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Hanoi for Culture Mavens

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Hanoians pride themselves on a refined, intellectual approach to life. In contrast to their glittery southern rivals in Ho Chi Minh City, denizens of the 1,000-year-old northern metropolis are likely to be holed up in a gallery or art house cinema, alternatively snapping photographs as the early-morning mist clears over Hoan Kiem Lake.
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14 Phan Huy Ích, Nguyễn Trung Trực, Ba Đình, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Part exhibition space, part cafe-bar, this gallery is housed in a gorgeous early 20th century villa and is one of the main hubs for Hanoi's small but robust art scene. Works by emerging and established Vietnamese artists are shown throughout the...
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31 Hàng Gà, Hàng Bồ, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
"One should really use the camera as though tomorrow you’d be stricken blind" Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi, Vietnam February 2012 As a photographer, I love taking pictures of others who take pictures. There is something very special in being in the...
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Whether you agree with its sentiments or not, there's no denying the visual aesthetic of Communist propaganda art. Vietnam's is particularly attractive, with a strong feminine touch coming through in many of the designs. Reproductions are sold in...
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Hồng Hà, Ấp Thạnh Vinh, Ba Đình, Ấp Thạnh Vinh Ba Đình Hà Nội, Vietnam
Begun in 2007 as the brainchild of Nguyen Thu Thuy, who wanted to help create something truly memorable for Hanoi's millennial celebrations in 2009-2010, this incredible mural lines the famous "dyke" road that separates the bulk of the city from...
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22 Hai Bà Trưng Tràng Tiền Hoàn Kiếm Tràng Tiền Hoàn Kiếm Hà Nội, Tràng Tiền, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Hanoi's multiplexes actually have a reasonable range of the latest movie releases, but if it is something more left-field you are looking for, this is the place. Run by film buff volunteers, the 89-seat theater screens everything from European...
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Số 01 Tràng Tiền, Phan Chu Trinh, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội 100000, Vietnam
Hanoi Opera House is one of the grandest buildings in Indochina and its status is reflected in the cultural manna it continues to offer visitors. The beautifully restored building hosts regular classical music concerts, operas, and ballets plus a...
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51A Đường Thành, Cửa Đông, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Hat tuong can best be described as a uniquely Vietnamese variation on Chinese opera. The elaborate costumes and highly stylized and emotive acting found in Chinese opera are present and correct, but themes touch on aspects of Vietnam's traditions...
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30 Hàng Bông, Hàng Gai, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Russian art expert Natasha Kraevskaia has been a leading advocate of art in Vietnam since arriving in Hanoi in the 1980s. At Salon Natasha, the artist's Old Quarter home, she continues to hold fort on the country's art scene as well as hosting...
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31 Văn Miếu, Đống Đa, Hà Nội, Vietnam
For an organized introduction to Hanoi's thriving contemporary arts scene, book a tour through bespoke tour operator Backyard Travel with art scene "It Girl" Do Tuong Linh. During a day out with Linh, guests will visit the homes of renowned local...