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Half-Day Hanoi Home Cooking Class and Cultural Tour
"The tour starts from your hotel and after a short drive you will arrive at the the awesome property that features a peaceful atmosphere on the Red River bank. The hosts will warmly welcome you and introduce their members and begin exchanging culture bargain and to spend the local currency “VND” in the market.You then begin a 5 minutes cycle or walk to the local market. It’s great chance to buy local things by yourself and experience a variety of foods from all the groceries such as: herbs spices vegetables meats fishes
From $49.00
 
Hanoi Explorer Private Photo Tour
"Hotel pick-up.  We start the tour on historic Long Bien Bridge Yen Phu Street.  After introductions and a brief look at the story behind the bridge there is an overview of camera settings.  We then head up to Long Bien Bridge to shoot the Establishing picture.  Time now to move into Long Bien market Hanoi's biggest wet market to learn how to shoot Relationship pictures.  Our focus is on how to take naturalistic photos of people at work and play.  In Dong Xuan market we continue with Relationship pictures.  The market was originally built by the French in 1889
From $160.00
 
2-Day Halong Bay Signature Cruise from Hanoi
"Day 1: Hanoi - Halong (LD)7:45am - 8:15amPickup and transfer to Halong Bay.12.00pm Arrival transfer to Signature Cruise.12:30pm You will be welcomed aboard and greeted with a complimentary drink. Check into your cabin and freshen up.1pm As we begin to cruise through the bay a special lunch of fresh seafood and an assortment of appetizi extraordinary limestone karst landscapesOan Lagoon Teapot and Monster Head Islets. Explore Vung Vieng Village by local rowing boats or kayaks to discover the interesting daily lives of its inhabitants. Signature Halong Cruise will stay close to Drum Cave for the evening.6:00pm Join Vietnamese cookingL)6:00am The nicest time of the day on Halong Bay is the morning. Head to the upper deck to participate in our daily Tai Chi sessions. Relax with an early morning cup of tea
From $383.00

Out of Hanoi Tips (22)

Tam Coc and Hoa Lu

We visited this stone mason's yard on this tour. There were lots of interesting bits and pieces lying around and as well as being a good place to take lots of photos, it was just really quite interesting to wander around here for a while.

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IreneMcKay
Jun 12, 2015

The Perfume Pagoda 2

I got a little carried away with the photos again!!!! But how can you blame me? Everything was very picturesque and the endless traffic up and down the river was fascinating to watch. I really enjoyed visiting this area and would heartily recommend a trip here.

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IreneMcKay
Jun 12, 2015

Explore the villages (I)

Hanoi is well worth spending a week, but what if you become bored by it? Why not check out the villages in the vicinity of Hanoi? They will provide you with a unique view of Vietnam's rural life and you'll be amazed how untouristy this country can be. Not to mention the incredibly friendly people...

The best way to visit the villages is by motorbike. I believe that there are organised tours that can be booked somewhere in Hanoi's Old Quarter, but I always preferred going with a Vietnamese friend of mine. Moreover, students of the city's universities often offer guided tours of Hanoi's sights but also its surroundings in order to practice their English (or German, French, Spanish, you name it).

If you choose to go on your own, the first thing to do is getting a motorbike - go to Hang Bac street and rent one. There are plenty of shops and if you bargain a little (or keep it for longer than just a day), you'll get quite a reasonable price. Second, get yourself a map of Hanoi. Good ones can be purchased in Trang Tien street in any one of the bookstores. Third, practice driving! As stupid as this sounds, Hanoi's traffic is awful (though very funny if you finally find out how to survive it) - your normal driving skills won't be enough. In the countryside, the situation is better, but still not really safe. If you've done all that, you can finally start your exciting tour through the villages and the countryside.

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King_Golo
Jul 14, 2014

Explore the villages (II)

As Hanoi is encircled by the Red River (Song Hong) to the north, it is not easy to leave the city in this direction. Basically, there are only two bridges crossing the river - Chuong Duong bridge to the east and Thang Long bridge to the north (and the airport). Nevertheless, it's a wonderful tour if you leave Hanoi via Chuong Duong bridge. If you turn right immediately after the bridge, you'll find a dike road that follows the river. This road finally leads to Bac Trang village, known for its beautiful and partly incredibly kitschy ceramics. Don't be surprised if you find St.Bernardine dogs with a basket for easter eggs on their back, porcelain figures of little naked boys that stand upside down or misspelled English inscriptions a la "I loove you" on china animals. What you should do instead is consider buying a very beautiful tea service or the like. It's really cheap but still good quality. Furthermore, you can watch the porcelain makers working in some open factories. Bac Trang is a good place to start a tour through Hanoi's vicinity.

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King_Golo
Jul 14, 2014
 
 
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Explore the villages (III)

Instead of leaving the main road just behind Chuong Duong bridge, you may as well go straight on. Unfortunately, this road is heavily populated by all kinds of vehicles (such as oxen carts, bicycles, twenty-ton trucks, buses...). It's not in the best condition, either. The good thing: You can leave it anywhere you choose. If you turn to the left, you cannot get lost because this is the area between the airport road and the one you just left. Sooner or later, you'll end up on one of them. I would recommend driving on until Yen Vien and shortly after the town turn to the left at a white bridge. You will then find a village that is fully committed to steel production and processing. It's impressive to see: the machines are as old as the industrial age, there are no security provisions whatsoever, but there's an enormous amount of hard and rather badly paid work. I talked to people who punch ten-metre steel poles into smaller pieces for as little as $2 a day! Others melt steel and produce these poles - they have to work in temperatures of about 80-100°celsius. It's a big advantage if you've got some Vietnamese speaking person with you as this will make it easier to get into contact with the people. They are very friendly and probably as curious as you are. But be careful where you walk and stand - there's hardly any security and steel can be very destructive!

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King_Golo
Jul 14, 2014

Explore the villages (IV)

If you choose to follow the main road for a longer time, you will soon find signs that advertise furniture of any kind. Turn to the left and you'll come to the furniture village. This village focuses on wood processing. Almost every household seems to do nothing but carving, engraving, planing, hammering... The village produces everything from an ordinary table to a beautifully engraved four-poster bed. You may also purchase a Buddha statue of some 2 metres. Unfortunately, none of these items is easily transportable...

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King_Golo
Jul 14, 2014

Explore the villages (V)

Another tour might lead you to the area south of Hanoi. Leave the city via Ha Dong town and you'll soon be approaching beautiful Ha Tay province (in fact, you've already entered it when you're in Ha Dong). A first stop could be the so-called silk village just outside the city limits. Then you may consider driving further to two famous pagodas: Thay Pagoda and Tay Phuong Pagoda. Both are about 35km away from Hanoi. They are not too easy to find - a guide may be a good idea. Thay Pagoda is a tranquil place located on top of a mountain. The first thing you'll see is a lake in which a water puppet festival takes place annually in late March or April. The next thing will be dozens of children who try to sell souvenirs of all kinds as Thay Pagoda is very popular with Vietnamese tourists. Ignore the children and climb up the steep hill until you reach the actual pagoda which is built in the middle of the rocky summit. It's really beautiful. In addition to it, you should not miss climbing up to the very top of the hill because of the marvellous view from up there. Tay Phuong Pagoda is also located on top of a hill - but this time it's an earthen hill. It's not as beautiful as the other one, but the pagoda is less crowded. However, there are also many souvenir vendors who are even more importunate than those in Hanoi. You should plan at least half a day for a trip to these pagodas

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King_Golo
Jul 14, 2014

The Perfume Pagoda

A second day trip that we carried out involved a visit to the Perfume Pagoda. This pagoda is situated in the mountains about 60KM southwest of Hanoi.

The Perfume Pagoda, Chua Huong, is called the perfume pagoda because of the fragrance of the blossoms that surround it in spring time.

To get to the Perfume Pagoda first you must travel by bus then journey by rowing boat up a river valley surrounded by hills. We loved looking at the boats passing us and were delighted when several carrying dragon dance costumes to celebrate Chinese New Year came towards us.

When you get off the boat you must climb a steep path up the mountain to the pagoda. Our guide gave us a set time and we thought we had stuck to it, but took the wrong path on the way down and ended up lost. So lost we expected our tour to leave without us. When we eventually made it back to the boats, our guide was looking for us. We were embarrassed at having held everyone up. Then we discovered that half the remaining tour passengers were also lost. Our poor guide was off up and down the mountain looking for them, too. Close to an hour past the time we had all been told to come back, we all refound the transport. It was quite funny.

The pagoda has several shrines and parts occupy a dark cave.

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IreneMcKay
Jul 11, 2013
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bpacker

"The Adventure Continues in Hanoi ! Hanoi !"
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kokoryko

"Good morning Hanoi !"
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King_Golo

"Hanoi - City of the Soaring Dragon"
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imstress

"Hanoi"
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victorwkf

"Hanoi - City of Absorbing Sights and Sounds"
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Bat Trang, The Pottery Village, Hanoi.

Our trip to Hanoi came with a choice of half day tour. I choose the trip to the ceramics village and snake farm because the other options were things we could easily do by ourselves. Our very sweet guide tried to disuade us saying we would not enjoy the tour, but I would not budge on the issue. Now the snake farm was awful consisting of an unpleasant man with a deformed finger, due to a snake bite, thrusting snakes and bottles of liquor containing snakes in our face. Our guide was quite scared of him. So were we. However the ceramics village was great - so much choice and incredibly cheap. I bought a tea pot, bowl and octagonal jar. We also visited a temple on this trip.

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IreneMcKay
Jul 08, 2013

Hoa Lu

On the same trip that took us to Tam Coc we also visited the ancient capital of Hoa Lu. Hoa Lu is near the town of Ninh Binh.

Hoa Lu was once the site of the ancient capital of an old Vietnamese Kingdom called Dai Co Viet. This small Kingdom was only 300 hectares in size. This kingdom existed from the 10th century, during the Dinh and Le dynasties, to the 11th century, during the Ly Dynasty.

There are not many remains, but the mountain scenery and agricultral land are beautiful.

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IreneMcKay
Jul 07, 2013

BAT TRANG POTTERY VILLAGE

A tour to the Bat Trang Pottery Village was included in My CITY TOUR.

This village is located in the countryside and is a famous trade village, with over 6,000 people in 1,500 families living and working here. Most men in Bat Trang follow the traditional work.

Here, we were taken to a workshop where we saw the potters working, and the whole process through to it being handpainted and fired, and of course, the finished product on the shelves for us to buy.
A rather heavy souvenir, and there are some extremely big, beautiful pieces.

After looking at the workshop, I went for a wander around the village, looking at other Pottery for sale.
The men on their push bikes, laden with heavy pots was an interesting sight to see.

The also was an Ox for the tourists to take a ride on, I didn't do it, an extra charge for this.

Bat Trang also holds a annual village festival.

Location: Bat Trang Pottery Village is located in the south east of Hanoi, passing Chuong Duong Bridge turns right and go about 10km along the dyke of Red River.
Bat Trang belongs to Bat Trang Commune, Gia Lam District, Hanoi, Vietnam.

I did it on tour, but you could get a Taxi to bring you here.

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balhannah
Mar 25, 2011

VAN PHUC - HA DONG SILK VILLAGE

The Ha Dong Silk village (a trade village), is in the centre of Ha Dong town, Ha Tay Province, and is the ...............
BIGGEST SILK PRODUCING AREA IN VIETNAM

For 1000's of years, Silk has been weaved here. You can visit a home where weavers operate power looms. Silk patterns have now been computerized which cuts down the time from 20 days per pattern to 3 days per pattern.

The Museum shows the history of Ha Dong throughout the ages.
In Van Phuc, there are 730 households, with 1600 people earning a living here by weaving Silk.

I came here on my own, by Motorbike Taxi. On arrival, I was taken into the factory to watch the process of making Silk, then I went for a walk along the street, visiting various Silk shops. One thing I found here, was there wasn't any hard sell.
There was a big choice of silk products and material.

Tours come here or you can come on your own as I did.

LOCATION........ To reach Van Phuc village, travel south west out of Ha Noi on Nguyen Trai Street until you reach the border of Ha Tay province. Then turn right and drive for about 3km. The village lies to the left, some 12 km from central Hanoi.

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balhannah
Mar 25, 2011

Things to Do Near Hanoi

Things to Do

Indochina Junk

Indochina Junk ran our tour to and of Ha Long Bay. We took the Dragon Legend tour, which is one night. It began with pick up from our hotel (also arranged by IJ) in a luxury van at 7.30am - we were...
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City View Cafe

Having visited Hanoi 5 times,i generally like to visit City view Cafe on the 5th floor over looking Hoan Kiem Lake with a nice Bia Hoi. Sadly over the years i feel the standard of service has gone...
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Ngoc Son Temple

As with many temples in Vietnam there is a souvenir shop which sells religious items and other souvenirs that tourists may be interested in. The usual fridge magnets, books, plates and ornaments can...
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Women's Museum

This interesting exhibition on Hanoi’s street vendors was on display, upstairs, at the Women’s Museum and is well worthy of a visit even if the main museum part, downstairs, isn’t! It exhibits many...
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Old Quarter

In the Old Quarter you will find many ladies with their carrying yokes, especially near Dong Xuan Market. They will wander the streets usually selling vegetables and fruit, often sitting down at the...
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Perfume Pagoda

About a 2hour or 70ks drive from Hanoi, it gives you a chance to see the countryside, and perhaps, breathe in a little cleaner air, although there is smog still here. At the town of Ben Duc, you...
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Getting to Hanoi

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