Day 1: Arrival airport, time to be confirmed
Your expert guide will meet you on arrival with private transfer (around 45 minutes) to your hotel of choice in Hanoi city.
Meals included: None
Day 2: Hanoi City Discovery
This day will take in the highlight sites and sights including: Streets of the Old Quarter, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum complex, One-pillar Pagoda, Temple of Literature and museums of interest.
Originally the streets of the Old Quarter teemed with many artisans manufacturing and selling their wares. The street names nowadays still reflect these specializations. We will explore this dynamic view of everyday street life on foot in the morning light – it is a photographer’s paradise… all kinds of portraiture, architecture and people at work – along with many street sellers and their wares.
The Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh is located in the centre of Ba Dinh Square, which is the place where Ho read the Declaration of Independence on September 2, 1945, establishing the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh’s body is preserved in the cooled, central hall of the mausoleum, which is protected by a military honour guard. (inside mausoleum open Tue – Thur only).
We continue to stroll through the beautiful gardens surrounding the mausoleum which have nearly 250 different species of plants and flowers, all from different regions of Vietnam. Also visit the simple ‘stilt house’ which Ho lived in and the unique ‘One-Pillar Pagoda’.
The Temple of Literature was first constructed in 1070 and is dedicated to Confucius, sages and scholars. Also here is The Imperial Academy – constructed in 1076, which was the first national university of Vietnam, it has preserved its ancient architectural style of many dynasties.
Depending on time available, some museums may also be visited – notable are: Hoa Lo (Hanoi Hilton),Museum of Ethnology and the Vietnamese Women’s Museum.
Also of interest to some visitors is the Thang Long Imperial Citadel. This UNESCO World Heritage Site comprises two sections: the archaeological site at Hoang Dieu Street and the central axis of the Nguyen Dynasty’s Citadel of Hanoi, which together create an integrated heritage complex.
This is a flexible full day of touring and you can discuss specific sites / sights and locations with your guide, depending on your own personal interests and pace.
Meals included: Breakfast
Day 3: Ancient Village Cycling
This morning, we’ll drive west of Hanoi for around 1.5 hours to Duong Lam village, a purely agricultural village of the Northern Red River delta where you’ll discover many hundred-year-old houses, in one of the few remaining ancient villages in Vietnam. This ancient village has a history dating back some 1,200 years. One special thing about the village is that most of the buildings here are made of laterite and mud, two materials that are abundant in the area
We’ll cycle along quiet lanes around the village and discover the daily life and farming practice of Vietnamese peasants along the terraces, with a stop in two ancient houses: the biggest ancient house was built 200 years ago and the most oldest surving house dates back around 400 years.
Lunch is taken in the village and you have time to soak up the local atmosphere and ways of life here. On the drive back to Hanoi, we visit Ngo Quyen temple and Phung Hung temple, which are dedicated to two former kings from the 8th and 9th century, who were born locally. Return to Hanoi by late afternoon.
Dinning The Hanoi Way!
Our evening walk and streetfood tour will introduce you to some of Hanoi’s finest local cuisine – Beef spring rolls – Pho cuon or Hotpot – Lau. The area around Yen Phu street is a popular street for dinner and late night eating out.
You will have the opportunity to see many other kinds of street foods that are only served after dark. Continuing our walk along one side of West lake seeing more and more people sitting on the grass mats by the lake eating Lau (Hot pot soup).
If you like we can stop to join them or we can continuing heading to a village that popular for Pho Cuon and Banh Pho, a fresh rice pancake, to roll beef and herbs in serve with tasty Hanoi style fish sauce and some pickled vegetables.
A delightful and very different Hanoi dinner!
Day 4: Hoan Kiem Lake
We take a stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake. The lake is considered the center of Hanoi, not only physically but also symbolically. Peaceful and quiet, the lake surrounds Ngoc Son Temple, a pagoda sitting in the centre on a small island.
Hoan Kiem means “Lake of the Returned Sword”. The legend was that a famous and victorious king who drove out the Ming army lost his sword when a turtle came up and took it when he was on a boat in the lake. The legends also say that he originally received his magical sword from the turtle god of the area.
From early morning exercise, to courting couples at night, Hoam Kiem Lake is a pleasure to visit at any time.
Transfer to Hanoi Noi Bai airport for your outbound flight to Siem Reap (Economy Class), flight to be determined
Air tickets will be arranged by ABOUTAsia Travel.
Meals included: Breakfast