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6 Days in Hanoi, Vietnam - Part 3

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AsiaFoodHa NoiMuseumsSolo TravelTemples & ChurchesVietnam
Article author: michael
michael
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This is the 1st part in my Vietnam & Thailand 2019 series.

You can view my Vietnam overview page, as well as my Thailand overview page with links for all the cities I stopped at.


Day 6

Day 6 was originally meant to be my last day in Hanoi. My plans later had to change, but I’ll get to that in another post.

As it was supposed to be my last day, I kept the day mostly free, so I could wander by foot and see the things I’d missed when I first arrived in Hanoi.

Ho Chi Minh Museum

I planned to start the day by visiting the One Pillar pagoda, thinking I hadn’t been there yet. My girlfriend was able to join me for the day, so we met up at the hostel and headed out.

As I was using Google’s walking directions, I noticed that it appeared to be taking us to the Ho Chi Minh museum, which confused me a bit, but when we got there it finally dawned on me that I had already been to the One Pillar pagoda on my first day in Hanoi! I had just forgotten about it.

Realizing this, and since we were at the museum now anyway, we decided to go in and check it out. When I passed by the museum on my first day, it was closed as it was late in the day, so the museum was on my list to see anyway.

Ticket price: 20,000 VND per person

The museum is located in the same area as the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, so you can visit that as well if you want.

Ho Chi Minh Museum

The museum is dedicated to Ho Chi Minh, the leader of the Vietnamese independence movement and the first president of Vietnam. It documents his life through 8 different exhibitions, showing various artifacts and documents from his life and the war.

Ho Chi Minh Museum

The museum was interesting, but I personally enjoyed the War museum in Ho Chi Minh City more when I visited Saigon later in my trip. The War museum has a lot of interesting artifacts and information about Ho Chi Minh’s life and the history of Vietnam.

That said, this was still an interesting museum to visit.

Ho Chi Minh Museum

Ho Chi Minh Museum

One Pillar Pagoda

Once we were done touring the museum, we walked over to the One Pillar pagoda, which is just a few steps over.

The original pagoda was built in 1049, had some additions and was perfected in 1105. It is regarded alongside the Perfume Temple, as one of Vietnam’s two most iconic temples.
Wikipedia

One Pillar Pagoda

One Pillar Pagoda

As small as this pagoda is, it’s quite intriguing and pleasing. It’s also a very popular tourist attraction, so it can get quite crowded. You can’t really go in though, other than climb up and step in a bit to the shrine inside, so it’s not a pagoda you can walk around in.

One Pillar Pagoda

A key thing to note however is that the original pagoda was destroyed by the French in 1954 during the first Indochina war, and then rebuilt in 1955. So the pagoda you see today is not the original one.

Dien Huu Temple

Right beside the pagoda is a small temple complex called the Dien Huu temple.

Dien Huu Temple

Dien Huu Temple

You can’t really get a good idea of the layout from the two pics above, but it’s set up in a square formation, with a few temples and shrines inside. There were a bunch of monks walking around and taking care of the premises when I was there.

Lunch

As we were relaxing a bit at the temple complex, we were starting to get hungry. My girlfriend wanted to get some bun cha, but my previous experience eating bun cha left a not so great taste in my mouth, so I wasn’t quite convinced.

We headed out looking for somewhere to eat and found a few more expensive restaurants, but in the end my girlfriend convinced me and we stopped for bun cha after all. My one condition was that there was fried tofu. She promised me we’d eat at a better street stall, and so not to worry.

Bun Cha

This place had different, better quality cuts of pork, and also the fried tofu I was craving. I think after this meal, bun cha was maybe starting to grow on me a little, although I was still not entirely convinced if I liked it or not! 🤓

After lunch we mostly just chilled for the remainder of the day, before I started to pack my things to get ready for my flight to Hue the next day.

Pretty lanters in Hanoi

And thus came to an end my last (for now) day in Hanoi.

Final Thoughts

Hanoi is an awesome mega city. It’s hella chaotic, and the driving skills of the locals are questionable, but it’s a city with massive character, and that “South-East Asia” charm.

If you’re coming to Vietnam, it’s a definite must experience, so don’t leave it out!


Join me in my next post as I head to Hue, the old capital of Vietnam, and the seat of the Nguyen dynasty.

Until next time,
michael 😀

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