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Hanoi's Best Revolutionary Sites

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As the capital of North Vietnam during the years of war with the American-supported South, and the subsequent seat of power in the reunified country, Hanoi's status as a stronghold of Communism is inarguable. Even today, the presence of slick bars, boutiques, and even Bentleys can't disguise the symbols of Vietnam's revolutionary past.
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2 Hùng Vương, Điện Bàn, Ba Đình, Hà Nội 100000, Vietnam
Though the venerable Vietnamese leader asked to be cremated, Ho Chi Minh's remains now reside embalmed inside this imposing, pillared, gray-granite memorial. His resting place is hugely popular, drawing Vietnamese in droves as they pay their...
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Hồ B52, Ngọc Hà, Ba Đình, Hà Nội, Vietnam
It took ages to find the (much acclaimed at AFAR) sunken B-52 bomber in Ha Noi. The twisted pile of metal hardly resembles a plane anymore, but it was interesting nonetheless. Even more fascinating to me was the 'lake' it had fallen into. This...
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1 phố Hoả Lò, Trần Hưng Đạo, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội 100000, Vietnam
Perhaps the most relevant museum in Hanoi for American visitors is the Hoa Lo Prison Museum, popularly known as the "Hanoi Hilton” during the Vietnam War. Its exterior is a strangely cheery yellow, and it was part of a complex built by the...
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15 Phố Ngô Quyền, Tràng Tiền, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội 010000, Vietnam
A 1901 landmark in Hanoi’s French Quarter, the colonial-style Sofitel Legend Metropole has long been a celebrity magnet, welcoming presidents, ambassadors, and literary and cinematic royalty into its marble lobby. Somerset Maugham...
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If you are interested in a balanced view of Vietnam's revolutionary struggles over the past couple of centuries, don't expect much from this classically one-sided museum. However, the random documents and dioramas are sprinkled in with a few...
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Yên Nghĩa, Hà Đông, Hanoi, Vietnam
Dedicated to the famous supply route that extended from northern Vietnam all the way down the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City, this museum is ramshackle but informative in parts. Some powerful photography and information on the trail's construction...
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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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28A Điện Biên Phủ, Điện Bàn, Ba Đình, Hà Nội 100000, Vietnam
There are not all that many Communist statues in Hanoi, surprisingly. One that remains is of Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin, which stands near the Vietnamese Army Museum in Dien Bien Phu Street. In a weird twist of fate, the playground in which it...
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28A Điện Biên Phủ, Điện Bàn, Ba Đình, Hà Nội, Vietnam
One of the main military lessons of the 20th century for potential foes of Vietnam was that the country wouldn't take any invasion lying down. First the French then the Americans and finally the Chinese were out-thought and out-fought by the...
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19 Ngách 158/19 Ngọc Hà, Đội Cấn, Ba Đình, Hà Nội 100000, Vietnam
Vietnam's museums are often confusing and lacking in information. This one is no exception to the rule, but its conceptual art displays built to symbolise the onward march of socialism are worth a couple of hours of anyone's time. Photo by Yuxuan...