HANOI CITY HIGHLIGHT (B)
The capital of Vietnam, Ha Noi is a perfect blend of old and new, Asian and European, a dynamic unification of tradition and progressive 21st-century thinking. Despite recent rapid development, the city has retained much of its traditional identity
Visit the complex dedicated to Ho Chi Minh, the nation's founder and affectionately known to the Vietnamese as “Uncle Ho”. Make the first stop at the historic Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum, an imposing monument built to serve as the final resting place of Uncle Ho (outside visit). Continue walking through the beautiful botanical garden of the Presidential Palace to visit Uncle Ho's humble house, built based on a rural Vietnamese stilt house with simple design in a tranquil setting, reflecting his simple, pure and noble lifestyle. Tour the One Pillar Pagoda, built in 1049 of wood on a single stone pillar, designed to resemble a lotus blossom, a symbol of purity.
Continue to the Tran Quoc pagoda, Hanoi's oldest pagoda, located on a small island of West Lake.
In the afternoon, visit the Temple of Literature, the first university of Vietnam. Constructed in the 11th Century, this stunning temple constitutes a rare example of well-preserved traditional Vietnamese architecture and is featured on the back of the 100,000 Vietnamese dong banknote.
The cyclo (rickshaw) ride is an excellent way to experience Ha Noi at close hand as the atmosphere is lively, hectic, and sociable. Your local driver will pedal you off, behind your guide, into narrow streets of the Old Quarter, known for its '36 streets of 36 wares'. Within the Old Quarter, as they had since the 15th Century, the narrow 36 streets of the Old Quarter bear names that reflect the business once conducted there; silk street, rice street, paper street, lacquer ware street, and jewelry street. Explore the fascinating maze of back streets, discover your bargaining power, and come away with unusual items that will always remind you of this memorable afternoon.
What people in the area typically eat? Have fun on the street food walking tour. Discover the history, customs, and cuisine of Vietnam! Learn more about the history of Vietnamese food, the country's culture, and the eating habits of the Vietnamese people as you make your way through the narrow streets of the Old Quarter and watch as the vendors prepare your meals.
Cap off your trip by wandering around the scenic Hoan Kiem Lake “Lake of the Returned Sword”, named after a magical sword once used by the most revered heroes to defeat the Chinese Ming Dynasty and then returned to the Golden Turtle God of the lake.
• Tour duration: 7.5-8 hours (08.30-17.00)
Overnight in Hoan Kiem