This northern part of Vietnam is a beautiful combination of old meets modern; a gateway to the incredible mountains, warm beaches and bustling cities. Hanoi is worth spending at least a couple days exploring on foot or by bicycle.

It is worth visiting the Military History Museum, easily spotted it has a great collection of weaponry marking the entrance. It costs just $3 to get in and it’s a good introduction to exploring Vietnam’s war-torn past.

military museum vietnam - travel treasures

Make a quick stop at the Temple of Literature. Founded in 1070, this was Vietnam’s first university where the rich and incredibly brainy attended. Even if you’re not into the history behind it, it’s handcrafted architecture is pretty breathtaking. If you aren’t templed out, definitely head over to the ‘old section’ of the city and stop by Bach Ma Temple. The oldest temple in the city. If you only have time for one temple to see in Hanoi, make it this one.

Temple of Literature vietnam - travel treasures

Hoan Kiem Lake, also known as the ‘Lake of the Restored Sword‘. The legend goes that once the Emperor defeated the Chinese from Hanoi, a giant golden turtle grabbed the sword and disappeared into the lake to restore it to its rightful owners. All traffic here is banned between 7 pm to midnight every Friday to Sunday, turning this beautiful place into a meeting spot with friends around an almost funfair vibe. If you’re an early bird and like morning exercise, 6 am Thai Chi takes place every morning.

Hoan Kiem Lake vietnam - travel treasures