Begin with pickup at your hotel, then start the day at Tran Quoc pagoda, a Buddhist temple set on a West Lake peninsula, and one of the oldest pagodas in Vietnam. Continue to the Ho Chi Minh complex, which remembers the Communist leader—known by many Vietnamese people as Uncle Ho— with botanical gardens, his former house, and the One Pillar pagoda.
Explore Confucian heritage at the 11th-century Temple of Literature, where you’ll find a prime example of traditional Vietnamese architecture, and the site of Vietnam’s first university. Finish the morning with lunch at an Old Quarter restaurant.
The afternoon program depends on the day: on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, you’ll visit the traditional ceramics village of Bat Trang to see showrooms, with demonstrations of how the distinctive handicrafts are made. On Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, or Sunday, head to the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology to learn about the 54 cultural group living in Vietnam.
All tours make the final stop of the day at Hoan Kiem Lake, a scenic spot at the very center of Hanoi. Visit Ngoc Son Temple, or ‘the Temple of the Jade Mountain,’ which is dedicated to a warrior, a saint, and a scholar. This tour concludes with drop-off at your hotel at roughly 3:30pm.