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  • Hanoi, Vietnam City Guide

GETTING AROUND HANOI

When possible, exploring on foot is our favorite way to see a new destination! Of course, traffic in the major cities of Vietnam is a sight unto itself, so even crossing the street can be an adventure. For-hire transport options include taxis, motorbikes, and cyclos, and require a bit of bargaining ahead of time to decide on a rate. Keeping all of that in mind, it is always best to check with your hotel concierge for the best way to get to any particular site of interest.

THINGS TO DO IN HANOI

Map of points of interest in Hanoi

Our tour includes a city tour and visits to many historic and cultural sites of Hanoi. If you decide to extend your time in Hanoi after the trip, the following sites come recommended by our local guides.

1. TEMPLE OF LITERATURE (Van Mieu Mon)

This 11th century relic was built as an homage to the Chinese scholar Confucius. Home to Vietnam’s first university, the Imperial Academy, the Temple of Literature is a rare example of well-preserved traditional Vietnamese architecture.

2. HOA LO PRISON MUSEUM

Built in the late 19th century, the Hoa Lo prison is a potent reminder of Vietnam’s history and occupation. Known ironically as the “Hanoi Hilton” by American POWs during the Vietnam War, the site now displays exhibits relating to the prison’s use leading up to the 1950’s, with a focus on Vietnam’s struggle for independence from France.

3. IMPERIAL CITADEL OF THANG LONG

Also known as Hanoi’s Imperial Citadel, this was the hub of Vietnamese military power for more than 1000 years. Ongoing archaeological digs showcase ancient palaces, pavilions, and monuments.

4. VIETNAM FINE ARTS MUSEUM

Showcasing Vietnam’s fine arts from a range of historical periods, the Fine Arts Museum offers English explanations for most artifacts as well as guided tours.

5. VIETNAM MUSEUM OF ETHNOLOGY

This museum is often stated to be the best in the country, and showcases extensive displays that highlight Vietnam’s 54 ethnic minority groups, traditional crafts, and well-crafted examples of houses
in the back gardens.

For hotel recommendations, please see the Pre- & Post-Tour section of your Trip Planner.

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