Morning is the time the quiet streets of the evening start to percolate once more and the city gets its energy back. Begin the day with a visit to Bat Trang Pottery Village
, located just east of Hanoi. Famous for its blue and white pottery, the production of ceramics is very much a community-wide profession here and the main street is lined with pottery shops. Embark on a buffalo cart ride
through the villages, visiting a workshop where items can be hand painted and brought home. Return to Hanoi for lunch.
After lunch, visit the Museum of Ethnology
(closed on Mondays) which gives you insight into the variety of ethnic groups within the country, dedicated to the heritage and preservation of socio-cultural diversity. The building carries on its back a modern construction and character which takes great care to keep the proud displays of traditional culture and the collection of diverse tribal material approachable. Step inside and witness from art to artifacts, and everyday objects, that are often unknown cultures residing within the hills. You will become connected to a heritage you may have not even known, within colourful, geometric textiles and intricate jewelry. Wander through the courtyard that houses a small stream and little bridges and where you will come upon traditional homes, including a house on stilt of the Tay ethnic minority. Strong wooden pillars hold the thatched roof and open windows offer a refreshing cross breeze.
Afterwards, head to Truc Bach Lake
to enjoy a “swan paddle boat then ”taste some to Hanoi’s best ice cream – the legacy of the French in Vietnam. If the time permits, follow your guide to the 11th century Tran Quoc Pagoda
, Hanoi’s oldest Buddhist temple, originally built in the sixth century, and the Taoist Quan Thanh Temple
This evening watch a traditional water puppet show
, a uniquely northern Vietnamese art form especially designed for depicting scenes from rural life and episodes of national history. 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, this is a uniquely northern Vietnamese art form especially designed for depicting scenes from rural life and episodes of national history, 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.
Overnight in Hanoi.