1. Hanoi: Full-Day City Tour with Lunch and Optional Extras
Start the day in the early morning from the convenient meeting point or with a pickup from your hotel in Hanoi’s Old Quarter. Meet your guide and driver and depart for Buddhist Tran Quoc Pagoda at West Lake, one of the oldest pagodas in Vietnam. Next up, visit the Ho Chi Minh Complex, consisting of the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Ho Chi Minh's Stilt House, and Ba Dinh Square. See the final resting place of Uncle Ho and the One Pillar Pagoda, an important symbol for the people of Hanoi. Discover the Ethnology Museum which offers an insight into the 54 different ethnic groups of Vietnam in an effort to preserve cultural heritage and promote sociology-cultural diversity within the country. The museum is packed full of information detailing traditional Vietnamese ways of life, from religious events to the symbolic rituals of all Vietnamese ethnic groups. Afterward, return to the Old Town and savor a delicious lunch at a local restaurant. Head then to Van Mieu Quoc Tu Giam, the Temple of Literature, and Vietnam’s first university, constructed in 1070 with its gardens and well-preserved architecture offering a relaxing glimpse into Vietnam’s past. Next stop is at Hoa Lo Prison, which was built by the French, from 1886 to 1901, when Vietnam was still part of French Indochina. Learn more about the wars against colonial France. If you would prefer to further explore the city, there is an optional cyclo tour taking in around 36 streets during a 45-minute ride on a traditional Vietnamese rickshaw known locally as a xích lô This was the most popular means of transportation in Vietnam during the French colonial period and was used as luxury transportation for the French and a small number of Vietnamese people at that time.