I have been staying in the Old Quarter part of the the city with many sights within walking distance. One of the first places I visited was the Temple of Literature; dating back to 1070; it is the site of the first university in Vietnam. Emperor Ly Thanh Thon founded the temple, here is the main entrance gate, then inside a shrine to Confucious (Khong Tu).
Near the Old Quarter was Hao Lo prison, built by the French in 1890, it was used to contain many political prisoners who were fighting for Vietnamese independence. It was also later used to house American prisoners of war in the 1960s. I then learnt a great deal more about Vietnam’s recent history in the Ho Chi Minh museum. Ho Chi Minh (bringer of light) was the Vietnamese communist revolutionary leader who became president.
In amongst the busy lanes of the Old Quarter was this quiet temple, with mini manderin trees in front. A short walk from this is the Hoan Kiem lake, with the Ngoc Son (temple of the jade mountain) set in the middle of the lake.
A bus ride further across Hanoi was the Museum of Ethnology, with information on all of Vietnam’s ethnic minorities, outside are examples of traditional houses. Shown here is a typical village long house with its high sloping roof.