Kick-off your adventure in Vietnam with a tour of Hanoi that shows you the highlights, but also gets you off the beaten track and unearths some local gems hidden in the maze of streets and alleyways.
Throw yourself into the madness of Hanoi on foot to begin with. Although the traffic is mental, Hanoi is a city best discovered from the ground. So by exploring on foot, by the end of the day, you’ll have a great feel for the capital.
Start at 10:00 am by heading to Ngoc Temple, the gem at the heart of the sapphire blue body of water that is Hoan Kiem Lake. Here, your local guide will provide you with an overview of Vietnamese culture and religion.
Then, join the insane traffic on the traditional red cyclo (don’t worry, you’re just a passenger) and experience being part of the scooter and bike tsunami that washes its way through the streets.
Continue to Hoa Lo Prison, where you will gain a deeper understanding about the Indochinese wars and how they shaped the culture, the people and the country as a whole.
You’ll then stroll back towards the atmospheric Old Quarter, to stop along the train tracks that run right through the streets. Crash at a local bar and try the Hanoi institution ‘Bia Hoi’.
This refreshing, freshly brewed beer is a staple in these parts, and you could spend hours in the friendly atmosphere watching trains rattle through the streets as you sip. Try some incredible street food whilst you’re here – pho, banh mi, bun cha, or even the Hanoi classic of egg coffee.
In the evening, prepare for some ancient Vietnamese tradition at a water puppet performance. This northern tradition, dating back nearly a thousand years, is performed alongside traditional Vietnamese music that employs drums, wooden bells, horns and bamboo flutes.
Finally, say goodbye and enjoy the rest of your stay in Vietnam! Your guide will be happy to recommend any accommodation, places to go or eat as you continue your adventure.