridge, which was constructed in 1885. The temple was erected in the 18th century to honour the 13-century military leader Tran Hung Dao who distinguished himself in the fight against the Yuan Dynasty, Van Xuong, a scholar, and Nguyen Van Sieu, a Confucian master and famous writer in charge of repairs made to the temple in 1864. From here you can see the tiny Tortoise Pagoda at the lake’s centre.