ITINERARY BY DAY
Experience Hanoi Like a Local (L)
At 08:30 am your insights tour starts with visiting Long Bien, the biggest Ha Noi’s wholesales fruit market which is always open 24/7. Farmers from all around Hanoi head for the area at the western end of Long Bien Bridge carrying their produce. Some sell to intermediaries, other set up their own stalls on the road. Stroll down to a favorite café corner in the Old Quarter and have coffee as locals do to start a new day.
Next is a city walk which commences at the fountain at the north end of Hoan Kiem lake (southern end of Hang Dao St). Then travel through some of the streets of the old quarter, highlighting the concept of the ‘36 trade streets’ where each street is named after the original product or service of the individual trade guilds. You see examples of traditional, French and Art Deco architecture. You will also visit a communal house and pagoda, the famous Bach Ma temple and see the house where Ho Chi Minh drafted the Declaration of Independence.
Enjoy some delicious cha ca (grilled fish) for lunch- one of Hanoi’s most revered culinary specialties or Vietnamese cuisines at a fine local restaurant.
The old citadel, first built by the Chinese in the late 600s AD, expanded into Thang Long by the Ly, Tran, and 2 Le dynasties, then dismantled and moved to Hue by one of the Nguyens, then subsequently partially rebuilt with French support, then the French domination of Vietnam – the good and the bad, culminating in the defeat of the French by the Vietnamese under the direction of Ho Chi Minh and Vo Nguyen Giap, all these are part of this tour. This walk will take place in 2 parts. In the 1st part, you’ll enter the archaeological dig of the Thang Long palace and spend about 45 minutes talking about the development of the site into an imperial citadel and the Forbidden City. You’ll then move on to the recently opened citadel where we’ll continue to talk about the establishment of Thang Long and its movement to becoming Ha Noi and talk about the beginnings of French influence. You’ll see some very early French architecture. End up at café for further discussion or chit-chat after a long day walk based on our city.
Back to your hotel around 5.30pm.