Arsenal head to Vietnam this summer on the Asia Tour 2013 - and ahead of the trip we are turning our focus to some of the amazing sights on offer in the country.
The Gunners face the Vietnamese national team in Hanoi on Wednesday, July 17, but any fans visiting the country should take the time to visit these must-see tourist attractions.
The capital of Vietnam, and the country's second-largest city, Hanoi is is a fascinating blend of East and West, combining traditional Sino-Vietnamese motifs with French flair. It is located on the right bank of the Red River and more than 2.6 million people live there. October 2010 officially marked 1000 years since the establishment of the city and it will host the 2019 Asian Games.
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Hanoi
This large memorial is located in the centre of Ba Dinh Square, which is where Vietminh leader Ho Chi Minh read the Declaration of Independence on September 2, 1945, establishing the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. The embalmed body of Ho Chi Minh is preserved in the cooled, central hall of the mausoleum, which is protected by a military honour guard. The body lies in a glass case with dim lights.
Ha Long Bay
This popular travel destination, located in Quang Ninh province, was designated a World Heritage site in 1994. There are around 2000 islands rising from the emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin and the bay is the number one tourist attraction in the north-east of Vietnam. It is a mystical landscape of limestone islets, and legend claims the islands were created by a great dragon from the mountains. As it charged towards the coast, its flailing tail gouged out valleys and crevasses. When it finally plunged into the sea, the area filled with water, leaving only the pinnacles visible.
Thien Cung Grotto, Ha Long Bay
Thien Cung Grotto (meaning Heavenly Cave) is situated on Dau Go Island in south-western Ha Long Bay. The original inhabitants of Ha Long Bay told an ancient story about Thien Cung Grotto over many generations. The story is told that Dragon Prince fell in love with “Nang May” (Ms. Cloud) and they held a lavish wedding party inside the grotto. All the scenes of their wedding, which lasted for seven days and seven nights, have been seemingly fossilized in the grotto. In the centre, there are four large pillars supporting the “roof of heaven”. From the base to the top, many strange images seem to exist in the stone, including birds, fish, flowers and even scenes of human life. On the north wall of the grotto, a group of fairies seems to be singing and dancing in honour of the wedding.Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 13 Jun 2013