Hanoi (Hà Nội) is an interesting mix of the East and the West with noticeable traces of the communist influence as well as the French invasion. This tour is designed to immerse you in the historical monuments, the lively life of the residents, and the excellent street cuisine, cafés and restaurants in one of the most interesting cities in the world.
A suggested itinerary begins with Ha Noi egg coffee – a Hanoi speciality. A creamy soft, meringue-like egg white foam is perched on dense Vietnamese coffee. Then, we walk over the red bridge and get acquainted with Hoan Kiem Lake‘s legendary turtle at the 17th century Ngoc Son Temple. A legendary tale tells how Emperor Le Loi’s magic sword was swiped by a turtle while the ruler was enjoying a day out on the lake.
Any visit to Hanoi will inevitably discuss the effects of almost 100 years of French Colonialism and the later Vietnam War, so the next visit is the sobering Hoa Lo Prison Museum (The ‘Hanoi Hilton’). Thankfully, much of the prison built by the French has been demolished, and what you see now is the original gatehouse transformed into an informative museum. I will be interested to hear your views on the portrayal of the Vietnam War period.
We follow Anthony Bourdain’s recommendation to sit on the small plastic chairs, enjoy 2 local delicacies: noodle “bun cha” and Hanoi Spring rolls. Now you can order the “Obama” set plate but you can’t sit at the table where Anthony Bourdain Bourdain and President Barack Obama sat at because the table has now been sealed off in a glass cage.
Next, we make the journey to Ho Chi Minh (Uncle Ho’s) Mausoleum complex. Uncle Ho was the father of many motto’s, and his most famous one is the first thing you meet inside: “Nothing is more important than freedom and independence.”
With difficulty, we must leave the Mausoleum and its intriguing history to our next visit, the First University In Vietnam “Quốc Tử Giám”. From the onset, you can’t help feeling a sense of awe that 1,000 years ago, before some countries were even discovered, Vietnam was building its first university. The Temple of Literature in Hanoi was constructed in 1070 and is one of Vietnam’s most significant historic sites with stone steles relics recognised by UNESCO.
Returning to the city, we try 4 more local delicacies: traditional Vietnamese Noodle “PHO”, Ha Noi special local beer, Ha Noi dumplings and summer rolls and perhaps ending with a favourite local dessert.
And at the end of your memorable day, you will be returned safely to your hotel.
- a full 8 hour private guided tour in English
- all entry fees
- cold, bottled mineral water
- moist towelettes
- use of a modern air
- conditioned vehicle & my professional driver.
- meals & drinks etc taken during the tour (bottled water is free of charge)