Hanoi & Around Tours


The capital of North Vietnam with one million inhabitants situated on the banks of the Song Hong, or Red River. A beautiful city where many French influences can be found. Some call Hanoi even the Paris of the East. Stately embassies, lakes, boulevards and the mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh in Hanoi to make a stately city. Especially in spring when the trees on the boulevards are in bloom, the city has a European character. With all the little shops, markets, the many lakes and local eateries and stalls Hanoi is a pleasant city.Despite all the cars, mopeds and cyclo there’s not really an atmosphere of a metropolis. Unfortunately, the number of cars and motorcycles every year. This makes crossing the street in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to an exciting adventure. It happened to me a few times that after five minutes waiting at the side of the road, but still waiting on a Vietnamese to join them to stabbing.Basically it is not dangerous crossing, the traffic moves around you just as long as you calmly walk. The people of Hanoi are known stiffer and more detached than the inhabitants of the south. Nevertheless, they are very hospitable. Remarkably, all the small houses all over Vietnam to find. The houses here were built earlier in the depths. This has to do with the tax that was imposed on the width of a house. Furthermore, the buildings were previously not exceed the royal palace, which is now relatively little buildings can be found

Geography

Hanoi is located in the Red River Delta, in the center of North Vietnam. It is encompassed by Thai Nguyen Province to the north, Vinh Phuc and Ha Tay to the west and south, Bac Giang, Bac Ninh and Hung Yen provinces to the east and south-east.Hanoi means “the hinterland between the rivers” (Ha: river, Noi: interior). Hanoi’s territory is washed by the Red River (the portion of the Red River embracing Hanoi is approximately 40km long) and its tributaries, but there are some other rivers flowing through the capital, including Duong, Cau, Ca Lo, Day, Nhue, Tich, To Lich and Kim Nguu.


Climate:

Hanoi is situated in a tropical monsoon zone with two main seasons. During the dry season, which lasts from October to April, it is cold and there is very little rainfall, except from January to March, when the weather is still cold but there is some light rain. The wet season, from May to September, is hot with heavy rains and storms. The average annual temperature is 23.2ºC (73.7ºF) and the average annual rainfall is 1,800mm. The average temperature in winter is 17.2ºC (62.9ºF), but can go down to 8ºC (46.4ºF). The average temperature in summer is 29.2ºC (84.6ºF, but can reach up to 39ºC (102.2ºF).

 

History

Hanoi is a sacred land of Vietnam. In the 3rd century BC, Co Loa (actually belonging to Dong Anh District) was chosen as the capital of the Au Lac Nation of Thuc An Duong Vuong (the King Thuc). Hanoi later became the core of the resistance movements against the Northern invasions. Located in the middle of the Red River Delta, the town has gradually expanded to become a very populations and rich residential center. At different periods, Hanoi had been selected as the chief city of Vietnam under the Northern domination.In the autumn of Canh Tuat lunar years (1010), Ly Thai To, the founder of the Ly Dynasty, decided to transfer the capital from Hoa Lu to Dai La, and so he rebaptized it Thang Long (Soaring Dragon). The year 1010 then became an historical date for Hanoi and for the whole country in general.For about a thousand years, the capital was called Thang Long, then changing to Dong Do, Dong Kinh, and finally to Hanoi, in 1831. This sacred piece of land thereafter continued to be the theatre of many fateful events.


Tourism and Travel


Throughout the thousand years of its eventful history, marked by destruction, wars and natural calamities, Hanoi still preserves many ancient architectural works including the Old Quarter and over 600 pagodas and temples. Famous sites include the One Pillar Pagoda (built in 1049), the Temple of Literature (built in 1070), Hanoi Citadel, Hanoi Opera House, President Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum...


Hanoi also characteristically contains 18 beautiful lakes such as Hoan Kiem Lake, West Lake, and Truc Bach Lake..., which are the lungs of the city, with their surrounding gardens and trees providing a vital source of energy.


Many traditional handicrafts are also practiced in Hanoi including bronze molding, silver carving, lacquer, and embroidery. Hanoi has many famous traditional professional handicraft villages such as Bat Trang pottery village, Ngu Xa bronze casting village, Yen Thai glossy silk...

 

 

What to see in Hanoi Capital?

 

The temple of Literature- Quoc Tu Giam in Hanoi capital 

Temple of Literature-Quoc Tu Giam was the first university of Vietnam where many students

graduated with high flying colors. Some became doctors of philosophy. In 1482 King Le Thanh Tong ordered the erection of steles with inscription of all the names, birth dates and birth places of doctors, and other excellent graduates who took part in examinations since 1442. At present there remain 82 steles standing in the premises of Van Mieu. Aprt from its cultural value, each stele presents an artistic project of stone carving. Each stele is placed on the back of a turtle representing the nation's longevity.

 

Sword Restored Lake

The lake which is not as large as Ho Tay to the northwest is situated in the center of the city. Because of its unique location Sword Restored Lake is billed as a basket of lower placed in the middle of Hanoi. The name of Sword Restored Lake is derived from a legend which has it that King Le Thai To had a precious sword. The sword. The sword had always been on his side during the 10-year resistance against the Ming aggressors. After he won over the foreign aggression and returned to Thang Long Citadel. One day he went out and boarded a royal boat to cruise in the lake. Suddenly he saw a giant turtle emerging and coming towards him. The king withdrew his sword and pinpointed with the sword the direction of the coming turtle for his soldiers' attention. All of a sudden, the turtle caught the sword between its teeth from the king's hand and submerged. The king thought that it might have been that during the resistance war against the Minh aggression, the king was offered sword by genie to help him defeat the enemy. Now when peace has returned the genie appeared and took back the sword. With that thought in mind, King Le Thai To named the lake after episode as Ho Hoan Kiem (Lake of Restored Sword). 

Ngoc Son Temple

Hoan Kiem lake which had been considered the most beautiful lake in the city was in the 19th century added with another object to make it more beautiful and famous. That was the construction of a temple on the Ngoc (Jade) islet in the lake. Initially the temple was called Ngoc Son Pagoda. Later it was renamed Ngoc Son Temple because in the temple isdedicated to saints. Saint Van Suong was a person considered the brightest star in Vietnam's literature and intellectual circles. Tran Hung Dao was worshipped because he was the national hero who led the Vietnamese people to a resounding victory over the Nguyen aggression. The temple as it is seen today was attributable to the restoration afforts of Nguyen Van Sieu in 1864. A great Hanoi literature writer, Nguyen Van Sieu himself had a large pen-shaped tower (Thap But) built in at the entrance to the temple. On the upper section of the Thap but there are three Chinese characters Ta Thanh Thien which means literally that to write on the blue sky is to imply the height of a genuine and righteous person's determination and will. Behind Thap But is Dai Nghien (Ink Stand). The ink stand is carved from stone resembling a peach, which is placed on the back of the three frogs on top of the gate to the temple. Passing through Dai Nghien visitors are to tread on the wooden bridge called The Huc. The Huc is literally understood as the place where beams of morning sunshine are touching. 
On the long way that leads to the temple there are several cau doi (parallel sentences) written on the wall. These cau doi are considered part of a traditional ward puzzle entertainment, a lifestyle literally educated persons of ancient Thang Long used to follow.


Quan Thanh Temple

The three ancient Chinese which are still seen today on the top of the entrance to the temple means Tran Vu Quan. That is literally the temple which is dedicated to Saint Tran Vu. A temple is a place for worshipping saints while a pagoda is dedicated to Buddha and faithful disciplines. 
Saint Tran Vu was a legendary figure which was a combination between a legendary character in Vietnam's legend and a mystic character derived from China's legend. The legendary character in Vietnam's legend was a saint who had earned the merits of assisting King An Duong Vuong in getting rid of ghost spirit during the King's construction of his citadel at Co Loa. 
The Chinese legendary figure was a saint who made great contributions in safeguarding the northern border. Quan Thanh Temple was built during the reign of King Ly Thai To (1010-1028). In 1893 the temple was given a grand facelift to have the shape as we can see it today. Special attention should be paid to a black bronze statute of Saint Tran Vu. The giant statute, formally placed in the main hall, was cast in 1677. Another special object is an ancient bronze bell, 1.5 meters high, which is hanged at the top of the three-gate entrance. 
Another object of no less significant is a smaller black bronze statute of Old Trong, a chief artisan of the bronze casting team who had made the giant statute of Saint Tran Vu and the great bell on top of the tree-gate entrance. To commemorate the great contributions of the teacher Old Trong, his students of bronze casting cast his statute and placed in the temple for their for their younger generations to remember Old Trong for ever.


Hai Ba Trung Temple

The temple is also called Dong Nhan Temple because it is located in the area of Dong Nhan village in Hai Ba Trung precinct. The temple was built in 1142 inder the reign of King Ly Anh Tong. It is dedicated to the two Vietnamese heroines Trung Trac and Trung Nhi. At the inner sanctum of the temple there are two statutes made of fine clay dedicating the two ladies Trung. Flanking on either side of the two statutes of Ladies Trung are statutes of 12 women generals who followed the two Ladies leading their army to defeat the foreign aggressors. In the 5th and 6th day of the second lunar month there is a grand festival organized at the site of the temple to commemorate the two national heroines.


West Lake and Youth Road

The Youth Road can be compared to a beautiful bridge spanning across the two large bodies of water - West Lake to the northwest and Truc Bach Lake to the southeast. This 992-metre-long road has been made into two-lane road with a line of big trees grown in between the lanes. On either side of the road is grown with flamboyant trees, weeping willow trees and Bang Lang trees. In summer the road looks colorful with the many flamboyant trees in blossom and Bang Lang trees with violet flowers. 
The west lake area is estimated at 480 hectares, being the biggest lake in the city. A road that runs around the lake is as long as 12 kilometers. It passes several flower-growing villages such as flower Nghi Tam village, Tay Ho, and Peach tree planting Nhat Tan village. Situated nearby the lakeside road are several famous pagodas and temples such as Phu Tay Ho and Kim Lien Pagoda. In feudal regimes many royal palaces and rest houses have been built to used as resort places for kings and senior court officers. Now Ho Tay has been earmarked for the city's major tourism development center.


Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum

After two years of construction, the mausoleum of President Ho Chi Minh was officially inaugurated on August 29,1975. The facade of the mausoleum faces the historic Ba Dinh Square. 
The mausoleum is divided into three layers with a combined height of 21.6 meters. The lowest layer forms a terraced stand exclusively used for the presidium of grand meetings organized at the grassy Ba Dinh Square. The second layer is the central piece of the mausoleum where the remains of the president is kept in a chamber accessible through a series of passages and flights of marble staircases. The upper part of the mausoleum is the roof resembling a three terraced steps. The facade of the upper part bears an inscription "President Ho Chi Minh" made of dark violet precious stone. The mausoleum is the place to keep the remains of President Ho Chi Minh, the great patriotic who had been conferred the title "World Cultural Activist" and the national hero. The conferment was made on the occasion of the centenary anniversary of President Ho Chi Minh's Birthday (1890-1990). 
The mausoleum project was the results of artistic labor of both Vietnamese and former Soviet Union scientists in respect for President Ho Chi Minh.

The Ho Chi Minh Museum

The museum displays relics about the life and work of President Ho Chi Minh, a cultural figure and hero of the national liberation movement (1890-1969). The museum was inaugurated on May 19,1990, the anniversary of the Centenary Birthday of President Ho Chi Minh. Address:3 Ngoc Ha St, Hanoi. Tel:(84-4) 8263752 or 8255435

One Pillar Pagoda

The original name of the pagoda was Dien Huu pagoda which literally means long lasting happiness and and good luck. The pagoda is situated in the western part of the city. It was first built in 1049 in the reign of King Ly Thai Tong. legend has it that at time King Ly Thai Tong was very old and had no sons of his own. One night he had a dream that he was granted a private audience with Buddha with a male baby on his hands. Buddha seating on a lotus flower in a square-shaped lotus pond in the western side of Thang Long Citadel, gave the king the baby. Month later the queen got pregnant and she gave birth to a male. To repay the gift from Buddha, the king ordered the construction of a pagoda with was supported by only one pillar resembling a lotus seat on which Buddha had been seated. The pagoda was dedicated to Buddha. 

The History Museum

The museum is a national museum. It was founded in 1926 and named "Ecole d'Etreme Orient." In 1958 it was restored and renamed the Vietnam History Museum. On display are rich collection of archaeological findings of great scientific and artistic value, illustrating the development of the nation and the State of Vietnam from the dawn of its history to the period prior of the coming into being of the Vietnam Communist Party. 
Address: 1 Pham Ngu Lao St, Hanoi. Tel:(84-4) 8252835 or 8253518 

The Revolution Museum

The museum is a national museum. It was founded in January 1959, It exhibits relics from various phases of the Vietnamese people's patriotic and revolutionary struggle from the founding of the Vietnam Communist Party up to the present day. Address: 25 Tong Dan St, Hanoi. Tel:(84-4) 8253766 and 8254151 or 8254323 

The Army Museum

The museum is a national museum which was established in June 1959. War relics and trophies reminisce great periods of the armed struggle of the Vietnamese people. Evolutions of the two recent great historic battles: the Dien Bien Phu battle in 1945 and the Ho Chi Minh Campaign in 1975 are unfolded again on miniature models. Address: 28A Dien Bien Phu St, Hanoi. Tel: (84-4) 8234264 

The Fine Arts Museum

This is a national museum founded in June 1966. It displays art works and objects of the various nationalities living in Vietnam in every period. Prominent are collections of painting of great values by such famous contemporary artists as To Ngoc Van, Nguyen Phan Chanh, Tran Van Can and Bui Xuan Phai, etc,. Address: 66 Nguyen Thai Hoc St, Hanoi. Tel: (84-4) 265801 or 233084

Hanoi Opera House

Location: The Hanoi Opera House is situated on Le Thanh Tong St., Hanoi; near the Red River and several hundreds meters east of Hoan Kiem Lake. Characteristics: It is an old theatre with French architecture and typical Gothic and Mosaic characters reflected on the door domes and the glassed room respectively.

For a long time, the Hanoi Opera House has been a rendezvous for those who love theatrical performance and traditional songs and music, symphonies, opera and classical opera. It is also a tourist attraction for local and foreign visitors. 

The Hanoi Opera House is renowned for its unique architecture and good composition. It is furnished rationally and harmoniously. Since its establishment, the Hanoi Opera House is the largest theatre in Vietnam. Its construction started in 1901 and completed in 1911. Previously the site was a big pond, adjacent to the city gate of Tay Long (also called Tay Luong) of the ancient Thang Long Capital. The construction met with many difficulties, because the foundations of the theatre were built on the pond. Before building a concrete foundation, nearly one metre thick, the pond was emptied and dredged, then 30,000 hard bamboo stakes were placed on its bed.

The Hanoi Opera House is of the same architectural style as the Opera House in France. Some foreign architects said that due to being built nearly 300 years after the Paris Opera House, the Hanoi Opera House avoids superfluous architectural details, which make it more magnificent and attractive. 

After nearly 100 years of operation, the theatre's equipment and adornments became old and run down. In 1997, the theatre was repaired and modernized under the management of two Vietnamese French architects, Ho Thieu Tri and Hoang Phuc Sinh. The original architecture of the 3-storey theatre has remained. The decorative designs on the ceiling, arches, walls, and doors were renewed. The 3-metre-high stage and the audience's hall, with 600 seats, were also modernized in conformity with international standards. The theatre has been equipped with state-of-art facilities and appliances, compatible for all types of artistic performances, from folk music and songs, ballets and piano to classical opera, reformed opera, Vietnamese operetta and drama, all made great impressions on the audience. The Hanoi Opera House has also successfully organised many large-scale international concerts. 
The Hanoi Opera House is a worthy artistic centre and a cultural and architectural relic of the capital Hanoi.

The old quarter Hanoi

Hanoi’s Old Quarter; with over a thousand years of history; remains one of Vietnam`s most lively and unusual places. The city`s commercial quarter evolved alongside the Red River and the smaller To Lich River; which once flowed through the city centre in an intricate network of canals and waterways teeming with boats. As the waters could rise as high as 8m during the monsoon; dikes; which can still be seen along Tran Quang Khai; were constructed to protect the city.

In the l3th century; Hanoi`s 36 guilds established themselves here with each taking a different street; hence the original name 36 Streets; although there are around 50 streets in today`s Old Quarter. Hang means “merchandise” and is usually followed by the name of the product that was traditionally sold in that street. Thus; Pho Hang Gai translates as silk Street; these days the street name may not indicate what`s sold there.

Exploring the maze of back streets can be fascinating; some streets open up while others narrow into a warren of alleys. The area is known for its tunnel (or tube) houses - so called because of their narrow frontages and long rooms. These tunnel houses were developed to avoid taxes based on the width of their street frontage. By feudal law; houses were also limited to two storeys and; out of respect for the king; could not be taller than the Royal Palace. These days there are taller buildings (six to eight storeys high) but nọ real high-rise buildings. 

Opportunities to lighten your load of dong are almost endless. As you wander around you’ll find wool clothes; cosmetics; fake Ray Ban sunglasses. luxury food; printed T-shirts; musical instruments; plumbing supplies; herbal medicines; gold and silver jewellery; religious offerings; spices; woven mats and much; much more. 

Some of the more specialized streets include Pho Hang Quat with its red candle-sticks; funeral boxes; flags and temple items; and the more glamorous Pho Hang Gai; with its silk; embroidery; lacquer ware; paintings and water puppets (silk sleeping-bag liners and elegant ao dai are very popular here). Finally; no trip to the Old Quarter would be complete without a visit to Dong Xuan Market (cnr Pho Hang Khoai & Pho Dong Xuan); which was rebuilt after a fire in 1994. 

A stroll through the historic Old Quarter can last anywhere from a few minutes to the better part of a day; depending on your pace and how well you navigate the increasing motor traffic plaguing the streets. However long or whatever detours you might take; the suggested route in the boxed text `Old Quarter walking Tour` will provide you with a good dose of Vietnamese culture; and some insight into the country`s long history.

For more information on The History of Hanoi's Old Quarter (by Queencafe)

Hanoi Flag Tower

Location: Flag Tower is on Dien Bien Phu Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi; near Ba Dinh Square. Characteristic: Hanoi Flag Tower, also called Cot Co, is one of the rare architectural works in Hanoi that was fortunate enough to not be destroyed by the French administration between 1894 and 1897. 

It was used by French troops as an observation tower and communication station between command headquarters and adjacent military posts. 

It was built in 1812 and is composed of three platforms and a tower. The words Nghenh Huc, meaning "to welcome dawn's sunlight," are inscribed on the eastern door. The western door bears the two words Hoi Quang, meaning "to reflect light," and the southern door, Huong Minh, meaning "directed to the sunlight." 
The tower receives sunlight through 36 flower-shaped and six fan-shaped windows. 

 

HANOI CITY TOUR 1 DAY

A stay in Hanoi isn’t completed without visiting some of the places that make the city famous. Trekking Travel will guide you on bicycle, cyclo, or car. This tour is for up to 14 guests, traveling by mini van to all the highlights including ancient

PURFUME PAGODA 1 DAY TRIP

Perfume Pagoda is one of the most important religious sites of Buddhism in Vietnam. The pagoda itself was built into limestone cliffs and only can be reached by boat or on foot, as there are no roads in the area. This one day trip includes gliding along lovely 

HOA LU - TAM COC 1 DAY

A part from its historical interest, this area also is a astounding natural beauty with immense limestone outcrops whose splendor is often said to surpass of Ha Long Bay. Indeed this area is often referred to as the Ha Long Bay on land. The tour includes being rowed a 


HOA BINH - MAI CHAU 2 DAYS

Situated in a magnificent valley 150 km northwest of Hanoi, Mai Chau is home to the Thai minority people who live in remarkable wooden stilt house. The rolling hills with their beautiful rice terraces are ideal for walking. The verdant and rugged mountain scenery 

HANDICRAFT VILLAGES 1 DAY TRIP:
 Bat Trang, Dong Ho, Dong Ky

This day trip is designed to show you centuries of handicraft works of Vietnamese villages and more about the wet rice culture & Buddhism affect life. To make things more interesting, it provides you a short break out of Hanoi, fresh air, tranquil scenery of villages

HANDICRAFT VILLAGES
Bat Trang, Snake village, Co Loa citadel


Our car and guide come to pick up you at your hotel, it take you about 45 minutes going along the Red River to reach Bat Trang pottery village. You will walk around the village, visit families that have the workshop of making the pottery. See how the villagers find the mud

POGODA & VILLAGE: Thay & Tay Phuong Pagodas, Van Phuc silk village

Pick up you from hotel, car take you 01 hour to go along the beautiful villages and green fields to come to "Thay" village - village of " Teacher pagoda". This pagoda and " Tay Phuong" padoda are two of the oldest pagodas of

RED RIVER & PAGODA BY BOAT

The Red River is the second largest river of Vietnam after Mekong. It descends from Yunnan, a mountainous region south of China. It is known as the "six-head river" that enters Vietnam definitively at Lao Cai. It curves on more than 1000km ( over 600 miles )