Hanoi Lifestyle & Culture

While the lifestyle of many Hanoians is increasingly sophisticated, with a growing number shopping malls and cosmopolitan restaurants popping up across the city, Hanoi hasn’t totally lost its old-world charm and traditions.

One of south-east Asia’s fastest-growing economies and a one-party Communist state, a great way to learn more about Vietnam is a trip to the National Museum of Vietnamese History. Relics from Dong Son culture (3rd century BC to 3rd century AD), the Khmer and Champa kingdoms and imperial Vietnam all feature, as well as exhibits regarding the more recent struggle for independence from the French and the story of the Communist Party.

Meanwhile, the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, found in Hanoi’s suburbs, offers an unique opportunity see interesting artefacts and everyday objects gathered from across the nation and is a must-see for anyone interested in Vietnam’s minorities.

A trip to Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum offers insight into the deep respect many Vietnamese still have for their former leader, who is honoured for his communist ideology and as the liberator of the Vietnamese people from colonialism. It’s worth noting that you must dress and behave modestly when visiting this marble monument, with shorts, vests, talking and putting your hands in your pockets all forbidden.