Tết ([tet˧˥] or [tɜːt˧˥]), or Vietnamese New Year, is the most important celebration in Vietnamese culture. The word is a shortened form of Tết Nguyên Đán (Nôm: 節元旦), which is Sino-Vietnamese for “Feast of the First Morning of the First Day”. Tết celebrates the arrival of spring based on the Vietnamese variation of the Chinese lunisolar calendar, which usually has the date falling between the months of January or February Volunteers will make traditional Chung cakes and prepare special performances and gifts for the disadvantaged people.
Volunteers will stay at the dormitory with basic conditions. Breakfast and dinner will be provided at accommodation, only lunch at local restaurant near project site.
You will have free time during the evenings and the weekends to spend as you please. During those free moments you can travel to discover further wonders of Vietnam! Located in northern Vietnam, Hanoi is the capital of the country with a population of seven million. The city is a thousand years old and follows the banks of the Red River. Hanoi counts many colorful districts including the French styled Old Quarter near Hoan Kiem lake, the modern New Quarter, and the more touristy Tay Ho area…
You will never be stuck for something to do in Hanoi, where ancient and proudly preserved Vietnamese culture is felt most keenly by visitors, and progress wrestles with tradition in different districts of the city. Hanoi is actually over 1000 years old so the wealth of history here is mind-boggling: temples, ancient citadels, unique theatre and stunning wilderness just outside the city all offer fun-filled days in Vietnam’s capital. Make sure to visit as many of these attractions in Hanoi as possible because they all offer entertainment, beauty and education at different turns
1 Imperial Citadel of Thang Long
The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, is an intriguing relic of Vietnam’s history and, signifying its historical and cultural importance, was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010. Also known as the Hanoi Citadel, many artifacts and items dating back to between the 6th and 20th centuries were excavated in 2004, including foundations of old palaces, ancient roads, ponds, and wells. On top of these discoveries, archaeologists also found bronze coins, ceramics, and pottery from China and many places in Asia, all of which demonstrate a close trading relationship in the area. Visitors should head for the display room that features interesting excavated items and mock-ups of the citadel itself.
The ancient site was the political center of the country for 13 consecutive centuries and served as the capital of Vietnam for eight centuries. A notable attraction in the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long was the Hanoi Flag Tower, a renovated 40-meter-tall stone fortress offering expansive views of Ba Dinh Square and Hanoi City Centre. Located in Ba Dinh District, entrance to the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long is priced at VND 30,000 and it is open from 08:00 to 17:00 every day except Monday. This prominent site is also within a 15-minute walk from attractions such as Quan Thanh Temple, Vietnam Military History Museum and Cua Bac Church.
2. Water Puppet Theatre
The ancient art form of water puppetry has a long association with Hanoi and there are several theatres where guests can enjoy this uniquely Vietnamese take on Asia’s puppet tradition. The original – and widely regarded as the best – theatre in town is the Thang Long Puppet Theatre. Puppets dance and glide elegantly over the liquid stage, controlled by a whole troupe of puppet masters hiding behind a screen. Most shows also feature the famous Legend of the Restored Sword of King Le which tells the tale of Hoan Kiem Lake and the giant tortoise.
Performances are accompanied by a Vietnamese orchestra playing traditional music using drums, wooden bells, horns, bamboo flutes, and cymbals. There are also authentic Vietnamese operatic songs telling the story that is being acted out by the puppets. Most of the shows recount Vietnamese folk tales and legends with topics including the celebration of the rice harvest depicted in a humorous fashion.
Shows at this modern theatre are performed in a pool of water as the stage for the puppets. The puppets are controlled by no more than eight puppeteers hiding behind a bamboo screen. The renowned Thang Long Water Puppet show is considered to be one of the cultural highlights of Northern Vietnam dating back to a tradition that first started in the Red River Delta. Today’s performances usually include a number of short sketches rather than one long story, taking the audience on a journey of ancient village life, agricultural harvests and dances of mythical creatures. Most shows also feature the famous Legend of the Restored Sword of King Le which tells the tale of Hoan Kiem Lake and the giant tortoise. The live music plays an integral part of the show with singers often shouting words of encouragement to the puppets.
3.Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
Ho Chi Minh has left an indelible mark on Vietnamese history and he is revered in Hanoi as the country’s greatest leader. Nicknamed ‘Uncle Ho’ by locals, his preserved body is now laid to rest in a glass case in the Ba Dinh area of Hanoi. This is more than a tourist attraction, it is a part of living history and a visit here stays long in the memory. The somber building was modeled after Lenin’s mausoleum in Moscow.
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Ba Dinh Square is one of the most visited attractions in Hanoi. It is the final resting place of Ho Chi Minh, the most iconic and popular leader of Vietnam, known to his people as ‘Uncle Ho’. His body is preserved here in a glass case at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in central Hanoi (albeit against his wishes). For visitors, a trip to Uncle Ho’s final resting place can be an extraordinary experience as it is not just an average attraction; it’s a part of a unique history.
4. Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son
Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi attracts tourists and locals looking to get away from the noise and frenetic pace of the city. Peaceful and quiet, the lake surrounds Ngoc Son Temple, a pagoda sitting in the center on a small island. The temple attracts many visitors and was built in commemoration of the 13th-century military leader Tran Hung Dao who was renowned for his bravery in the battle against the Yuan Dynasty. Homage is also paid to scholar Van Xuong and Confucian master Nguyen Van Sieu. The island on which the temple is built is known as Jade Island and is accessible by the iconic Huc Bridge or Rising Sun Bridge which is a charming scarlet-painted wooden bridge of classical Vietnamese design. The pagoda is also guarded by two towering posts decorated with Chinese writing. The lake and temple are probably the most famous places in Hanoi city in which to rest and enjoy the view and are a great place to sit back and watch the locals.
5. Dong Xuan Market
Established in 1889, Dong Xuan Market is housed within a four-story Soviet-style building on the northern edge of Hanoi Old Quarter. It’s also known as Hanoi’s largest indoor market, offering a wide range of goods such as fresh produce, souvenirs, accessories, and clothing, as well as electronic and household appliances. Similar to most markets in Southeast Asia, Dong Xuan Market has a bustling wet market section on the ground floor, where locals shop for seafood, meat, and vegetables while the back section sells an array of pets (cats, dogs, and fish) and fresh flowers from all across Vietnam. If you’re looking to shop for souvenirs, head to the upper levels, where you can find numerous stalls selling tee shirts, fabrics, school uniforms, handbags, handicrafts, all of which are sold at wholesale prices
6.Hanoi Old Quarter
Hanoi Old Quarter is a fascinating area of the city where visitors can enjoy many fine examples of colonial architecture packed along narrow streets. Endless packs of scooters, motorbikes, bicycles, and cars weave around traders selling fruit and souvenirs and narrow shop houses sell delicious Vietnamese food for pennies. The Old Quarter brings to life what many people imagine Hanoi to be, and exploring this area on foot is highly recommended for all visitors to Vietnam’s capital city.
7. Temple of Literature
The Temple of Literature is a charming temple complex in the center of Hanoi that was originally built to be a center of learning dedicated to the Chinese sage and scholar Confucius. Over the proceeding 1000 years, many more buildings have been added and beautified o that now this large area is filled with ornate pavilions, shrines, and a rich garden. It has become a rite of passage for graduating doctors to visit The Temple of Literature and the whole place is steeped in Vietnamese history.
The Temple of Literature is often cited as one of Hanoi’s most picturesque tourist attractions. Originally built as a university in 1070 dedicated to Confucius, scholars, and sages, the building is extremely well preserved and is a superb example of traditional-style Vietnamese architecture. This ancient site offers a lake of literature, the Well of Heavenly Clarity, turtle steles, pavilions, courtyards and passageways that were once used by royalty. Visiting the Temple of Literature you will discover historic buildings from the Ly and Tran dynasties in a revered place that has seen thousands of doctors’ graduate in what has now become a memorial to education and literature. Originally the university only accepted aristocrats, the elite and royal family members as students before eventually opening its doors to brighter ‘commoners’. Successful graduates had their names engraved on a stone stele which can be found on top of the stone turtles.
8. One Pillar Pagoda
The One Pillar Pagoda was originally built by the Emperor Ly Thai Tong who ruled from 1028 to 1054. According to the annals, the heirless emperor dreamed that he met Quan The Am Bo Tat, the Goddess of Mercy, who handed him a male child. Ly Thai Tong then married a young peasant girl and had a son and heir by her. As a way of expressing his gratitude for this event, he constructed a pagoda here in 1049.
Built of wood on a single stone pillar, the pagoda is designed to resemble a lotus blossom, the symbol of purity, rising out of a sea of sorrow. One of the last acts of the French before quitting Hanoi in 1954 was to destroy the original One Pillar Pagoda; the structure was rebuilt by the new government.
And some other destinations such as Bat Trang ceramic village, Ha Dong Silk village, the West Lake, and Quan Thanh temple, …
From Hanoi, it is very easy to book a bus to visit much sightseeing in the North of Vietnam such as Sapa, Ha Long Bay, Cat Ba island, Ninh Binh, Hoa Binh,…
* You will have free time during the evenings and the weekends to spend as you please. During those free moments, you can travel to discover further wonders of Vietnam.
SJ Vietnam is an international youth NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) that promotes values of solidarity, peace and tolerance through youth citizenship projects to improve society during and after the voluntarism. It was set up in 2004 by international and Vietnamese young volunteers. SJ Vietnam is an independent Vietnamese branch of SJ France, a full member of CCVIS (UNESCO) and NVDA, a partner of YAP and Alliance. SJ Vietnam is an independent, non-political and non-religious organization open to everybody without any distinction of nationality, race, education or sex.
Computer equipment and pictures of your country, toys and activities materials for the children if you have.