This morning, continue your exploration of Hanoi, Vietnam’s charming capital today. After breakfast, depart for a visit to the Temple of Literature
, Vietnam’s first university. Founded in 1076, the site, initially named Quoc Tu Giam, 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.
After the Temple of Literature
, proceed towards the monumental Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
, which houses the embalmed body of the communist leader in a glass coffin then pass the modest wooden stilt house where Ho Chi Minh lived in his later years. Nearby is the One Pillar Pagoda
, one of Vietnam’s most iconic temples, founded by fatherless King Ly Thai Tong in 1049. (Notes: Sites are viewed from outside; closed Mon and Fri and from Oct-Nov)
After lunch, if time permits, continue to picturesque West Lake
and visit Tran Quoc Pagoda
, Hanoi’s oldest Buddhist temple, originally built in the sixth century then the Taoist Quan Thanh Temple
, dedicated to Tran Vu, one of the principal deities in Taoism. Alternatively, visit the Fine Arts Museum
which displays a vast and wonderful collection of art and sculpture, ancient stone carvings, Buddhist statues and contemporary artworks.
End your Essential Vietnam Tour with deep insights into Vietnam cultures and its people. The remainder of the day is at leisure until your guide and driver transfer you to the Noi Bai Airport for the onward flight.