Hanoi has four seasons a year with a full rotation. From September, Autumn comes. It starts quickly and goes quickly too. In the autumn wind, the fragrance of a green rice passing or of flowers from a corner in a far distance. Although Hanoi is noisy, boisterous but is also beautiful, simple and lovely. Spend just a day tour in Hanoi, however, it is not too short for me to understand the beloved beauty of Hanoi with thousand years of civilization.

Hanoi street in Autumn

Hanoi street in Autumn

My breakfast was rice noodles soup with beef or Pho. Pho is very famous and has gone into books. Although breakfast in Hanoi is diverse with more than 20 types of breakfast dishes including seven categories of steamed sticky rice, more than five types of rice noodles as well, apart from bread, rolled rice noodles, however, pho is still the top priority selection. The bowl of Pho with hot sweet soup of bones, white rice noodles, red beef along with a little onion, made me unforgettable by just only once try. Therefore, it is easy to understand why Pho becomes a well-known dish around the world.

Pho - Noodle soup with beef

Pho – Noodle soup with beef

My journey began with the visit to Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the resting place of the beloved president of the whole nation. Here, I had a chance to visit the Uncle Ho’s body. It was amazing that I had a feeling of pride and honor to be in front of the president, who gained independence and freedom for all peoples. I spent a short time looking at the entire mausoleum and Ba Dinh Square in front. Then, I walked around the mausoleum to visit all the surrounding areas including the President Palace, stilt house and fish pond where the Uncle lived in and cared, and, ultimately, the One Pillar Pagoda. Because of not enough time, I could not visit the Ho Chi Minh museum where the whole life of the president is stored and recorded.

Ho Chi Minh Museum

Ho Chi Minh Museum

Then, I continued the journey to the Temple of Literature, the first university of the country which was built under the Ly dynasty, and admired the stone steles honoring the name of scholars in the ancient time, visited the temple. In the center place of busy and bustle capital, it was still peaceful which made me feel relaxed and comfortable.

Temple of Literature

Temple of Literature

Then, I spent a short time discovering Tran Quoc Pagoda, the oldest temples in Hanoi, admired the tower, the sights around and explored the pagoda to learn more about the religion and spiritual life of Vietnamese people. After finishing the excursion in the pagoda was the time for lunch. What to eat at lunch time is a matter to me. Every food is attractive and makes me want to enjoy all. There is a wide range of choices including rice noodles with fried tofu and shrimp sauce or Bun cha or bread steak and so on. After some struggling with the choice, I decided to have rice noodles with fried tofu and shrimp sauce for lunch. The noodles with fried tofu, boiled meat, spring rolls was full enough until afternoon.

Tran Quoc Pagoda

Tran Quoc Pagoda

In the afternoon, I continued to visit the Museum of Ethnology on Nguyen Van Huyen Street (Cau Giay district, about 8 km from the center). Here, I had the opportunity to learn about the cultures of Vietnamese people. With a display area of 54 ethnic groups, I was surprised due to the richness and diversity of cultures amongst peoples which are diverse but still unified in a country. Back to the center of Hanoi, I moved straight to Hoan Kiem Lake and visited Ngoc Son Temple. After that, I walked for a while around the Hoan Kiem Lake and the old quarter to discover the 36 Streets. It is very easy to get lost in the road system of the old quarter. Long connected streets, lanes through lanes and rows of houses show the life of Hanoians.

Vietnam Museum of Ethnology in Hanoi

Vietnam Museum of Ethnology in Hanoi

Each street sells a separate item with the tiny shop. Here, I still found very old professions such as barbering sidewalk, tailoring ao dai, making seals, repairing clocks which are gradually dying with time. Walking on the streets, I came in some sidewalk stalls to enjoy a cup of black bean tea or a glass of iced tea in a small alley. I came to the White Horse Temple, one of four towns in Hanoi at the beginning of Hang Buom Street and wandered to O Quan Chuong.

Hanoi old quarter in the Independence Day

Hanoi old quarter in the Independence Day

Visiting those places took me back to an ancient Hanoi. Afterward, the show of Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre was about to begin. The show was about more than 1 hour, but very interesting. The legends of betel, the returning sword, and many other legends were described by puppets on the water. It did not take a long time but very amazing and exciting to help me learn and understand to some extent about the culture of ancestors. This trip gave me a lot of new experience that I have never known before.

Water puppet show in Thang Long Water Puppet theatre

Water puppet show in Thang Long Water Puppet theatre