Hanoi, Vietnam, ZIP Code: 124000
I relocated to Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam last year for a two-year assignment with a research organisation. When I had informed my parents in Odisha about my upcoming move, they had expressed apprehension about the posting. However, my adventurous spirit remained optimistic, and it proved to be the right outlook. The memories of the Vietnam War and struggles of the natives after that have left a lasting impression on people’s minds, and hence my parents were worried. However, the country has made significant progress since that tumultuous period.
Now it is a good place for expats and tourists. With its rich history and culture, the millennium-old city of Hanoi offers a variety of attractions suitable for diverse sets of people. I live in a locality named Tay Ho which is near to the Ho Tay Lake, also known as the West Lake. I often go for walks in the pathways surrounding the lake.
Whether one is interested in visiting temples, exploring ancient citadels, experiencing unique theatrical performances, or immersing oneself in the beauty of the surrounding hills, Hanoi provides an abundance of options. What I love about the city is that it beautifully depicts French and American influences with the rich Vietnamese heritage. I love discovering the fascinating facets it has to offer.
The best part is that since there is a good footfall of tourists in Hanoi, the same places add novelty, even when one visits multiple times. Two of my favourite places in Hanoi are the Temple of Literature, and Thang Long Puppet Theatre.
The Temple of Literature is a historic and culturally significant site. Built in 1070, it is not only one of the country’s oldest universities but also a well-preserved example of traditional Vietnamese architecture. The temple is dedicated to Confucius, China’s most famous, philospher, teacher and political theorist. The premises serve as a place of reverence for scholars and a popular tourist destination.
The Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre is a place I love visiting for the traditional water puppetry performances. With roots dating back to the 11th century, the theatre showcases the ancient art of water puppetry. Highly skilled puppeteers use wooden puppets on a water stage to tell interesting stories from Vietnamese folklore and history, mesmerising audiences.
When it comes to food I am a noodle lover. And for me Hanoi is heaven as almost all restaurants offer dozens of kinds of noodles to choose from.
And when I want food from India, there are no dearth of choices either. It’s easy to find restaurants serving Indian specialties. I am loving every bit of my stint in Hanoi. There is one more year left before I pack my bags to move back to India.
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