Welcome to Hanoi, home to the capital of Vietnam and much, much more. You are met at the airport by your local guide and taken by private transfer to your lush accommodation. You are immediately welcomed with kindness and are filled with anticipation for the explorations to come. The scent of ginger root and coriander fills the street. The city has a particular pulse that is both traditional and modern, where skyscrapers and luxury apartments can be seen in the distance but pagodas and temples are never far away. The flavor of the city combines its past and present into a delicate mixture of cultures, from the food to the city’s design. With the afternoon yours to enjoy at your leisure you could stroll through the streets to gain an early appreciation for Hanoi’s vibrancy.
A large stretch of motorbikes is offset by women in conical hats strolling down the street with a large pole resting on their arms, balanced by hanging, circular baskets holding lettuce or spinach. The city boasts a millennium of history, from temples to ancient citadels, where you can sit at the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre and witness a sample of the North Vietnamese culture in action. Dating back to the 11th century, rising out of the culture of flooded paddy fields and a need for entertainment, villagers would stand waist-deep in the water and let the puppets dance along the surface. Many shows feature the celebrated legend of Hoan Kiem Lake and the giant tortoise, showing you an imaginative world of myth, history, tradition, and the modern city’s connection to its roots.