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Landmarks & Monuments


Citadel of Thang Long
Ba Dinh Square, Hanoi

The central sector of the imperial citadel includes relics in Hanoi Citadels and an interesting archaeological area at 18 Hoang Dieu Street. Excavation work took place from 2002 to 2004 at the Thang Long Royal Citadel site and as a result many artefacts and items from the 6th to the 20th century belonging to the Ly, Nguyen, Tran, Le eras were found.

Foundations of old palaces, relics, ancient roads, ponds and wells were discovered and as a result the famous Hanoi Flag Tower on Dien Bien Phu Street in Ba Dinh District, a renovated old stone fortress, is popular with visitors. On top of these discoveries, archaeologists also found bronze coins, ceramics and pottery from China and many places in Asia, all of which demonstrate a close trading relationship in the area. Visitors should head for the display room that features interesting excavated items as well as mock-ups of the citadel itself.

Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum
Ba Dinh Square, Hanoi

In an imposing, sombre, granite-and-concrete structure modeled on Lenin's tomb, Ho lies in state, embalmed and dressed in his favoured khaki suit. Started in 1973, the construction of the mausoleum was modeled on Lenin's mausoleum in Russia and was first open to the public in 1975. The granite building meant a great deal for many locals as it ensures that their beloved leader ‘lives on forever’.

Security is tight and visitors should dress with respect (no shorts, sleeveless shirts and miniskirts) and everyone has to deposit their bags and cameras before getting in. Visitors are not allowed to stop and hold the constant queue up as the place is constantly busy. Uncle Ho’s remains are sent yearly to Russia for maintenance therefore the mausoleum is closed usually from October onwards.

Open: Tuesday to Thursday and weekends – 8 am to 11 am, closed on Monday and Friday; admission: free.

Hoan Kiem Lake
Old Quarter, Hanoi

This lake is one of Hanoi's main landmarks – a small lake in the centre of town that is just a few hundred metres across. The shores of the lake adjoin the Old Quarter and this is an especially popular spot for walking and practising Tai Chi. At the top end of the lake, on a small island, is the Ngoc Son Temple. The bridge over really is picture-postcard stuff, set about with boughs of bamboo. If you are really lucky, you might spot the hundred year old turtle that resides in the lake as a spiritual guardian steeped in mystery and myth.

Open: daily – 24 hours; admission: free.

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