With its tree-lined boulevards and lakes, its blend of French, Chinese and Vietnamese architecture, Hanoi is the jewel of Asia. Charming pagodas and the “36 streets and 36 wares” of the fascinating Old Quarter will vie for your attention. And there are other famous sights: the impressive Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the ancient Temple of Literature, the Lake of the Restored Sword, the One Pillar Pagoda, the Hanoi Opera House, the History Museum, the Fine Arts Museum, and the Ethnology Museum, please look at the itinerary below to have more details.
Ho Chi Minh Complex: Completed in 1975 the complex contains Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum, his former stilt-house residence, the Presidential Palace and the Ho Chi Minh museum.
The Temple of Literature: Originally built as a temple to Confucius, this is the site of Vietnam’s first university dating back to 1070. Inside are the stone steles mounted on the backs of turtles, inscribed with the names of the university’s graduates. The complex is divided into five courtyards with different paths that would originally have been reserved for the Emperor and his mandarins. One of the courtyards contains the statue of Confucius guarded by two beautiful bronze storks standing on turtles. The temple highlights the importance influence that Vietnamese society has placed on education.
Museum of Ethnology: Take in a day trip to Hanoi and enjoy the museum widely acknowledged as the best in the country. The Museum of Ethnology has an extensive display dedicated to Vietnam’s 54 Ethnic minority peoples. As well as the comprehensive array of exhibits inside, there are also traditional tribal houses reconstructed within the grounds.
Ngoc Son Temple and Hoan Kiem Lake: The Ngoc Son Temple is set on a tiny island on the Hoan Kiem Lake, with history dating back to the 13th century. The temple is reached by crossing the Huc Bridge which literally means the ‘Place Touched by Morning Sunbeams’. The Hoan Kiem Lake is the local point of the city and the source of many legends, which you will discover and take away with you on your day trip from Hanoi. One legend has it that in the 15th century Emperor Le Thai To vanquished the invading Chinese with the help of a magical sword. Whilst rowing on the lake an enormous turtle seized the sword from his grasp. The Emperor took this to mean that peace had returned and the sword had been given back to its guardian spirit. In honour of the event he renamed the lake ‘Ho Hoan Kiem’ – Lake of the Restored Sword.
One hour cyclo tour through the Old Quarter: This is a must for any visitor enjoying a day trip to Hanoi! A cyclo (pronounced see-clo) is a Vietnamese version of a cycle rickshaw and was originally used as the main form of transportation in Vietnam. It has now been overtaken by motorbikes, but still very much remains at the heart of Vietnamese culture. Sit back and relax as you witness the hustle and bustle of Vietnamese life from the comfort of your arm chair!
The Old Quarter, also known as the 36 streets, is a bustling area of narrow streets home to literally thousands of small businesses, shopkeepers and street vendors, selling everything from bananas to books. Originally each of the 36 streets names’ were related to the products being sold there. Hence you can walk from Fish Street to Tin Street to Bamboo Street. It’s a great place to explore and the slow pace of a cyclo will enable numerous photo opportunities. At approximately 6pm we will return you to your hotel.