October 12, 2015
Urban Adventures: Hanoi highlights
Written By Admin
- Explore the 1000-year-old university at the Temple of Literature
- Discover the soul of Vietnamese in its traditional tea arts.
- Visit the so-called “Hanoi Hilton” – the infamous Hoa Lo Prison that housed POWs during the Vietnam War
- Stroll along the legendary Sword Lake to admire the reflections of its stunning bridge and temple
- Marvel at the largest and oldest church in Hanoi, famous for its resemblance to the Notre Dame de Paris
- Duration: 4 – 4.30 hours
- Pickup location:Pick up at centrally located hotels in Hanoi.
- Pickup Time: 8.00 AM-8.30 AM
Dive in to the sights, sounds, and smells of our bustling city on our Hanoi city tour, a sure way to cross off some of the major Hanoi highlights.
Start the city tour with a visit to the Temple of Literature. Originally built in honour of Confucius by King Ly Thai Thong in 1070, a university was added to the grounds six years later. The university provided education to the royal family and children of the aristocracy or “mandarins”. The University remained here until King Gia Long moved the country’s administrative capital from Hanoi to Hue at the beginning of the 19th century.
Drop in to a traditional teahouse to taste some of the best Vietnamese flavoured green teas, and listen to thousand-year-old stories explaining the significance of tea leaves to local cultures. Tea is even better when served with some authentic snacks such as sweetened lotus seeds and green bean cake.
Continuing on our Hanoi tour, we’ll head to the Hoa Lo Prison museum. Used by French Colonists for political prisoners till 1954 and later by North Vietnam for American POWs, the prison complex was sarcastically nicknamed the “Hanoi Hilton” by American pilots during Vietnam War (1954-1975). Famous ex-prisoners of war include Pete Peterson (the first US ambassador to a unified Vietnam in 1995), and US Senator John McCain.
Our next stop will be the largest and oldest church in Hanoi. St Joseph’s Cathedral was built in 1886 with anarchitectural style often compared to the Notre Dame de Paris, this Gothic Revival church is not only a religious site, but is also a popular photo shoot backdrop for local teenagers.
We’ll continue to the heart of Hanoi – the Hoan Kiem Lake, with its magnificent The Huc Bridge and Ngoc Son temple. Experience the spiritual harmony of different religions coexisting in the same place. You may then continue your own exploration of the area or our tour guide will assist you in getting a taxi back to your hotel.
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