Things to do in Hanoi and around

The consistent appeal of Hanoi , for the millions of tourists who visit it every year, is the fact that it is usually unlike anything they have ever seen before. The uniqueness of Vietnam’s capital city has been over 4,000 years in the making, rising from the depths of an alligator-infested swamp to become one of the most vibrant, exciting and beautiful cities in Asia. Amidst the modern flurry of motorbikes and the perennial echoing of horns that engulfs Hanoi on any given day, you’ll find a city grounded in tradition and locals cherishing its enchanting, pulsating energy.

Best things to do in Hanoi – Vietnam’s Culture-Soaked Capital

Stroll Around the Old Quarter

Hanoi’s central district is the best place to see the city’s mesh of influences from its ancient  beginnings  to the present day. On a stroll, visitors can see the incredible colours of eclectic architecture along the Old Quarter’s Vietnamese, Chinese and French-built streets.

Walking around Hanoi Old Quarter

Visit the Temple of Literature

Built with beautiful stone blocks, wooden columns and low-slung tiled roofs amidst a verdant garden, the Temple of Literature acted as Vietnam’s first university from the year 1070. The brightest students in the country were invited here to take an extremely difficult entrance exam and to learn the treasured teachings of Confucius.

Temple of Literature

Pay Homage to Uncle Ho at Ba Dinh Square

The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum at Ba Dinh Square is an immense symbol of independence for the Vietnamese, who make pilgrimages here to see the embalmed body of the Father of the Nation. Outside here is where Ho Chi Minh declared Vietnamese independence from the French in a speech broadcast to millions.

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Take in the Views at Tran Quoc Pagoda

Hanoi’s oldest religious building is an excellent location for views of Tay Ho Lake, Truc Bach Lake and the city skyline. The pagoda was built in the middle of the 6th century by the Red River but moved to its current spot on the resplendent Thanh Nien Street in 1615.

Tran Quoc Pagoda

Get Educated at the Museums

Between the Vietnamese Women’s Museum, Museum of Ethnology, Hoa Lo Prison and more, Hanoi is the place to learn about the history and current state of Vietnam through society, culture and war. Most museums have excellent English translations and a wealth of interesting displays opening a window onto the birth of a nation.

Hoa Lo Prison

Things to do Outside of Hanoi – A Lush Playground on the Capital’s Doorstep

As hard as it might be to tear yourself away from Hanoi, there is a huge playground lying directly on its doorstep. The scenery of Northern Vietnam is defined by deep and lush colours, stretching to soaring mountain peaks, rolling over terraced fields of rice and shimmering amongst lakes, rivers, waterfalls and the ocean.

Take a Cruise around Halong Bay

Halong Bay is Vietnam’s number 1 tourist destination and the scenic icing on the cake for a country bursting with breathtaking nature. For the duration of 1, 2 or 3 days, visitors can live the unmissable Vietnam experience amongst towering limestone spires, permeating an emerald sea in consistently dramatic fashion. A fleet of cruises sails around the 1,600 forested islands of Halong Bay on a daily basis, showing their passengers an alternative world in the caves, beaches and incredible floating communes of fishermen living defiant of the modern approach to life.

To experience the uniqueness of Halong Bay Day Tour with thousands of 5-star Tripadvisor reviews.

Please click on: Halong Bay Tour with Incredible Asia Journeys .

Having more time in Halong Bay you can stay overnight on the cruise. Please see: Halong Bay Cruises.

Opt Instead for the Serenity of Lan Ha Bay

Lan Ha Bay, located just to the south of Halong Bay, is a limestone copy of its infinitely more famous neighbour, but with a fraction of the touristic attention. The bay is the earthen Sea of Tranquility and a 1-day, 2-day or 3-day cruise reveals its majesty for the relatively few tourists who make the trip here. 367 islands make up the tropical archipelago and Cat Ba Island sits as the jewel in the crown, containing a sea of healthy jungle clinging to imposing mountain ranges.

To really absorb the special atmosphere of Lan Ha Bay, click on itineraries of 2-day and 3-day Lan Ha Bay tours.

Escape Sails Halong Bay Cruise

Explore the Diversity of Ninh Binh Province

In scenery reminiscent of Halong Bay, Ninh Binh Province stands 100km south of Hanoi as a land-based alternative to the country’s number 1 tourist attraction. A strong palette of colours finds a home in Ninh Binh, splashed across stretching fields of rice and incredible karst rocks coated in trees, all viewable on bamboo rowboat rides at across Trang An, Van Long and Tam Coc.

Click on Hoa Lu Tam Coc Day Trip for more information of the day tour from Hanoi offered by Incredible Asia Journeys.

Hoa Lu Tam Coc Day Trip

Get Lost Amongst the Mountains of Sapa

Much of northern Vietnam’s hugely attractive natural features can be found amongst its mountains, but the crown of the region belongs to Sapa. The country’s final flourish of elegant mountain ranges, before its border with China, offer unbelievable vistas and a look into how rural ethnic minorities express their individual cultures in front of the most astounding of backdrops. Trekking remains the most popular activity in Sapa and is the best way to slowly unfurl the beauty of the region. 

Our one-day or multi-day treks around the jaw-dropping Muong Hoa Valley are available across our Sapa Tours – clickable through this link.

Sapa Tours

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