Wednesday, July 9, 2014

2013 Hanoi Trip - Lý Thái Tổ Garden (Vườn hoa Lý Thái Tổ)

Location: Hanoi, Vietnam

Full experience of my visit to Hanoi can be accessed through the list below:


More about Hanoi can be read through the list below:
Vietnamese Dong


It has been a hiatus from my last entry of our Hanoi trip, but I still vividly recall the little park lying off to a side in the vicinity of Hoan Kiem lake, the famous lake in Hanoi. We were visited by a heavy downpour on our first day of arrival, but fortune was on our side with the rain cut short to just an hour's drench.

Walking around the lake in the evening after the rain was refreshing despite the fact that exhausts spewing from all varieties of vehicles polluted the air as happened in any major cities. On our tour around the lake, we spotted this park tucked across the street facing the lake, a square with a majestic statue. Crossing the infamously unruly traffic of Vietnam, we reached Lý Thái Tổ garden, the focus of this entry.

Life after rain

Standing tall and lonely in the middle of the square, the statue held a scroll on his right, suggesting his relationship to scholarly wisdom. And reading his biography during my research for this entry, I was enlightened to his significance and importance to Hanoi in particular, so much so that a statue was erected near to a famous landmark.

Vietnam, known then as the kingdom of Đại Việt, did not have Hanoi as its capital until 1010, when Lý Thái Tổ passed the edict to transfer it from Hoa Lư. He claimed to have a vision of a yellow dragon descending on the journey of relocation, thus renaming the new capital's spot from its original name of Đại La to Thăng Long, Hanoi's earlier name. In other words, he was the founder of the current capital, and 2010 marked its millennial anniversary, one which not many cities in the world could claim.

The lone king

Dragon protector

Imprint

There wasn't anything touristy about this square, yet we found ourselves wandering among the empty square, puddles of water emphasizing the relief of the tiled ground. We were drawn to the colourful varieties of blooming flowers, made fresher after the downpour.

The statue would get its companions in the form of camera toting tourists and strolling locals. An occasional couple or family would stop by the square to enjoy the spacious ground, a luxury hard to come by in the city center of Hanoi. Twirls of smoke wafted from the bowl of incense holder placed at the foot of the majestic emperor, fluttering to nothing as the wind blow past.

Generations

Standing tall

The numerous guides would hail Hoan Kiem lake as one of the top however many spots to visit in Hanoi, but this little square was never mentioned in most of them. If you are not pressed for time, and if you are in the vicinity anyway, then braving the multilane traffic to this respite in the city is highly recommended. The majestic king standing proudly in the square would capture your camera's focus as much as it does my imagination.









Environment:         A respite in the city center
Suitable for:            History buffs
Visit worthiness:   5/10
Historical value:        1.0/5.0
Architectural value:  4.0/5.0
Photographic value:  3.5/5.0
Landmark value:       1.0/5.0

Entrance Fee:                  free

Opening Hours:              anytime
Best Moment to Visit:  anytime
Length of Visit:               less than 1 hour

Address:                   Đinh Tiên Hoàng, Tràng Tiền, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam




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