For those of you starting off your Vietnam golf vacation in the country’s capital Hanoi, you will certainly be in for a treat. Most travelers who have ever been to Hanoi will probably tell you that it may be the most beautiful city in all of Asia.
Nestled along wooded boulevards among the city’s two dozen lakes you will find architectural souvenirs left by all who conquered this great valley, from the Chinese who first came in the last millennium to the French, booted out in our own century.
Your journey into the city from Noi Bai Airport takes about an hour and offers some memorable glimpses of modern Vietnamese life: farmers tending their fields, great rivers, modern highways that abruptly become bumpy roads. The drive is especially breathtaking at dusk when the roads fill with thousands of bicycles, and everything takes on the same deep colors as the modern paintings you see in Hanoi’s galleries.
On the edge of the city the road dissolves into a maze of winding, narrow, wooded lanes. You are surrounded by roadside artisans, shops and taverns, then by graceful villas and commuters on bicycles, cyclos and motorbikes. Modern buildings appear from nowhere, looking so out of place that you have to wonder if they were dropped from the sky and just left where they came to rest.
Hanoi is very compact, and the city’s most interesting places for tourists are all relatively close to each other, which makes it easy to enjoy the best parts of the city on foot or by cyclo.
Must See Tourist Attractions
Away from golf, you could probably explore the Ancient Quarter and visit all the places below in a single day, but why rush? Perhaps you should include in your ‘must see’ sights with a visit to Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, without a doubt the city’s single most visited site, and one of Vietnam’s most revered places.
The Mausoleum is open only in the mornings, from 7:30 to 10:30 in the Summer and from 8:00 to 11:00 in the Winter. There are often large crowds, so it’s best arrive early.
This imposing shrine was built on the edge of Ba Dinh Square, the place where Ho Chi Minh delivered the Declaration of Independence of the Republic of Viet Nam to half a million of his countrymen in 1945, following the surrender of the Japanese.
The Ho Chi Minh Museum is probably Vietnam’s most important contemporary architectural achievement and also worth checking out. Opened to the public in 1990 to commemorate Ho’s centenary, the exhibits are like a huge scrap book which chronicles his rather transient early years. Guides are available.
Our helpful team at Vietnam Golf Tourism would be happy to advise you on what to fit in between some excellent golf courses within easy reach of this fascinating capital city. A great place to start or finish your Vietnam golf vacation.