Explore the charming city of Hanoi, often referred to as the ‘Paris of the East’, with its yellow ochre colonial buildings, tree-lined boulevards and scenic lakes. Visit the historic Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, an imposing monument of marble and granite built to house the preserved body of beloved revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh, affectionately known to the Vietnamese as “Uncle Ho”. Visit the One Pillar Pagoda, a Buddhist temple built in 1049 of wood in the shape of a lotus blossom and set on a single stone pillar. Continue to the Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s first national university built in the late 11th century. The picturesque temple is an example of well-preserved traditional Vietnamese architecture and is featured on the back of the 100,000 Vietnamese dong banknote. In the afternoon, visit the fascinating Museum of Ethnology (closed on Mondays) which houses an extensive collection of traditional costumes and artefacts from Vietnam’s 54 ethnic minority groups. Drive back to central Hanoi for a walking tour through the famed Old Quarter known for its ‘36 streets of 36 wares’ named after the original 36 artisan guilds that date as far back as the 13th century. Conclude your day by watching an entertaining water puppet performance, a uniquely northern Vietnamese art form said to have originated in the flooded rice fields of the Red River Delta where villagers entertained themselves by manipulating puppets over the water. The show uses colourful wooden puppets to depict scenes of rural life and episodes of national history set to music.
Suggested departure time: 08:00
Tour duration: 07 hours
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is closed every Monday & Friday, all morning from 15 June to 15 August