The past 2 days, we have been fortunate to have stayed in the famous Sofitel Metropole Hotel here in Hanoi. It has an enormous history over the past ~110 years and it is the choice of many guests…from Presidents from many countries to people like Brad Pitt and Mark Zuckerberg. Excellent atmosphere, décor, restaurants, shopping and service.
You can even be tempted to check out your favorite watch store or try on a rare Panerai model. http://www.sofitel.com/gb/hotel-1555-sofitel-legend-metropole-hanoi/index.shtml
It almost felt like visiting Red Square in Moscow.
It was cool that we got to see a changing of the guard. But we did not go inside or visit the Ho Chi Minh museum. I am not sure if they would let us in without a current Communist party membership card. There is elections in Vietnam, but there is only one political party in Vietnam and that has not changed in 40 years.
We then checked out the famous Temple of Literature.
This is basically a nice garden area and shrine pretty much dedicated to Confucius thinking and teaching.
It was a location that for many many years was the place where men from all ages could be tested and then join the school to become doctors (of philosophy).
Not a bad place to visit if you are looking for a little more of the local history here in Hanoi.
Now, something a little different…lets head underground…
At the end of the day and before dinner, we checked out the bomb shelter that was beneath our hotel (the Sofitel Metropole Legend Hotel). http://m.travel.cnn.com/explorations/life/metropole-hanoi-war-bunker-tour-410140.
The shelter was only uncovered 3 years ago.
It is quite famous as during the war it was used by the various German, Australian, Austrian and other embassies located in the hotel during the war. Jane Fonda was also here during one raid/bombing during her stay in the war.
A definite must see if you stay at the hotel. It is only available to hotel guests.