Things to do in Hanoi, Vietnam

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If you are visiting Vietnam, then you should miss taking a tour of the capital city of Hanoi. I loved this city that had a great mix of ancient and modern Vietnam. It is a vibrant and happening city that has plenty of mouthwatering restaurants, busy city streets, and great sights and sounds.

Places of Interest

 

  • Hoan Kiem Lake

 

This is a popular landmark of the city. There is a small island on the other side of the lake that can be reached on the red bridge. I was told about this bridge by an old friend who works for a Schenectady roofing contractor back in New York.  He mentioned it as he is from the area.  I loved the visit to the Ngoc Son Tempe on the island that is dedicated to three great leaders of Vietnamese history: Van Xuong, Tran Huang Dao, and La To.

 

  • Vietnam Museum of Ethnology

 

I love to get deep insights into the art and culture of the cities that I visit and hence I loved every minute that I spent in this museum. It housed the national treasures and ancient collections that showcased the diverse Vietnamese culture. I got to see their traditional dresses, metalwork, wood carving, etc.

 

  • Water Puppet Theatre

 

The water puppet shows are very popular in Vietnam and is an ancient art form. There are regular shows held at this center and most of them are based on the local legends. 

 

  • Imperial Citadel

 

This is a very popular place during the Vietnam War and also has a bunker where the military maps are displayed. It was a very popular military power area then and now recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 

  • Temple of Literature

 

This is a Confucian temple that was built in the 11th century as a university. It pays tribute to the popular Vietnamese scholars. The series of pillars of this temple has the names of the students etched. The pagoda, where Confucius statue is situated, is very attractive.

What to do when You are in San Jose, Costa Rica?

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San Jose is the capital city of Costa Rica. It is a city filled with rich culture and history and also has an urban touch and feel to it, thanks to the wide array of bars and restaurants, attractive beaches, tropical rainforests, and modern-day buildings. The following are the major attractions that San Jose offers for its tourists.

National Museum

I like to know more about the art, culture, and heritage of the place I visit. My visit this museum was worthwhile as I got to know the history of Costa Rica. You can find pottery leftovers, gold and jade jewelry, engraved sculptures, and stone spheres. It is located in Bellavista Fort.  

National Theater

This is another historical site that I did not want to miss. It has attractive looking and wonderfully decorated rooms along with a great stage where performances happen even now. There is French and Italian touch seen in the ceiling and wall murals. There is a lot of European influence in the architecture of this theater.

Pre-Columbian Gold Museum

This is an old museum that has a collection of over 1600 artifacts. It is a very good museum to learn the details of the history of the precious yellow metal. This small building is seen under the Plaza de la Cultura and will surely impress everyone who loves gold. I had a whale of a time here.

Metropolitan Church

This is a large church located in the heart of the city. I was attracted by the stained glass windows and the awesome wood carvings that this church possesses. There is also a 17th-century statue of Jesus Christ. This is a must-visit for all religious and non-religious tourists.

Orosi River Valley

To get away from the busy city life, you can always visit this valley. It is home to a wide range of activities for the adventure enthusiasts. You can go hiking trails, white water rafting, and boat rides in this valley.

Roatan: Enjoy Some Non-Touristy Things

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Roatan is a captivating destination for all types of travelers. It is the melting point for people and culture that has settled here. Many travelers frequent the island throughout the year. However, if you are like me and to stray away from touristy things doing something unique, here are a few things that you need to check out.

Go Swimming in Half Moon Bay Beach

I planned to spend one day here but I realized that it isn’t enough. The powdery sand and the blue water against the sky is stunning and you will be unsaturated if you visit just for a day. The cool breeze and water are inviting. This beach is as good as some of the best beaches to be found in the world. One of the best things that you can do here is taking a swim. You are surely going to have an amazing time.

Have Fun Ziplining at Gumbalimba Park

Want to get a view of the entire park? Try zipping. There are several tops which made my experience even more enthralling. Check out some unique fauna of the island including monkeys and macaws. Don’t miss out on this when you are visiting Roatan.

Go Parasailing on the Bay

I went high up in the air in order to view the beauty of Roatan. This will show you the raw beauty of the island. Make sure that you have your camera out and capture some stunning photos to take back home. However, be careful to hang on tightly to the gear. It is one of the best ways to experience the beauty of the island.

Go Jet Skiing

I was a first-timer but that is not a problem when you are going jet skiing in Roatan. Ride the sea waves and have a thrilling time. Feeling the blue water against the body is one of the things I experienced here.

Iquitos – The City That Hastens

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Iquitos is the most crowded city I have seen throughout Peru, it has got bustling markets and streets for local shopping. The city is set, surrounded by the jungles of Amazon and is also based on the Amazon River banks. There are several boat trips offered for you to take a quick ride around the city. The city is a fine blend of new and old together. It persists modernization but it also keeps close its old traditions that have been followed for a very long time. The place is practically unreachable if you are planning to walk through it. The crowd will get you stuck, instead of bike tours. Here are some of my must visits.

Quistococha

If you are in search of some leisure time you want to spend to just relax and calm your body down, this is the place you definitely want to try out.  The beach is located at the coastlines and boundaries of the city and is filled in with white sands. The houses various animals in the natural habitat protected reserve just about a kilometer Outdoor from the beach. The beach opposite to the city is not very bustling, in weekdays all you can find here are tourists and nothing else. Some weekends marks locals coming, or else the beach is very silent and solemn. You can walk alongside the waters, or have coconut water. And if you get lucky you might be able to spot pink Amazon dolphin.

Indian Markets

This is one of the largest and bustled markets around Iquitos and if you wish to shop souvenirs for your loved ones, this is exactly where you should be head to and by everything you might require. The market is full of local and ancient artifacts of Peru, you can even find a miniature of Machu Picchu and that looks very beautiful. You can find spices that are made in Iquitos itself. You will find the authentic bora drums here and don’t forget to bargain, they tend to charge more to the tourists.

Interlaken: Exploring the Best of Switzerland Scenery

Interlaken is the place to explore the natural beauty of Central Switzerland. This city is filled with tourist attractions. There are a plethora of things that you can do and see in here. It offers an endless variety of walk, outdoor excursion, and climbs. If you are planning on visiting Interlaken anytime soon, here are a few things that you should do.

Harder Klum

To get a view of the entire city and the lakes, visit Harder Klum. This is a funicular climb beside Alpine Wildlife Park and beyond the bridge on top of the Aare River. The restaurant at the top offers a panoramic view. I also caught sight of the Jungfrau area. I descended along the forest path through the Hardermannli lookout path. Drop in at the Wildlife Park to catch a glimpse of ibexes and marmots.

Hohematte Park

This park covers an area of 14 hectares and is situated at the heart of the city. It is an open space and this is a great example of outstanding town planning. Along with its side, you will find Kursaal along with a café and theatre. This park is also a landing spot for the hand gliders. If you are visiting during the winter, you will find the ice-skating ring which is suitable for beginners.

Lake Brienz

This is to be found on the eastern part of Interlaken. It has a backdrop of beautiful mountains. I found steamboats chugging along the lake. Now, there is an armada of 5 vessels from the first half of the twentieth century. Giessbach is a destination around the lake that you need to check out.

Lake Thun

I also made a visit to Lake Thun. The prevailing breeze makes it perfect for the sailors and the windsurfers. However, I found the shore to be covered in wood. During the summertime, you will be able to use the woodland that is dotted with bathing spaces.

Honfleur – Enjoy a Family Holiday by This Harbor Town

This is French town with a Norman history and much of that can still be seen in landmarks, culture, and traditions in this harbor city. What I came across here was a picturesque harbor that acted as a strategic inner port in yesteryears. Goods coming in from England were shipped here from Rouen. It was also a site of war, especially the hundred years’ war that went on between France and England.

If you come here, stay for a day and soak in the historic vibes of the town. As I explored the harbor area and chatted with the locals, I got to know that port trade also included ships coming in from Portugal, West Indies, and Canada; hence, there was an influx of foreigners through this region.

Vieux-Bassin

This is an old harbor area where I enjoyed looking at the townhouses that date back to the 16th to 18th century. If you like to explore art and architecture like I do you will find examples of fine artists like Eugène Boudin and Claude Monet.

St. Catherine’s Church

This can be your next stop. What I found interesting here was that it has a structure of vaulted timber that was put up by shipbuilders and it dates back to the 15th century.

Musee Eugene-Boudin

Works of this painter of the 19th century can be found here, a former convent. I also enjoyed exploring works of other Impressionist artists here. There are also multimedia exhibits here which you and your family will find interesting.

NaturoSpace

If you have come here on vacation with your children this is a must visit. I discovered it to be a large greenhouse that has a botanical garden, rare birds and tropical butterflies. You can also visit a waterfront park nearby, called the Jardin des Personnalites. Here I also found a city beach area to enjoy, locally known as Plague du Butin.

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