hoan kiem lake

Most temples and pagodas in Hanoi asks tourists to put on extra clothes

Ngoc Son Temple asks tourists to put on extra clothes

Ngoc Son Temple, one of the most popular destinations in Hanoi, has solved the dress code problem for visitors by letting them borrow clothes to cover bare arms and knees.

The plain gowns, which look like lab coats, will make sure all visitors are dressed appropriately when they enter the temple.

Ngoc Son, on the iconic Hoan Kiem Lake, is one of the most important and famous temples of the capital city.

It is dedicated to Tran Hung Dao, who led armies to repel three major Mongol invasions in the 13th century, among other historical figures.

Vietnam’s tourism ministry last month officially released a code of conduct for tourism. Among the rules of manners for tourists are recommendations for appropriate clothes and responsible drinking.

Sacred places in particular require visitors to show respect by wearing clothes that cover their knees and shoulders.

In February, the Cham temple complex of Po Nagar in the central province of Khanh Hoa started lending long gowns to tourists in a similar attempt.

The Ngoc Son intervention came in the middle of Hanoi’s campaign to improve its image. The city earlier this year announced plans to implement a strict dress code, warning that it will name and shame any locals or visitors wearing skimpy clothes in public.

But experts warned that it would be difficult, if not illegal, to impose restrictions on how people dress, which they described as a very personal choice.

The city has reportedly taken no tough actions after two foreign tourists were caught sunbathed in swimwear by the Hoan Kiem Lake early this month, an incident that caused public outrage.

West lake in Hanoi



hoan kiem lake


A green and peaceful Hanoi, a fast-growing hospitable city with great tourism potentials, is now open and warmly welcome friends from all over the world. The below list of attractions are the must-see sightseeing when you are visiting Hanoi.

  •  Hanoi Opera House
    The beautiful Hanoi Opera House was built in 1911 by the then ruling French. It’s a phenomenal piece of neo-classical French architecture featuring Gothic themes on the doors and domes with pillars, shuttered windows, balconies and a glass room. Musicians, actors and dancers play to a 600-strong audience delivering powerful operatic and classical performances, making it a very popular theatrical attraction. The Hanoi Opera House is the biggest theatre in Vietnam and speaks volumes as historical and cultural evidence of Vietnam under French rule. The interior is even more magnificent than the exterior with many arguing it is aesthetically even more appealing than the Paris Opera House. Visitors today will be entertained at this architectural landmark which features a range of events including local Vietnamese opera, traditional folk music, ballets and many international concerts.
  • Hoan Kiem lake (300metres away from the hotel) is the liquid heart of the Old Quarter, a good orienting landmark. Legend has it that in the mid – 15th century, heaven gave Emperor Ly Thai To a magical sword that he used to drive the Chinese out of Vietnam. One day after the war, while out boating, he came upon a giant golden tortoise; the creature grabbed the sword and disappeared into the depths of the lake. Since that time, the lake has been known as Ho Hoan Kiem (Lake of the Restored Sword) because the tortoise returned the sword to its divine owners.
  •  Ngoc Son Temple: This Hanoi’s most visited temple sits pretty on a delightful little island in the northern part of Hoan Kiem Lake. An elegant scarlet bridge, The Huc Bridge, constructed in classical Vietnamese style and lined with flags, connects the island to the lake shore. The nearby Martyrs’ Monument was erected as a memorial to those who died fighting for Vietnam’s independence.
    Surrounded by water and shaded by trees, the small temple is dedicated to General Tran Hung Dao (who defeated the Mongols in the 13th century), La To (patron saint of physicians) and the scholar Van Xuong. Inside you’ll find some fine ceramics, a gong or two, some ancient bells and a glass case containing a stuffed lake turtle, which is said to have weighed a hefty 250kg.
  • Memorial House: One of the Old Quarter’s best-restored properties, this traditional merchants’ house is sparsely but beautifully decorated, with rooms set around two courtyards and filled with fine furniture. Note the high steps between rooms, a traditional design incorporated to stop the flow of bad energy around the property.
    There are crafts and trinkets for sale here, including silver jewellery, basketwork and Vietnamese tea sets, and there’s usually a calligrapher or other craftsperson at work too.
  • Bach Ma Temple (White Horse Temple): The Bach Ma temple at 76 Hang Buom Street honors a white horse which was thought to be an incarnation of a local river god. In the spring of the year 1010, the founder of the Ly dynasty, Ly Thai To issued the “Edict of the Transfer of the Capital”, which declared the transfer of the capital from Hoa Lu to Dai La (today’s Hanoi). After Ly settled in Hanoi, his laborers worked for a year and a half to construct a mighty citadel, but each time they erected the walls the marshy soil would give way. One day, while the king was praying, an apparition of a white horse appeared before the king and marked off an area using its hoof prints. The king understood that the horse was indicating a safe area to construct the citadel, and indeed, the fortress erected at the site remained standing. In gratitude, the king established Bach Ma temple in 1010 to honor the White Horse who assisted the fledgling city. The temple has been damaged by flooding and other natural disasters over the course of the past thousand years. The present buildings date from the 18th and 19th centuries.
  •  St Joseph Cathedral: In 1882, after the French army conquered Hanoi, the cathedral was constructed and completed in 1886. The cathedral and Nha Chung area were built on the land formerly belonging to Bao Thien pagoda, which was built under Ly dynasty. The architecture with domes of the cathedral follows the Gothic style and design of Paris Cathedral. Though the appearance of the cathedral, from the doors, the colorful window glass, to the religious paintings for decoration follows Western style, the main interior part is decorated in Vietnamese way with two typical colors yellow and red. Outside, in front of the cathedral is the statue of Mother Maria.
  • The Vietnam Women’s Museum in Hanoi. The Vietnam Women’s Museum delivers a beautifully presented tribute to the women of Vietnam across the ages. There are plenty of historical contexts alongside a wealth of information on today’s more modern Vietnamese woman. The museum is run by The Women’s Union of Vietnam which is recognised as one of the country’s most powerful movements. there are also exhibits on the part women played in Vietnam’s wars. Displays are very well presented in a storytelling format with signs also in English and French. Historic documentation including Taoist books of the Dao people and wedding cards from the Kinh community will give visitors an in-depth insight into better understanding the women of Vietnam. Photographs and film footage documenting the life of heroic mothers during wartime are moving exhibits that should not be missed.
  •  One Pillar Pagoda in Hanoi
    Rising from one pillar in the centre of an elegantly square shaped lotus pond, The One Pillar Pagoda is said to represent a lotus flower growing up out of the water. Built between the years of 1028 and1054 during the reign of Emperor Ly Thai Tong of the Ly Dynasty, the One Pillar Pagoda is one of Vietnam’s most iconic temples.
    The little temple is constructed from wood based on a single stone pillar crafted into the shape of a lotus blossom and has been rebuilt several times, most recently in 1955 when the base was destroyed during the French evacuation. The pagoda is often used as a symbol for Hanoi and remains one of the city’s most revered sights in a beautifully tranquil garden setting with benches provided for comfortable contemplation. The shrine inside the pagoda is dedicated to the Vietnamese Buddhist deity Quan Am with her effigy nestled inside the tiny three square metres temple.
  • Long Biên bridge
    The Long Bien Bridge was constructed from 1989 to 1902 during French’s occupation of the country. Though the bridge was designed by French, it was built directly by Vietnamese workers with materials from many provinces in Viet Nam.
    More than 100 years with decades of war, Long Bien Bridge was bombed many times by air attacks by American army in 1967, 1972; and many spans of the bridge were destroyed. The left spans still remaining today remind us of an unforgettable past. The bridge is not only a traffic construction, a nice architecture, but also a living historical relic.
water puppet

Water Puppet In Hanoi

Water Puppet In Hanoi

Thang Long Water Puppet In Hanoi is Located at 57B, Dinh Tien Hoang street, nearby Hoan Kiem Lake, Thang Long Water Puppet Theater is a familiar address for both domestic tourists and foreign ones, who want to enjoy water puppet shows and discovery the beauty of this unique Vietnam traditional art.

water puppet show

Thang Long Water Puppet


In 1969, the theater was established and since 1990; many water puppet shows have been performed by Thang Long theater artists.Every year, about 500 shows are offered to approximately 150,000 audiences. Moreover, the theater has brought water puppetry art to more then 40 foreign countries like Japan, France, America, Australia, Spain… through performance tours, or international cultural exchange program or puppetry festivals.

Traditional content of water puppet performance like daily life of Vietnamese farmers (cultivating, tending buffalo, catching fishes…), communal entertainment (swimming contest, dragon dancing…), or historical legends (Le Loi returns precious sword…), with modest performance way have appealed audiences for centuries. However, the artists of Thang Long Water Puppet Theater want to renew the old puppet shows with effect of light, music and combination between people and puppets.

water puppet show in hanoi

Water pupet show

It sounds risky, but the theater has been successful since the beginning the beginning and received favors and praises from audiences. To enjoy some typical water puppet performances, you can take a look at the video below.

Certainly, it will be much great if tourists can directly watch these shows in Thang Long Water Puppets Theater after enjoying a cup of coffee in the coffee lounge which is right in front of the theater, and giving a nice view to Hoan Kiem Lake.


Show schedule



Water puppet show every day

Monday 15:00 16:10 17:20 18:30 20:00


15:00 16:10 17:20 18:30 20:00


15:00 16:10 17:20 18:30 20:00


15:00 16:10 17:20 18:30 20:00


15:00 16:10 17:20 18:30 20:00


15:00 16:10 17:20 18:30 20:00
Sunday 15:00 16:10 17:20 18:30 20:00



Ticket costs: 100.000 VND ($5) and can be purchased at doors or by contacting the theatre:

Tel: (84-04) 3 824 9494, 3 825 5450

Fax: (84-04) 3 824 5117

Email: thanglongwpt@fpt.vn

Website: www.thanglongwaterpuppet.org


hanoi opera house

Hanoi Opera House, Vietnam info

Hanoi Opera House is a project built by the French government in the early years of the 20th century. Its construction started in 1901 and completed in 1911.

hanoi opera house
Where we are sitting formerly was a wetland area belonging to two villages Thach Tan and Tay Luong – Phuc Lan – Tho Xuong District. In 1899, the city council held a meeting under the chairmanship of Richard – Hanoi’s envoy who proposed to build up the Theatre.

Two architects Harlay and Broyer are designers of the Project. The design was under much modification due to comments of many other architects.

The works started on June 7, 1901, under technical supervision of an urban inspector – architect Harlay – one of the two designers. The persons in charge of construction were two men Mr. Savelon and Mr. Travary.

The embankment was very strenuous. 300 workers were working every day, with 35,000 bamboo poles and concrete blocks of 90cm thick. The works needed to use more than 12000m3 of materials, nearly 600 tons of iron and steel, with construction area of 2600m2, 87m in length, 30m in width and the highest point of the building is 34m from the ground surface. The façade of the building is very superficial with many steps overlooking the large square (now known as the August Revolution Square). The long-running steps in front of the Theatre are arranged the place to pick up the cars of colonial officials.

Hanoi Opera House is a unique structure with its outstanding values in terms of history, culture, architecture and art. It is a unique component of the urban and capital architecture, contributing to our country face today in the field of culture, creating the necessary prerequisites for expansion of cultural exchange on the way of economic and social development today, especially in the struggle to revive the national culture.

Functions – tasks of Hanoi Opera House

The Management Board of Hanoi Opera House was established by Decision No. 765 of the Prime Minister on September 17, 1997.
Management Board of Hanoi Opera House has:

1. International Business name: Hanoi Opera House

2. The functions and duties:

+ Organizing art and cultural activities for political and social purposes of the Government.

+ Organizing art and cultural activities, conferences, seminars, press conferences under plans of the Ministry of Culture Sports and Tourism.

+ Organizing art and cultural activities of high quality in compliance with its functions and tasks.

+ Cooperating with the international and domestic relevant organizations for purposes of professional exchange and organizing art and cultural activities as assigned by the Ministry and in accordance with laws.

+ Organizing service activities in compliance with the functions and duties of Hanoi Opera House, and as prescribed by laws.

Regulations for the audience :

– Well dressing.

– Tickets not covering children, the program is not intended for children under 6 years old.

– Do not smoke; do not bring food and chewing gum into the Opera House

– Do not use the device to record audio/ video/ film without the consent of the management board.

– Switch phone to silent mode or vibration mode when the performances begin.

– 15 minutes after the show opening, the theater will close the doors.

– Keep silence while watching the performance.

tam coc view


 Let’s explore this wonderful country which has attracted visitors from all over the world by the ancient temples, modern high-rise buildings, the vast green forest mountains and countless wonderful beaches on Vietnam tour .
Vietnam is getting more attracted tourists with a developed economy, convenient transportation and more famous natural sights. Here, visitors can find a modern city with ancient center and the places with amazing landscapes through out the Vietnam tour.
1, Hanoi

water puppet show in hanoiHanoi water puppet show
– First, start the journey from the capital Hanoi, the cultural center of the country with more than a thousand years of civilization. Discover the history and culture of many nations at the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology and the history of resistance against aggression in B52 Victory Museum.
– Visit the Temple of Literature with history from the 10th century, to worship Confucius. Join those exercise sessions with local residents at Hoan Kiem Lake.

2, Sapa

sapa tour

Sapa tour

Located at 1500 meters (4921 feet) above sea level in Vietnam’s remote northwest mountains, Sapa is famous for both its fine, rugged scenery and also its rich cultural diversity. Sapa is an incredibly picturesque town that lies in the Hoang Lien Son mountain range near the Chinese border in northwestern Vietnam, known as “the Tonkinese Alps”. Sapa and its surrounding region is host to many hill tribes, as well as rice terraces, lush vegetation, and Fansipan, the highest peak in Vietnam.

Ethnic Minorities

Many ethnic minorities live in and around Sapa. Excluding the Kinh people or ethnic Vietnamese, eight different ethnic minority groups are found in Sapa. They include H’mong (pronounced Mong), Dao (pronounced Yao), Tay, Giay (pronounced Zai), Muong, Thai, Hoa (ethnic Chinese) and Xa Pho (a denomination of the Phu La minority group). However, the last four groups comprise less than 500 people in total. The population of the district is estimated at 31,652 (1993) of which 52% are H’mong, 25% are Dao, 15% are Kinh, 5% are Tay and 2% are Giay. Around 3,300 people live in Sapa town, and the remainder are peasant farmers distributed unevenly throughout the district.

3, Halong Bay

halong bay

Halong cruise tour

Halong Bay is in northern Vietnam, 175 km (105 mi) east of Hanoi. The bay is famous for its scenic ocean karst topography and is often included in lists of natural wonders of the world. Ha long Bay is a bay located in the area of the Gulf of Tonkin, north of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. It has an area of 1,553 square kilometers and has a coastline about 125 kilometers away from Hanoi. The name was based on the pronunciation in the Vietnam language “Viet Nam Ha Long”.

he Ha Long Bay archipelago is made up of 1,969 islands, both settled and uninhabited. These can be accessed from various ports, though in the special case of Cat Ba you can also arrive either by car, motorbike or bus (via Haiphong) or combined bus/boat (from Hanoi via Halong City).


This unique UNESCO World Heritage Site is a popular place for tourists and it is good to know that large parts of Ha Long Bay are officially protected from development. The islands vary greatly in size and shape as well as structure.


Visitors might want to allow a few days to explore this magical bay as its attractions are extremely numerous.

4, Hue


Hue citadel tour

Located on the bank of Song Huong- Perfume River; Hue, the capital of Thua Thien Hue province in Central Vietnam, is 700 km southern Hanoi, 1100km northern Ho Chi Minh City, and only a few miles from the sea. Not until 1945 was Hue the national capital, the political, cultural and religious center of Vietnam under the control of Nguyen Dynasty. Most well-known for its historic values; Hue had been recognized as one of the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.


 Hue Citadel:

Occupying a large, bounded area on the north side of Perfume River; four citadels were comprised to create the Capital City: Hoang Thanh (Imperial City) for royal palaces and shrines, Tu Cam Thanh (Forbidden Purple City) for royal residences, Dai Noi (Inner city) and Tran Binh Dai, which exclusively ancient architecture. Tourists are expected to spend at least one day to visit the whole complex. They can also catch a taxi, hire a bicycle, rent a “xich lo”- Vietnamese cycle if do not feel like walking around the site.

  • Emperors Tombs:

There are several tombs of ancient emperors scattering along the Perfume River: such as Minh Mang, Khai Dinh, Tu Duc, Dong Khanh, etc. On Cam Khe Hill, Minh Mang Tomb was built in 1843, with the area of 18 hectare, 3-meter-high defended wall, and nearly 20 architectural constructions. Lying in the middle of a pine forest, Tu Duc Tomb belongs to Duong Xuan Moutain, 8km far from Hue.

  • Pagodas:

Featured in various songs and poems, Thien Mu Pagoda has become an essential part of Hue City. With the symbol of the octagonal 21-meter-high tower, the pagoda is the perfect combination of artificial architectural work and picturesque nature. Tourists can also visit other pagodas such as Tu Dam, Tu Hieu, Huyen Khong.

5, Hoi An

hoian river

Hoian river

 Is one of the most popular destinations in Vietnam that caters to travellers of all tastes and across the continents. The little town is just the perfect candidate of what Vietnam tourism ministry is aiming to show to the world.

Mixing together with Vietnamese design, Chinese and Japanese accents melt and create a picture-perfect Hoi An of the late 19th century, which it has somehow remained mostly intact since. The end product is an oddly strange-yet-familiar sight that exists nowhere else in the world. To this day, few descendants of the foreign traders remain but the architectural setting manages to survive the damage of time.
6, Ho Chi Minh City

ho chi minh church

Ho chi minh city
– Then go South, to Ho Chi Minh City, the center of commerce, finance of the country, watching the building of skyscrapers view with ancient temples, to shade buildings from the colonial era. Or try the street food right in front of the bars and shops and luxury.

Panoramic view of the city from on high from Saigon Skydeck observatory at Bitexco Tower 68 floors.
– Farther away from the center, visit Giac Lam Pagoda oldest city, with history from the 18th century or the Opera House, enjoy a musical show to learn about the cultural life of residents city people.
7, Cu Chi Tunnels and MeKong Delta

cu chi tunnels

Cu chi tunnels

– Go to Cu Chi Tunnels from the city center about 40 km to find out about the years of heroic resistance against the United States.

– Do not forget to rural areas near large cities. According boats on the streams flow to – Vinh Long to explore the Mekong Delta rich. Hiking, exploring the villages of Sapa in the north west, and follow the journey on the trail of red earth explore Highlands.
Vietnam’s long coastline is home to numerous beautiful beaches. Relax under the shade of coconut on the beach in Nha Trang or Vung Tau and have a delicious meal.
Vietnam has three international airports in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang. The easiest way to get around in the Vietnam tour is rent motorcycles to explore every corner. But taxi vehicles are safe and more comfortable.
Guests can discover all sorts of cultural itinerary, sightseeing and history in all parts of the country of Vietnam on Vietnam tour.
There are many places tourist should spend 2,3 weeks on Vietnam tour.