As the vibrant heart and soul of Vietnam,Hanoi is a tantalizing place of extremes. From a maze of ancient backstreetswhere hawkers and street stalls abound and traditional Vietnamese life isplayed out on the kerbside, to modern buildings and shady, tree-lined boulevards, Vietnam's capital is sure to delight.
With ochre-colored colonial buildings,
tree-lined boulevards and scenic lakes, Hanoi is full of charm. Start the tour
at the historic Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, an imposing monument lavishly built
using marble and granite, and where the preserved body of “Uncle Ho” resides.
(Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is closed every Monday & Friday, all afternoons and
from early September until mid November). A short walk from the mausoleum is Ho
Chi Minh's stilt house & the lotus shaped One Pillar Pagoda – resting on a
single stone pillar emerging from the water. Wind your way afterwards to the
Temple of Literature, the first University for the sons of mandarins, for an
overview about Hanoi culture and appreciation for ancient Vietnamese
architecture. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon, visit the
serene Museum of Ethnology is a 20 minute drive out of town that offers a
fascinating insight into Vietnam’s 54 ethnic minority groups (Museum of
Ethnology is closed on Mondays). Drive back to central Hanoi for a walking tour
through the Old Quarter to enjoy the bustling local life, then cap off the day
with a show at the water puppet theatre - a uniquely northern Vietnamese art
form depicting scenes of rural life and episodes of national history. Click
here to see our film about Hanoi.