The old capital of Vietnam is full of excitement and intrigue. It is a city that has managed to preserve much of its history and colonial character, while still offering the dynamic hustle and bustle of an Asian metropolis.
The old town quarter in the heart of the city and where to get a true taste of how Hanoi must have felt years ago. To get lost in the magical (and confusing) labyrinth of narrow, busy streets is a memorable experience and you always stumble upon something special.
There are silk shops selling traditional Aou Dai dresses, scrumptious street food, a cozy café to sip Vietnamese coffee, or little bars serving bia-hoi (beer unique to Vietnam). This is also where some of Hanoi’s most attractive French architecture is located, just watch out for motorcyclists!
If fresh air and nature is what you seek, the city is renowned for its many lakes and small parks. The West Lake is the largest and a popular spot for lunch, view ornate neighbouring temples or to take a boat out on the water.
The city has many outstanding cultural attractions. The Vietnam Museum of Ethonology is a fascinating place to learn about the many ethnic tribes living in the country. Equally interesting is the Temple of Literature, built in 1070 is the country’s first university dedicated to Confucius and is home to the archives of the ancient mandarins.
Nearby Mai Chau is the ideal antidote for the action and fast pace of Hanoi. A serene and picturesque valley, it’s home to the friendly and colourfully-clothed White Thai tribe. Hiking and bike rides are popular activities as nature and tranquility are all here in abundance.
If you’re tempted to see this city from an insiders perspective in luxurious fashion, trust that Lightfoot’s team have the expert knowledge to provide a trip which gives you a well rounded escape to this tantalizing destination.