My 5: Vietnamese Women’s Museum, Hanoi.

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1. Vietnamese Women’s Museum, April 2018. Hanoi boasts a wonderful collection of museums, so many in fact that this modern building in the old quarter’s Ly Thuong Kiet Street often gets overlooked. Run by The Women’s Union of Vietnam, the museum showcases the many roles of women in Vietnamese society and culture.  

2. Vietnamese Women’s Museum, April 2018. Check out the free photo exhibition in the outer courtyard, which features some amazing shots of women all around the country celebrating the end of The Vietnam War. To get your ticket for the museum itself, head into this large reception area. There are free lockers to store bags and valuables.

3. Vietnamese Women’s Museum, April 2018. The museum’s exhibitions are spread out across three floors, detailing women’s roles in family, history and fashion. Information comes in English and French.

4. Vietnamese Women’s Museum, April 2018. By far the most interesting part of the experience was reading about the individual stories from some of Vietnam’s most heroic ladies. There’s even a little wall of fame and video in tribute to those who made huge sacrifices during Vietnam’s long fight for independence.

5. Vietnamese Women’s Museum, April 2018. There are also some excellent propaganda prints on display! The museum is open daily (except Mondays) from 08:00-16:30. Entrance tickets are priced at 30.000 VND (£0.95/€1.10/$1.30).

For more on Vietnam’s amazing capital, have a look at more My 5s from around Hanoi

Like these? Then why not have a leaf through my articles from across Vietnam.

 

My 5: Old Propaganda Posters & Paintings, Hanoi.

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1. Old Propaganda Posters & Paintings, April 2018. I was on my way to the Vietnamese Women’s Museum when I happened across this famous Hanoi store specializing in Vietnam War era artwork. I’d seen quite a few shops pedaling communist propaganda prints, but it was immediately clear to me that this place, with its immense collection of works in all shapes and sizes, was the real deal.

2. Old Propaganda Posters & Paintings, April 2018. The store is managed by a Hanoi-born mother (Tuyet) and daughter (Kim Chi) who’ve been running the business for over seventeen years! I was surprised to learn that they had no online presence at all and according to Kim Chi this was a tactical decision. “We people to come to Hanoi” she smiled, “come to the store and meet us and learn about Vietnam history!”

3. Old Propaganda Posters & Paintings, April 2018. While I may not agree with all of the messages depicted in the posters, it’s almost impossible to deny the aesthetic beauty with their angular Soviet style and striking color schemes. The more I flipped through the hundreds of rice paper prints stacked up on the main table, the more fascinated I became.

4. Old Propaganda Posters & Paintings, April 2018. Richard Nixon features a lot, in various grotesque guises. I must have leafed through hundreds during the half an hour I spent in there and honestly I could have picked up a dozen or so to take home.

5. Old Propaganda Posters & Paintings, April 2018. In the end I decided to be sensible and purchase my favorite three. While I’ve decided not to reveal how much I paid for my swag (out of respect for Tuyet & Kim Chi), I will advise you to negotiate as you may be surprised by what you can get! The store, which is just steps away from St. Joseph’s Cathedral, is open daily from 08:00-22:00.

For more on Vietnam’s amazing capital, have a look at more My 5s from around Hanoi

Like these? Then why not have a leaf through my articles from across Vietnam.

My 5: Nha Hang Ngon Restaurant, Hanoi.

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1. Nha Hang Ngon Restaurant, April 2018. Hanoi is a wonderful place for foodies! Local specialties like Bun Cha and Banh Mi are a rite of passage, while there are also enough international options to cater to any craving; from Indian, French, Greek and Mexican, to American BBQ, English breakfasts, Chinese, Arabic and a thriving Sushi scene. Some of Hanoi’s most popular eateries are housed in gorgeous old French villas like this one on Tran Hung Dao.

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My 5: Ngoc Son Temple, Hanoi.

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1. Ngoc Son Temple, April 2018. Hanoi’s most visited temple (translated into English as Temple of the Jade Mountain) sits on a tiny islet running off the northern part of the beautiful Hoan Kiem Lake. The temple is dedicated to a trio of famous Vietnamese men: General Tran Hung Dao (who kicked the Mongols’ asses in back in the 13th century), Lao To, the patron saint of physicians and the renowned scholar Van Xuong.

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My 5: Ta Hien Street, Hanoi.

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1. Ta Hien Street, April 2018. Hanoi’s vibrant, colorful, bewildering old quarter is a real assault on the senses, even for a grizzled Asian traveller like myself. Dating back to the 13th century, this disorienting trade street will keep you on your toes as street hawkers hit you from all sides, tempting you into their restaurants, doing their utmost to flog you a straw hat, promising to relieve knotted muscles in side-alley massage parlors. Ta Hien Street is a flag-waver of the Old Quarter vibe; a 266-meter stretch packed with so much teeming humanity you’ll hardly know where to look. Especially at night when there’s barely a free inch of space to be had.  Continue Reading »