Besides the bustle of the city, Ha Noi brings in it the ancient and nostalgic architecture. That makes Ha Noi become romantic and poetic in the eyes of foreign visitors.
Ngoc Son Temple
Located at the northern end of Hoan Kiem Lake, Ngoc Son ("Jade Mountain") is one of the most famous temples in Ha Noi. It has been recognized as national heritage sites Tourists who travel to Hoan Kiem Lake should not ignore this special temple.
Built on an island in the 19th century, initially, the temple was called Ngoc Son Pagoda and was later renamed Ngoc Son Temple, since temples are dedicated to saints.
This shrine is now dedicated to Tran Hung Dao, a 13th century Vietnamese military national hero, scholar Van Xuong, and to Nguyen Van Sieu, a Confucian master who assumed responsibility for extensive additions and repairs made to the temple and the surrounding areas from 1864.
Together with Hoan Kiem Lake and the Tortoise Tower, Ngoc Son Temple is a pleasant place to enjoy Ha Noi’s age-old culture.
Long Bien Bridge
Long Bien Bridge may be the most special bridge with unique historic, architectural, and cultural value.
The bridge was constructed at the end of the 19th century by the French. It was the longest bridge in Indochina and one of the four longest bridges in the world. The bridge is 2,290m long with 19 steel girders placed on 20 piers that are more than 40m high. Besides, the bridge includes 896m-stone path, a railway in the middle and lanes for simple vehicles and pedestrians in two sides of the bridge.
Long Bien Bridge crosses Red River and connects Hoan Kiem District and Long Bien District of Ha Noi. This is the first steel bridge crossing Red River and regarded as the historical witness of Ha Noi in the two resistance wars against French Colonial and American Empire.
Nowadays, Long Bien Bridge is used for trains, motorbikes, bicycles and pedestrians only. Opposed to Viet Nam’s traffic, the bridge’s direction of transportation means is on the left. Many tourists come here to visit a historical construction and view nice scenery.
Turtle Tower in Hoan Kiem Lake
The Vietnamese have always seen Thap Rua as a symbol of the patriotism and unity of the Vietnamese people.
At the northern end of Hoan Kiem Lake is an islet on which stands a small tower called Thap Rua (Turtle Tower).
The Turtle Tower has a unique combination of local Vietnamese and French colonial architecture. The three-storied tower is constructed on a large heap of land measuring 350 square meters. It gradually narrows to the top since its first two stories are larger than the third.
Hoan Kiem lake is considered the center of Ha Noi, not only physically but also symbolically. The water color of Hoan Kiem Lake is not commonly found in other lakes elsewhere in the country: greenish, with dark or light shade depending on the reflection of the sky.
Thap Rua has become an important symbol of both peace and patriotism to the people of Ha Noi.
Imperial Citadel of Thang Long
Imperial Citadel of Thang Long was the centre of regional political power for almost thirteen centuries without interruption.
Built in the 11th century, the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long was inscribed into the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Viet Nam in 2010.
It was constructed on the remains of a Chinese fortress dating from the 7th century, on drained land reclaimed from the Red River Delta in Ha Noi. It was the centre of regional political power for almost 13 centuries without interruption. The Imperial Citadel buildings and the remains in the 18 Hoang Dieu Archaeological Site reflect a unique South-East Asian culture specific to the lower Red River Valley, at the crossroads between influences coming from China in the north and the ancient Kingdom of Champa in the south.
The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long is characterized by its longevity and continuity as a seat of power, evidenced by different archaeological levels and monuments.
In addition to the relics mentioned above, there are many ancient monuments in Ha Noi which have been honored for unique architectural art, such as One Pillar Pagoda, St. Joseph's Cathedral, Ham Long Church, Opera House, etc.