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Day 1 Hanoi – Vietnam’s quaint capital is a city of wide tree lined boulevards with tranquil lakes and colonial villa’s and a more sedate pace than other Asian cities. Hanoi offers something for everyone and will leave one wishing for a longer time to explore this enthralling capital. One of the best ways to discover Vietnam and to understand Vietnamese culture is to get to know more about its food. Vietnamese food is one of the most diverse in the world, and without any doubts one of the tastiest. In Hanoi, from markets to food stalls, and to coffee shops, food is everywhere.
This afternoon after enjoying a private vehicle transfer from our airport representative to your hotel, join an afternoon tour and sample the best food that Hanoi has to offer. Start with a ‘wet market’ and browse the aisles of fresh produce and exotic items such as live frogs. The market is always busy with shoppers buying ingredients for the day’s meals.
Step out of the market and back onto the streets in search of some daily snacks of local which are displayed along road side. Halt to taste a piece of fresh spring roll or a crispy pancake before wandering through narrow streets to the corner with full flavor of bun cha, fresh rice noodles with grilled pork. Continue to savor Vietnamese dessert by traditional sweet cakes made from some kinds of local herb or a little cup of fresh fruit mixed with greasy coconut milk. Stroll around the bustling Old Quarter, find a street side café and sip a cup of traditional Vietnamese coffee especially coffee with eggs while watching a bit of people passing by. With a better understanding of Vietnamese gastronomy and unforgettable impression of Hanoi street food, return to the hotel.
Day 2 Hanoi – After breakfast todays excursions take you to Long Thuong Village. A mere 45 minutes away from the hustle and bustle of the city, Long Thuong Village has been the home of a community of bronze casters since the 13th century. Explore their village and observe how different families create products suchs as tripod cauldrons, incense-burners and flower vases. You can engage with the locals and learn about the history of their community through stories of the war.
Proceed on a 20-minute walk on a hardened road between rice paddies to visit the 200-year-old Nom Village. The centre of this little town reveals a beautiful architectural complex consisting of a common house, an ancient well and a banyan tree. Explore the narrow brick roads and visit another antique house. You will engage in a conversation with the host over a cup of traditional tea to learn more about local life and the traditions that define this community. Conclude the trip with a visit to the holiest place in the village, Nom Pagoda, embedded in a century-old pine forest which is famous for its ancient Buddhist statues. (B, L)
Day 3 Hanoi touring – Today’s tour will begin at 08:00 when you meet your guide and leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind for the experience of cycling the Hanoi countryside. After a safety briefing and bike fitting, begin pedalling through small back alleys of Bac Bien Village. Arrive at the banks of the Duong River and board a local ferry for a short crossing, enjoying the scenes as the boat glides across the water.
Back on the bikes, pedal parallel to the river then turn in to quaint villages. This presents the perfect opportunity to discover traditional local houses, ancient pagodas and temples, lively markets and gardens. Halt for photos or simply to enjoy the atmosphere of authentic Vietnamese country life. Enter into a family’s house for a visit learning about their daily life while sipping tea.
Following this insightful bike ride through Hanoi’s outskirts, pedal back in to town and return to the hotel for an evening at your own leisure. (B & L)
Day 4 Hanoi -Enjoy your finals hours at leisure until you meet your driver in the hotel foyer who will provide the private vehicle transfer to the airport. (B)
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