Witness the Silk luxury of Hanoi

Tourists staying at hotels such as the Somerset Grand Hanoi will have the opportunity to visit the architecturally unique Long Bien Bridge, marvel at the natural beauty of the river near the Perfume Pagoda, gasp at the way the Turtle Tower reflects the still waters of the lake and visit the Temple of Literature and the Hanoi Opera House. Visiting the second largest city of Hanoi certainly has its benefits for it lies next to beautiful Red River. Given the history of the city, Hanoi remains a cultural centre in Vietnam and, in 2012, was considered to be one of the cheapest cities in the world to reside in. Therefore, opting for Hanoi serviced apartments during one’s stay in Vietnam should not be too detrimental in terms of finances.

Hanoi is also quite well known for its silk industry and those who venture towards the Old Quarter in the vicinity of Hoan Kiem Lake will find merchants and artisans specialising in the trade of silk. Throughout Vietnamese history, silk remained a symbol of luxurious living and enjoyed a status similar to that of precious materials such as ivory. It also operated as a status symbol and was mainly adorned by the powerful elite.

Therefore, for tourists visiting Hanoi in the 21st century, the basics of the silk trade can be witnessed at the Van Phuc Silk Village. This particular village can be accessed conveniently from Hanoi and is well known for weaving silk products. In addition to observing the simple looms and traditional modes adopted by the locals to create gorgeous silk garments, the Van Phuc Silk Village is also the ideal place to purchase gifts for folks back home as well as souvenirs. Since the majority of the natives living in the village engage in the trading of silk, an item that suits one’s taste can be obtained with ease. Luxuriate in the multitude of colours and experiment with the traditional Vietnamese garments in finding the perfect souvenir at the Van Phuc Silk Village.

Uditha Dharmawardhane is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Roland Lefevre. He specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe.

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Vietnam Fine Arts Museum – An Historian’s Feast

Situated across the street from the Temple of Literature, the Vietnam National Museum of Fine Arts showcases exhibits from every historical period in Vietnam. It is the second-largest museum in the country and is dedicated to the arts. Located at No.66 Nguyen Thái Học Street, the building too is of immense historical significance and value. It was an abandoned Catholic girl’s boarding house that was built in 1937, and now houses a truly astounding collection of artefacts that pay tribute to the country’s past. The Fine Arts Museum is one that is held of utmost prominence in the society since it promotes and retains cultural value for the people who both remember living through certain chapters of Vietnam’s history and for those who want to know more about this unique land.

In the museum, one will discover a vast collection of artefacts that provides a deep understanding of the historical and culture import of most ethnic groups that call the nation home. It has on display various lacquers, ceramics and paintings that were created by post-war artists, and the museum even hosts items that date back to pre-historic and feudal times. The interior of the museum is an amazing sight to behold, as there are entire rooms devoted to the Vietnamese style of silk paintings, woodblock and folk art. Most of the arts capture the essences of war impacting the assorted tiers of society such as the army brotherhood, peasants and the working class.

Check out the top floors, as they are dedicated to the prehistoric artefacts and Buddhist sculptures. A main attraction is the 11th century goddess of mercy, Quan Yin, so be sure not to miss out on this fascinating piece that awes all who behold it. Among these are many other pieces of interest that should be explored, as even the smallest artefact sometimes holds a large piece of history, so be prepared to spend a few hours browsing through these fascinating national treasures. What is unique about this location, the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum, is that if you see something you like, be sure to inquire, because some of these items, especially the paintings are up for sale and who knows, you may be in luck.

When staying in Vietnam, finding a great place to stay is no doubt of importance. Look into a fully serviced apartment Hanoi has to offer its discerning visitors, such as those featured at the Somerset Hoa Binh Hanoi, These Hanoi Apartments near Daeha Business Center are fully furnished and are located strategically close to all places of interest.

Angela Fernando is an impassioned travel writer who composes pieces under the pen name Sumaira Narayan. She loves writing about new and exciting places around the world and hopes to visit them all someday. Google+