We reached Hanoi at 1 am in morning, and hotel by 2 am. Our pickup for City tour was at 8 am in morning from the Hotel reception. As we always travel for our small kid who is now 2 years old, it is not easy to get start in morning. You always need extra time to prepare baby bag and stuff. So our day started at 6 am and tour at 8 am.
Hanoi is beautiful city, small shops selling their authentic food/breakfast in morning with small tables and stool outside of their mini restaurants, few shops selling fresh fruits and vegetables. Other shops are filled with beautiful and colorful flowers.
There are many mini bus you will get to see on road in Hanoi city. Many tour guides comes and call for your name and tour type which you opted for the day. Morning are very busy for them. After our pickup, they did 2 more pickup and then tour guide started his conversation with his group. He shared today’s itinerary and do’s and don’t do’s.
TRAN QUOC PAGODA
Tran Quoc Pagoda was the first stop. It is a Buddhist temple set on a west lake Peninsula. It is one of the oldest pagodas in Vietnam.
HO CHI MINH MAUSOLEUM
This is one of the must visit place in Hanoi City. Vietnamese people used to call him as Uncle Ho, which remembers the communist leader. This place is very crowded, you have to wait in long queue for more than 2 hours to see Ho Chi Minh. The highlight of that place is, Vietnamese have preserved their Uncle Ho body in this Mausoleum.
TRADITIONAL CERAMICS VILLAGE
This is a Bat Trang showroom. Here worker will demonstrate of how the distinctive handicrafts are made. You can buy beautiful paintings from the showroom.
VIETNAM MUSEUM OF ETHNOLOGY
This Museum talk about the Vietnam culture groups. There are around 54 cultural group living in Vietnam.
Lunch at Old Quarters Restaurant– Old Quarters are surrounded by many shops and mini restaurants. Tour guide will organize your lunch in one of the restaurants. I had given my preference of vegetarian food and out of my expectations, I got good vegetarian food to eat.
HOAN KIEM LAKE
Lunch generally finished by 2:30 pm and then headed to our last stop at Hoam Kiem Lake. It is a scenic spot at the very center of Hanoi. Good place for photography. Then option available to visit ‘Ngoc Son Temple’ or ‘The temple of the Jade Mountain’ , Which is dedicated to warrior, a saint and a scholar.
The tour will end at 4 pm in evening and it will concludes with drop-off at your respected hotels.
Overall it was hectic day to visit many places in one day, specially when you have to stand in long queue for around 2 hours. The energy already drained out and then many places to visit. Please be aware of pick-pockets at all the places, do not leave your things unattended.