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5-day trip in Northern Vietnam, discover ancient Hanoi (Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Complex, One-Pillar Pagoda, Temple of Literature, cyclo tour around Old Quarter, Hoan Kiem Lake), take a wooden junk boat trip on Ha Long Bay – UNESCO World Heritage, visit traditional Duong Lam Village for a walk or take a bike ride around.
Itinerary: HANOI – HALONG – HANOI – DUONG LAM – DEPARTURE
Day 1: Hanoi arrival (-/-/D & guide)
Arrive in Ha Noi. The guide and car will pick up and transfer to hotel for check-in. Enjoy a special cyclo tour around Hoan Kiem Lake and old quarter within one hour before dinner. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 2: Hanoi city tour (B/L/- & guide)
After breakfast, you will be picked up from hotel and transferred to visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Complex including Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum - the final resting place of Ho Chi Minh, the most iconic and popular leader of Vietnam, known to his people as ‘Uncle Ho’; his house-on-stilts which was built in the style of Vietnam's ethnic minorities, where he lived for most of his remaining days and One-Pillar Pagoda, built of wood on a single stone pillar, designed to resemble a lotus blossom, the symbol of purity, rising out of a sea of sorrow. Continue to visit Temple of Literature, which is a rare example of well-preserved traditional Vietnamese architecture. Founded in 1070 by Emperor Ly Thanh Tong, the temple is dedicated to Confucius (Khong Tu) and honours Vietnam’s finest scholars and men of literary accomplishment. It became Vietnam’s first university in 1076.
Day 3: Hanoi – Ha Long – Hanoi (B/L/- & guide)
Depart from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay in the morning and arrive at the pier around noon. From here you will board a traditional wooden junk boat and start to explore the stunning mystical landscape of Halong Bay, one of the world's most famous UNESCO World Heritage sites where thousands of limestone karsts and islets in various sizes and shapes rise from the clear, emerald water of the Gulf of Tonkin, most of which are uninhabited and unaffected by humans. The wind, rain and sea have carved out dramatic caves and grottoes in some of the islands, several of which will be explored. Many have names that reflect the shape of the rocks such as Stone Dog, Incense Burner (Dinh Huong) and Fighting Cock (Ga Choi). At the core of the islets, we will visit a wonderful cave and grotto named Thien Cung (Heavenly Residence Grotto) before returning to Halong pier. Disembark at Halong pier at approximately 16.30 pm and return to Hanoi by vehicle. Overnight in Hanoi.
After lunch, you will visit one of the world's most popular museums - Vietnam's Museum of Ethnology, which gives an insight into Vietnam's diverse culture of the 54 ethnic groups. Enjoy a short visit to the historic Old Quarter of Hanoi with 36 streets named after the goods once sold there. Then head to Hoan Kiem Lake, an oasis of calm right in the heart of the city; nearby Ngoc Son Temple, which is reached via the red-painted, wooden The Huc Bridge. Free time for shopping. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 4: Duong Lam ancient village (B/L/- & guide)
In the morning, depart from your hotel to Duong Lam Village which is about 60 km west of Hanoi. This village has been known as a museum of laterite with ancient houses aged up to 400 years old. It is also the only place in Vietnam where the two kings King Phung Hung and Ngo Quyen were born - the two heroes who led resistance wars against China's Sung and Southern Han troops to recover national independence.
Enjoy a walk or take a bike ride around the village, you will explore the special architecture, traditional culture and traditions of countryside of Vietnam which is still well preserved today. After lunch at a local house, head to Mia Pagoda, built during the Tran Dynasty before 1632 and still preserves many ancient artifacts. Mong Phu is the biggest and the most famous commune of Duong Lam Village. Here, you also can admire ancient houses made of laterite and mud, two materials that are abundant in the area, stroll in small lanes, and observe local people doing their daily business. Back to Hanoi. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 5: Departure (B/-/-)
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Noi Bai International Airport to take the flight home.
- Hotel accommodation based on sharing room with daily breakfast
- Traditional boat cruise on Ha Long Bay
- Private (A/C) transfers and transportation on tours
- Sightseeing & entrance fees on tour
- Meals as specified (no drink)
- English speaking guide
- Mineral water and cold towel on car/van/bus
- Vietnam visa on arrival processing service fee
- Drinks & Other personal expenses
- Travel insurance
- Early check-in and late check-out
- Domestic flights and airport taxes
- Others not mentioned in the itinerary