What to visit if you essentially have one day? Ho Chi Minh’s Mausuleum, conveniently placed across a lavish plaza across the National Assembly building, marks a good place to start. The nearby One Pillar pagoda marks the beginning of a small walk to the Temple of Literature with its near 1000 year history, multiple courts, altars, and occasional tree testifying to the age of a wall it has overgrown.
While walking further East towards Haan Kien Lake, one has to cross the single train track connecting Hanoi main station with all of Vietnam. Red bridge it aptly named and does its name even more justice after dusk.