Highlights of the free motorbike tours
Let us give you some information about Hanoi Free War sites walking tour War sites are commonly known as places where battles took place in the past. If you visit Hanoi, let us lead you to some of the historical relics here – museums, prisons, fortresses. They will give you valuable information about the painstaking struggle for independence of the Vietnamese people.
For those who questions who are “us”, then the answer is that “us” here refers to the members in “Hanoi Free Local Tours” club. It is an organization established by local students with a mission to help visitors from all around the world discover a truly beautiful Hanoi. We, the local students, will be your tour guide, leading you to the most famous tourist destinations in Hanoi. Different tours will be suggested for you based on your time and your interest. If you are particularly keen on Vietnam war history, our Hanoi Free half-day war sites walking tour is an optimal choice.
Our first destination is the Hanoi Military History Museum in Dien Bien Phu Street, only 600 meters from President Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum to the East.
Opened in 1959, the museum preserves factual objects and vivid proofs, which can give you thorough understanding of Vietnam’s constant struggles against the French colonialists and American imperialists.
Going inside the museum, you can see a lot of artifacts, films and photos reflecting different eras in Vietnam: from Hung Vuong Era – the era in which Vietnam first starts as a country, to one-thousand-year under Chinese’s colonization, and the long struggle against French colonialist and American invaders. Pieces of weaponry displayed in the museum courtyard such as aeroplanes, tanks, heavy artilleries, rockets, and bombs.
The most impressive of all on the grounds of the museum is Hanoi Flag Tower. It is classified as the nation’s historical and cultural monument, where the first flag of Vietnam was hung after the successful revolution in 1945.
(Hanoi Flag Tower)
To continue the Hanoi Free half-day war sites walking tour you can either take a walk in just 15 minutes or take a taxi to get to Hoa Lo prison. Rated as one of the top 10 notorious prisons in the world, Hoa Lo is a place that you should never miss if you want to take a closer look into Vietnam history, particularly the struggle against the French colonial empire.
At first, the prison was built by the French colonialists to capture Vietnamese political activists who took part in the struggle against them. Hoa Lo is where you can see how terrible the life of prisoners was, from the room where they were shackled all day, their meals, their clothes to hundred kinds of torture in the prison.
In the war between Vietnam and America, Hoa Lo was used by the Vietnamese government to imprison American pilots who were captured in the campaign “Dien Bien Phu in the air”. Documentary films and pictures about this campaign and the daily life of the pilots in Hoa Lo prison are also on display. You will also have the chance to look at the clothes and pictures of a famous pilot: John McCain – who later became a senator and a presidential candidate in 2008.
(Senator John McCain looked at the photo of his being captured at Truc Bach Lake during his visit to Hoa Lo prison in April, 2009.)
Leaving Hoa Lo, we walk along Duong Thanh and Phung Hung Street to the last spot in our war-site tour: Long Bien Bridge.
Being constructed during the French occupation in the country, Long Bien was the first steel bridge across the Red river in Hanoi, and one of four greatest bridges in the world at the time it was built. Over the past 100 years, Long Bien Bridge has been a witness to all the historical events that made the capital city like it is today
The bridge was a connection point to transport tons of rice from Northern area of Vietnam to Dien Bien Phu battle, thus contributing greatly to the victory of Vietnam People’s army against the French, 1954.
Because of its strategic function, Long Bien Bridge was a main target for the US’s bombing in its invasion war (1954-1975). It was bombarded many times by air attacks of the US Army; therefore, many spans of the bridge were destroyed. The remained spans, the spotting shrapnel and bullet holes still left in the bridge reminds us a painful but unforgettable past. The bridge, hence, is not only a great architecture but also a living historical witness.
At the end of the Hanoi Free war sites walking tour, you can have the best view of the bridge at the sunset and take photos of the rice paddling fields. Long Bien Bridge is an ideal place for sightseeing, for relaxing and remembering about the memorable past.
We are pretty sure that you will be impressed by those historical sites in a tour with Hanoi Free Local Tours.
Many tourists have tried the tour with us and kindly give us 5-star reviews with encouraging comments on Tripadvisor.