On your What Women Want Series, you get to see a city-wise breakup of tourist attractions, places to see, visit, things to do and how to make the most of your all women’s trip to Vietnam and we start our journey from the North all the way to the South and we let you discover the many beautiful destinations!
Sapa and Hanoi are in the northernmost part of Vietnam and we want you to explore these places with us!
Walk, hike, and trek in Sapa
If you feel like some adventure, and want to go walking, hiking, or trekking, surrounded by peaks, valleys and terraced rice fields, then you should head to the beautiful Sapa.
Vietnam’s tallest peak, the Fansipan Mountain can be found here. Sapa was once a French hill station and today it is really growing in popularity and many tourists definitely make a stop here. So, if you like anything rural, with a good mix of foliage and scenic locales, then Sapa is waiting for you!
So in the company of friends and an all women gang, you can really trek between the peaks, villages and the rice fields and the experience is something that you would’ve never ever have experienced before.
The capital city, Hanoi is also the second biggest city in Vietnam. It is an old city that has been around for many thousands of years and is replete with history, well-preserved architectural buildings, museums, monuments and more.
The beauty of Hanoi lies in its chaos that can confuse and charm travelers or tourists alike. If you want to see the real Vietnamese way of life, then you will find it here in Hanoi. And to feel the excitement and the feel of Hanoi, a walk down the narrow, busy roads is a must.
Some of the must-do, must-see things, and places in Hanoi include:
Visit the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long
This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is the very icon of Hanoi. The Citadel is the seat of Vietnamese history. It was the country’s capital for over 800 years and it was an important political centre for more than 1300 years. It is about 40 meters high and a visit here would give you a good look into the glorious past of Vietnam.
The Water Puppet Theatre
This puppet show is way different from anything you may have ever seen. It is pretty interesting and a nice idea. Here puppet shows are carried out in water. The settings, the stage, the lighting, and the story enacted is so spellbinding and engrossing that you will not know how time flew.
Hoan Kiem Lake
This lake also has an interesting history behind it. The name of the lake, Hồ Hoàn Kiếm means “Lake of the Returned Sword.” The story that goes is this- It is said that a king got a sword from a magical tortoise right by the banks of this lake. And the king used it to fight against the Chinese and push them out of Vietnam.
And today, this legendary lake is a very important hotspot for both locals and tourists’ alike. And in the middle of the Lake is the Ngoc Son Temple. There is a nice wooden bridge that connects to the temple from the banks of the lake.
Temple of Literature- The Oldest University in Vietnam
The Temple of Literature is in fact a 1,000-year-old sanctuary dedicated to study and education. It is the spot where Vietnam’s oldest university is seated. This place was about to be destroyed in the war. But restoration and revamp done consecutively in the years’ 1920, 1954, and 2000 has given the place a lot of its past grandeur back.
This place is neatly and sequentially laid out. It comprises of 5 courtyards, running from South to North. A visit here is quite informative and interesting too.
The nerve center of Hanoi- Hanoi’s Old Quarter
While in Hanoi, a must-see is Hanoi’s Old Quarter. It is situated close to the Hoan Kiem Lake and if you want to see what the old-world charm of Vietnam is like and you really want to spend hours shopping, this is the place to be. The Old Quarter comprises of about 36 streets that run like a maze and is filled with plenty of shopping options, and you can practically get anything for a steal here. There are plenty of places to eat and try out delicious Vietnamese foods and the busy neighborhood will keep you on your toes.
Go back in time on the Red River Cruise in Hanoi
If you just want to relax on a nice voyage, cruising through the city take the Red River Cruise. You begin your journey at the Chuong Duong Do dock and cruise slowly taking in the beautiful sights, the many pagodas, fields, villages and more.
Dong Xuan Market
What is the highlight of an all women’s trip? Shopping, shopping and more shopping of course! And if the experiences are different, then there is nothing like it. So, while in Hanoi, don’t miss visiting the biggest marketplace here the Dong Xuan Market. There is practically anything and everything you can find here and is perfect for bargain shopping.
The One Pillar Pagoda
The One Pillar Pagoda is a nice structure built on a single wooden pillar that is about 1.25 meters in width. There is an interesting legend associated with this. It is said that the then Emperor, Ly Thai Tong was childless. And one day he had a dream that the Goddess of Mercy Quan The Am Bo Tat had blessed him. And soon after that, he married a farmer’s daughter and he had a son, who would be the heir to the throne. And in 1054 AD, as a token of gratitude, he built this pagoda.
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Complex
‘Uncle Ho’, the great Vietnamese leader, freedom fighter and political figure’s body is preserved here and kept on display in the mausoleum. And while in Hanoi, this place is definitely visited by most tourists’.