Hanoi, the second largest city in Vietnam, is the capital of Vietnam. The city lies on the right bank of the Red River. Travellers usually use Hanoi as a stopover on their way to the famous Halong Bay.
However, the city does merit at least a three day stay to get a feel of life in Vietnam. Although there are not many tourist attractions in Hanoi, a day walking around the old quarter and its surroundings will be time well spent.
One way of familiarising yourself with the city is to head to Hoan Kiem lake and get a ticket for the buggy ride around the old quarters of the city.
We had buffet lunch in this huge restaurant called “Hanoi Buffet”. There is a huge variety of food and appears to be very popular with the local people.
About half an hours’ drive outside Hanoi City is a small town consisting of ceramics manufacturers and wholesalers. It is worth a visit if you are interested in ceramics although spending two or three hours there would be more than sufficient.
The photo below is the Hoan Kiem lake (also known as the Lake of the returned sword) and is the historical and cultural centre of Hanoi. The lake is linked to the legend of the Magic Sword, the mythical sword of the Vietnamese king, Le Loi who liberated Vietnam from the Ming occupation after 10 years of fighting from 1418-1428. Legend has it that while on the lake, a golden turtle asked Le Loi to return the sword to his master, the Dragon King who lived under the water in the lake.
The following photos are of the Temple of Literature.
All photos shot with the Leica X2 and Fuji XE-1 with the Fujinon 18mm f2 lens.