About George K
Lives in London, United Kingdom
Since Aug 2008
50-64 year old male
I do not have a particular style when I travel and some places are irrelevant to any style. Usually I would try to avoid generic hotels or crowded resort towns. During my travels I believe that I have covered all styles and If I am to choose luxury, then it has to be “Intelligent Luxury”
Bodies of Water
Architectural Buildings, Points of Interest & Landmarks, Theatres
Neighbourhoods, Historic Walking Areas
Sacred & Religious Sites
Sacred & Religious Sites
Historic Sites, Sacred & Religious Sites
This lake is inhabited by large soft-shell turtles, which are critically endangered. According to legend, Emperor Lê Lợi was boating on Hoan Kiem Lake when he was visited by Golden Turtle God, who asked the emperor to return the magic sword that had been lent to him some time before by another god. You will see the Turtle Tower (Thap Rùa) on a small island in the center of the lake, and the 18th-century Temple of Jade is on an islet on the northern side, connected to the shore by the iconic red-painted Huc Bridge.
This historic hotel, constructed in the French Colonial style using materials from around the globe, opened in 1901. Since then, it has hosted state leaders, ambassadors, and artists. It even has Charlie Chaplin, Somerset Maugham, and Graham Greene suites to honor its famous guests. (Graham Greene wrote 'The Quiet American' while staying here!)
Modeled on the Palais Garnier Opera of Paris and located in the famous August Revolution Square, Hanoi's Opera House was built over the course of 10 years (from 1901 to 1911). During colonial times, Western artists were invited here to entertain privileged audiences, and today Nha Hat Lon is a popular cultural center and a venue for concerts, dance performances, and other art events.
Located near the Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi’s Old Quarter is the heart and soul of the Vietnamese capital. Occupying a busy square kilometer, the major commercial district is a web of streets and alleys cramped with Buddhist temples, pagodas, artisan workshops, charming colonial architecture, and 15th-century merchants’ houses. There is so much of interest here, and you will certainly catch a glimpse into the Quarter’s fascinating history. On the other hand, you will also find plenty of art galleries, hip cafes, quirky bars, and a good selection of restaurants, as well as most of Hanoi’s nightlife.
For a genuine experience of Hanoi’s café culture, you must stop at Café Duy Tri in the heart of the city’s old quarter. The three-floor establishment, a somewhat grungy locale with antique furniture, has been in operation since 1936. It's still a favorite local hangout today.
Located on the small islet Kim Ngu, on the east side of West Lake, Chua Tran Quoc is linked to the mainland by a small causeway. It is the oldest pagoda in the city, originally named 'Khai Quoc' and built about 1,400 years ago on the banks of the Red River, during the reign of Emperor Ly Nam De. It was renamed and relocated to its present location in 1615. There are many valuable items and statues inside, including the gold-trimmed, red lac statue of Sakyamouni Buddha's Parinirvana.
When you enter the complex of One Pillar Pagoda, you will see the marble mausoleum that is Ho Chi Minh’s tomb. It's a solemn place, and must be entered in silence. Behind the mausoleum are the Presidential Palace, a carp pond, the stilt house where Ho Chi Minh reputedly lived and worked during the last decade of his life, and the 1,000-somethng-year-old One Pillar Pagoda. While the pagoda itself is small, the whole complex is definitely worthwhile.
Founded in 1070 and dedicated to Confucius, the Temple of Literature is the site of Vietnam's first university and honors the country's finest scholars. On the 54,000 square meters of grounds are the temple itself, the interior courtyards, Literature Lake, and Giam Park. I highly recommend a visit!
The Long Bien Bridge, designed by French architect Gustave Eiffel (of Eiffel Tower fame), was completed in 1902 during the French occupation. As you cross it, you'll have a panoramic view of the Red River dotted with boats, as well as the islet beneath the bridge, where farmers plant crops like rice and banana trees.
The North Vietnamese water puppetry tradition originated in the Red River Delta villages in the 11th century. The shows are performed in water: The lacquered wood puppets are supported by large underwater rods, which puppeteers use to move the puppets from behind a screen. The puppets appear to perform traditional legends and historic tales over the water.