FVH produces guidebooks on various aspects of Hà Nội and its culture. All the books include one or more self-guided walks. Titles include:
Bạch Mã Temple
Quán Thánh Temple
Trấn Quốc Pagoda
Phủ Tây Hồ (West Lake Palace)
Lãn Ông Street (Traditional Medicine Street)
Bát Tràng Traditional Pottery Village
Hoàn Kiếm Lake, its Legends and Temples
Vignettes of French Culture in Hà Nội
Hồ Tây – Walks Around West Lake
Văn Miếu Walking Tour (Temple of Literature)
The books are researched, written and illustrated by a group of volunteers and published by The Gioi Publishers, who also give much help and advice. The aim of the books is to give readers, whether they are residents or visitors, information about various aspects of Hanoi and its culture.
Bạch Mã Temple Guidebook (White Horse Temple)
Learn about King Ly Thai To dream and why this temple honors the White Horse Deity and find the detailed information on the history of the Bach Ma Temple on Hang Buom Street, including temple layout, translation of panels written in Chinese characters, as well as information about symbolism used in the temple. The guided walk contained at the end of this guidebook provides an opportunity to explore and experience the some of the same streets where the craft guilds and merchants setup within the third enclosure of the citadel. Published 2001
Quan Thánh Temple Guidebook
This publication details the legends of Huyen Thien Tran Vu, also known as the ‘genie who guards the Dark Heaven’. This guidebook contains detailed information on the history of Quan Thanh Temple, as well as translations of the many parallel sentences and poems on the walls and columns of this magnificent Taoist Temple. A walking tour of the bronze-casting village of Ngu Xa, with its Chua and Dinh and the enjoyable atmosphere around Truc Bach Lake is included. Published 2002 reprinted 2008.
Trấn Quốc Pagoda Guidebook
The Tran Quoc Pagoda on Thanh Nien Road was founded some 1400 years ago, and it is one of the most ancient Buddhist pagodas in Hanoi. Nestled between West Lake and Truc Bach Lake, the pagoda is considered a magnificent symbol of Buddhism in Vietnam, and is one of the most visited sites in the capital. This guidebook covers the history of Buddhism, the temple layout, and describes in detail the different areas of the pagoda. A fascinating publication, which includes specially commissioned drawings and photographs. Published 2003, reprinted 2006
Phủ Tây Hồ Guidebook (West Lake Palace)
Have you ever wondered who these doll-like statues in glass cabinets, in blue, white, red or green attire may be? Phu Tay Ho at the far end of the Tay Ho peninsula is the most impressive pagoda dedicated to the cult of the Mother goddesses in Hanoi, an indigenous cult that seems to permeate the lives of all Vietnamese women in varying degrees. The guidebook describes in detail the complex itself, then discusses the religion of the Mother goddesses, including its philosophy, pantheon and rituals. Published 2004
Lãn Ông Street Guidebook (Traditional Medicine Street)
Traditional medicine is very much alive on this particular street of the Old Quarter. This guidebook not only describes the area in its historical context and current set-up, but also offers information on a variety of Vietnamese herbal teas for the health conscious as well as a comprehensive pictorial of Lan Ong Street. Published 2005, reprinted 2005
Bát Tràng Traditional Pottery Village: A Self-Guided Walk
This guidebook focuses on the old section of the pottery commune of Bat Trang, a village with a long history hitherto unknown to many outsiders. The guidebook is based on a self-guided walk. There are three different circuits lasting from 45 minutes to 2 hours, all shown on a map. Published 2006, reprinted 2009
Hoàn Kiếm Lake, its Legends and Temples: A Self-Guided Walk
The area around Ho Hoan Kiem represents the physical heart and spiritual soul of Hanoi. Continuing the tradition of Friends of Vietnam Heritage to promote the understanding of Viet Nam’s history and culture, this guidebook focuses on the history and legends, the temples and pagodas surrounding the lake. Also included is information on the large Bao An Pagoda complex, which was razed between 1886-1889 and left only the Hoa Phong tower still standing today. Published 2007.
Vignettes of French Culture in Hanoi
This guidebook provides an insight and appreciation of the influence on Hanoi of the French colonial period from 1873 until 1954. The three guided walks contained in this guidebook provides an opportunity for the reader to explore and experience some aspects of what the people of Hanoi have absorbed and made their own as a result of eighty years of French presence in their city. Published 2008.
Ho Tay – Walks Around West Lake
Ho Tay continues to inspired writers, artists and photographers with its beauty, history, culture and religious aspects but it also provides for its local residents a source of fish, water and a rich soil to cultivate a variety of plants and vegetables. This guidebook covers the legends of the lake, as well as its history and future plans for this rapidly expanding part of Hanoi.Included are 5 self-guided walks identifying those places of interest both old and new, around the entire West Lake shore. New publication – 2009.
More to come soon…