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Depart the hotel to visit the Temple of Literature, or Quoc Tu Giam. Built in 1076, The Temple of Literature was Vietnam's first university and was established within a temple to educate Vietnam's royalty, mandarins and members of the elite.
The university functioned for an incredible 700 years and its gardens and well-preserved architecture offer a fascinating glimpse into Vietnam’s past. Especially, we have chance to get closer to an inscription of the UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme – Bia Tien Si or Stone stele records of imperial examinations of the Lê and Mạc dynasties.
This is a collection of 82 stone stelae that contain the names and related information of doctoral laureates who passed the imperial examinations during the reign of the Lê and Mạc dynasties from 1442 to 1779. The 82 stelae were made from stone in the form of tortoise-mounted tablet since tortoise was traditionally considered a symbol of longevity and everlastingness in Vietnamese culture. Preserved in good condition in the Temple of Literature, the collection was recognized by UNESCO in 2010.
Next we visit Hanoi’s UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Thang Long Imperial Citadel. The Citadel was constructed on a Chinese fortress dating back from the 7th century and re-built in the 11th century by the Ly Viet Dynasty. The historical site and remains reflect a unique South-East Asian culture between influences from China in the north and the ancient Kingdom of Champa in the south.
We also visit The One Pillar Pagoda, which was founded by King Ly Thai To in 1049. This structure is one of Vietnam’s smallest but most iconic temples. Close by is the mausoleum of the historic father figure of modern Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh, and the former presidents house on stilts where he lived from 1958 to 1969. His former home illustrates the modesty of this Vietnamese revolutionary (Viewed from the outside; closed Mondays & Fridays and from Oct.-Nov.)
Afterwards we continue to Hanoi’s picturesque West Lake area and the sixth century Tran Quoc Buddhist Pagoda. From here transfer (or stroll along the lakeside) 700 meters to the nearby Taoist temple of Quan Thanh dedicated to Tran Vu, one of the principal deities in Taoism.
Next, visit Hanoi’s Old Quarter, also known as the ‘36 streets’ area. Take a walking tour through charming Hang Be Market and around Hoan Kiem Lake. This bustling area of narrow streets and alleys is home to literally thousands of small businesses and shopkeepers. It's a great place to explore with plenty of photo opportunities all around.
Finish the day with a Water Puppet show. This is a uniquely North Vietnamese art form depicting scenes from rural life and episodes of national history.
At 8.00-8.30 am, Alsimexco's tour guide will pick-up from your hotel in Old Quarter to depart to Ninh Binh city for a 2 hour car riding to Hoa Lu, the ancient capital of Vietnam in the 10th century under Dinh and Le Dynasty before having moved to Thang Long, the current site of Hanoi by Ly Dynasty.
In 968 AD, Emperor Dinh Bo Linh declared himself as the King. Since then Hoa Lu existed as the capital city of the Great Viet (Vietnam nowaday) for the next 41 years (968 – 1009), of which 12 years was under the Dinh dynasty – Emperor Dinh Tien Hoang and 29 years later was under the Le dynasty – Emperor Le Dai Hanh.
In 1010, Emperor Ly Thai To moved the capital from Hoa Lu to Thang Long – present day Hanoi. Hoa Lu became the old citadel. In Hoa Lu there are now 2 temples have been built on the ground of the old royal palace, one is dedicated to Emperor Dinh Tien Hoang, the other is to Emperor Le Dai Hanh.
The visit offers a chance to know more about part of feudal dynasties and historical periods in Vietnamese history. At 12:00 pm,enjoy buffet lunch at local restaurant.
After the lunch, taking the rowing boat at Tam Coc Harbour. Arranged by local people here, the boat is rowed by both hand and legs. The boat will take you to 3 specular caves with hundreds of limestones on the way.
If visitor travel during harvest season may see many water paddy fields in golden colors. The boat rowing will be in around 2 hours. Not only you could see the peaceful scenery of mountain, rice paddy fields, temples but also have chances to learn about local people cultures on their daily life.
Cycling ride (Optional): Those who love to explore real countryside images of Vietnam can proceed a cycling ride from Tam Coc to Bich Dong Pagoda (estimated time 40 minutes for 5km cycling 2 ways) to be amazed by the beautiful scenery of lust paddy fields.
Finish unforgettable full day trip at your hotel in Hanoi!
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Any part of this itinerary can be altered to fit your need, e.g.accommodation, tour length...