After breakfast at the hotel, dive into the sights sounds and aromas of Hanoi. Start with Ho Chi Minh Complex including his Mausoleum (Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is closed all afternoon, every Monday & Friday, and from late September until December), the Presidential Palace, the historic Stilt house, and the One Pillar Pagoda.
Continuing on our journey through Hanoi we drive to Tran Quoc Pagoda (which means “Stabilizing the Nation”), the oldest pagoda constructed in the sixth century in the Westlake and also a famous attraction for pilgrims.
From there we head to the Temple of Literature. Originally built in honor of Confucius by Emperor Ly Thanh Tong in 1070, a university was added to the grounds six years later. The university provided education to the royal family and children of the aristocracy or “mandarins”.
Around 12.30: you will have lunch at a restaurant. Afterward, you’ll visit Hoan Kiem Lake, the heart and soul of Hanoi. We then take a short drive to visit the Museum of Ethnology, a museum of the 54 officially recognized Ethnic Groups in Vietnam (Ethnology Museum is closed every Monday). Afterward take a cycle rickshaw ride through the Old Quarter then enjoy a Water Puppet show, a uniquely northern Vietnamese art form depicting scenes from rural life and episodes of national history.
From 18.00 – 18.30, return your hotel, the rest of the day is free.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight in Hanoi
|Optional: Hanoi Street food tour (private tour)
We start our walking tour of Hanoi’s largest covered market, Dong Xuan. Along the perimeter of the market, dozens of street hawkers sell a staggering variety of products, from live seafood to exotic fruits and spices. Your expert English-speaking local guide will give you an insight into the intricacies and traditions of Vietnamese food culture including details on ingredients and the history of popular northern dishes.
Walking through the maze of bustling streets that make up Hanoi’s Old Quarter, we tempt our taste buds with the famed Hanoi dish Banh Cuon at a local eatery. Watch in awe as the skilled chefs demonstrate for you how this tasty dish is put together. Continuing into the atmospheric heart of the Old Quarter, we wander past street stalls and quiet residential lanes where you can observe local life that has changed little since Hanoi was founded over 1000 years ago.
Our next stop is a food stall for you to try our Bread, a little food stall with a few typical tiny Vietnamese chairs on the sidewalk where we enjoy the delicious fresh baguettes while observing the neighborhood.
Next one is another famous dish – Bun Cha. Bun Cha consists of vermicelli, herbs and grilled pork. At this secretly hidden café, we will watch a demonstration and then try some egg coffee, a scrumptious local delicacy.
Continue to other food stalls near Hoan Kiem lake where we try some dishes such as Che “Vietnamese style pudding” and Nom “papaya salad with beef”.
It’s the time for dessert as we venture down a small alley and try the local tradition of fresh fruit served in a cup and smothered with crushed iced – this specialty is one not to be missed!
Price: Upon request
Inclusions: English speaking guide, food.