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Hanoi attractions and cuisine not to be missed during 31st SEA Games

Wednesday, May 18, 2022, 12:13 GMT+7
Hanoi attractions and cuisine not to be missed during 31st SEA Games
A woman takes a picture of her friend while visiting Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Nguyen Hien / Tuoi Tre

As one of the 12 destinations chosen to host the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, Hanoi will provide tourists with great experiences thanks to its rich culture and delicacies.

The 31st SEA Games take place in the Vietnamese capital and 11 neighboring provinces and cities from May 12 to 23.

Since the city hosts several sports, such as diving, swimming, e-sports, wushu, bowling, shooting, archery, and more, people have come there in droves this month.

Here are the best choices while visiting Hanoi:

Hoan Kiem Lake

Hoan Kiem Lake is the most well-known tourist attraction in Hanoi, and it is a must-see for all visitors. The lake is tied with the legends of Kim Qui (the Golden Turtle God) and Le Loi, Vietnam's emperor and the founder of the Later Le Dynasty (1428-1789).

According to mythology, Le Loi used a magical sword Kim Qui provided for him to fight the invading Chinese forces.

The Turtle Tower in the middle of Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi, Vietnam is seen in this photo. Photo: Nguyen Hien / Tuoi Tre

The Turtle Tower in the middle of Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Nguyen Hien / Tuoi Tre

One day, not long after the Chinese had accepted Vietnam’s independence, Le Loi was out boating on a lake in Hanoi. Suddenly a large turtle surfaced, took the sword from him, and dove back into the depths. Efforts were made to find both the sword and the turtle, but there was no success.

Le Loi then acknowledged the sword had gone back to the Golden Turtle God and renamed the lake Hoan Kiem Lake (Lake of the Returned Sword).

At the same time, Hoan Kiem Lake is ranked first in the 31st SEA Games travel guidebook's list of fascinating suggestions. From Hoan Kiem Lake, travelers have more alternatives for exploring the streets and Vietnamese cuisine in the Hanoi Old Quarter neighborhood.

Hanoi St. Joseph's Cathedral

St. Joseph's Cathedral, locally referred to as the 'Big Church,' features European Medieval Gothic architecture styled after Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and is a popular tourist site.

A foreign visitor poses for a photo against the background of the Hanoi St. Joseph's Cathedral. Photo: Ha Quan / Tuoi Tre

A foreign visitor poses for a photo against the background of the Hanoi St. Joseph's Cathedral. Photo: Ha Quan / Tuoi Tre

With its gorgeous Western-style backdrop in the middle of Hanoi, this location is also a favorite for photo op seekers.

Culture-Tourism Village for Vietnamese Ethnic Groups

The Culture-Tourism Village for Vietnamese Ethnic Groups in Hanoi's Son Tay District, about an hour from the city center, aims to be an appealing destination for individuals interested in ethnic culture.

An ethnic young woman poses for a photo at the Culture-Tourism Village for Vietnamese Ethnic Groups in Son Tay District, Hanoi. Photo: Ha Quan / Tuoi Tre

A young ethnic woman poses for a photo at the Culture-Tourism Village for Vietnamese Ethnic Groups in Son Tay District, Hanoi. Photo: Ha Quan / Tuoi Tre

Visitors will be able to sample the cuisine of many areas and ethnic groups, as well as dress up in the traditional clothes of each minority.

Duong Lam Village

Duong Lam Village, located 50 kilometers west of downtown Hanoi, has been designated as a national relic site since 2005, with many houses dating back hundreds of years.

Mong Phu communal temple, located in the center of Duong Lam Village, is seen in the photo. Nguyen Hien / Tuoi Tre

The Mong Phu communal temple, located in the center of Duong Lam Village in Hanoi. Photo: Nguyen Hien / Tuoi Tre

This is one of the few communities in northern Vietnam that still have the typical features and bold colors of the countryside, with old buildings and a system of communal temples and pagodas.

Big clay pots of tuong ban is being exposed to the sun at Duong Lam Village. Photo: Nguyen Hien / Tuoi Tre

Big clay pots of 'tuong ban' is being exposed to the sun at Duong Lam Village. Photo: Nguyen Hien / Tuoi Tre

In Duong Lam Village, visitors can learn how to make 'tuong ban,' a fermented soybean condiment.

Ba Vi National Park

Ba Vi National Park, which is only around 20 minutes from Duong Lam Village, is a wonderful natural attraction for tourists in Hanoi.

A vistor poses for a photo at Ba Vi National Park, Hanoi. Photo: Nguyen Hien / Tuoi Tre

A vistor poses for a photo at Ba Vi National Park, Hanoi. Photo: Nguyen Hien / Tuoi Tre

During the hot summer days, this deserves to be referred to as a 'paradise' since as soon as people enter this national park, they will encounter a completely different atmosphere, with the same sense of relaxation as they are immersed in nature.

Hang Ma Street

Two young women check for their photos at the Hang Ma Street in Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi. Photo: Ha Quan / Tuoi Tre

Two young women check for their photos at Hang Ma Street in Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi. Photo: Ha Quan / Tuoi Tre

Hang Ma Street, which has many boutiques selling decorations, is a popular area for Instagram models to snap pictures. Aside from the spectacular scenery, tourists may also purchase inexpensive souvenirs.

Ta Hien ‘backpacker’ street

People are seen drinking beer on Ta Hien Street in Hanoi. Photo: Ha Quan / Tuoi Tre

People are seen drinking beer on Ta Hien Street in Hanoi. Photo: Ha Quan / Tuoi Tre

Ta Hien, located in the Old Quarter of Hanoi, is the most bustling area after sunset. During the 31st SEA Games, tasting fried fermented pork rolls, shredded dried cuttlefish, and a couple glasses of Hanoi beer will undoubtedly be an amazing experience for visitors to the city.

In addition to the must-see attractions, here are some foods not to be missed in Hanoi:

Banh ran bi (Deep-fried glutinous rice ball)

The outside of banh ran bi is created from sticky rice flour and topped in sugar and sesame seeds. It is filled with sweetened mung bean paste.

A woman fries banh ran bi at a store on Hang Chieu Street, Hanoi. Photo: Nguyen Hien / Tuoi Tre

A woman fries 'banh ran bi' at a store on Hang Chieu Street, Hanoi. Photo: Nguyen Hien / Tuoi Tre

This delicacy is most commonly seen on Hang Chieu Street. Visitors can also find banh ran bi from street vendors on Hanoi's streets.

A package of banh ran bi is seen in the photo. Photo: Nguyen Hien / Tuoi Tre

A package of 'banh ran bi.' Photo: Nguyen Hien / Tuoi Tre

The delectable banh ran bi created on the spot will leave diners with a lasting impression. Each of these snacks costs about VND5,000 (US$0.22).

Vietnamese sweet dessert

A sweet dessert vendor shop near Hang Da market, Hanoi. Photo: Nguyen Hien / Tuoi Tre

A sweet dessert vendor shop near Hang Da Market, Hanoi. Photo: Nguyen Hien / Tuoi Tre

Visitors may readily find banh troi (Vietnamese floating rice balls), banh troi tau (Chinese floating rice balls), che hoa cau (sweet mung bean pudding with coconut sauce), and other traditional Vietnamese desserts at vendor shops throughout Hanoi.

Vietnamese vermicelli noodle soup

A Vietnamese vermicelli noodle soup vendor at an alley in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Nguyen Hien / Tuoi Tre

A Vietnamese vermicelli noodle soup vendor in an alley in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Nguyen Hien / Tuoi Tre

In the morning, diners should not miss the iconic bowls of bun moc (Vietnamese pork ball vermicelli noodle soup) and bun suon (Vietnamese spare rib vermicelli noodle soup) in the alleyways of the Hanoi Old Quarter.

Vietnamese grilled pork skewer

Thit xien nuong (grilled pork skewer) is a typical vendor snack among Hanoi's youngsters.

Grilled pork skewers are being prepared at a food vendor in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Nguyen Hien / Tuoi Tre

'Thit xien nuong' (grilled pork skewers) are being prepared at a food vendor in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Nguyen Hien / Tuoi Tre

Visitors to Hanoi can enjoy this tasty delicacy at any market or park. Each tasty grilled pork skewer topped with chili and ketchup costs VND6,000-8,000 ($0.26-0.35).

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Linh To - Nguyen Hien / Tuoi Tre News

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