Hi! I'll be spending a week in Hanoi in May. I plan on doing a 3 day tour of Halong Bay, but other than that I was wondering what else is worth seeing in the area. Is 1 week too long? I'll be staying in the old quarter, I know the Mausoleum Complex and Temple of Literature are big attractions. I was thinking of going to Ba Be national park but it's quite a ways away. Any suggestions?!
#1 Mariane12 has been a member since 17/4/2009. Posts: 7
So if you're already doing a three day Ha Long trip, you've only really for four days in Hanoi -- I'd plan on spending the four days there. there's quite a few museums worth a look, and Hanoi is an allround nice kinda place to hang out. See the sights and activities part of our Hanoi coverage for more info.
Given your limited time I'd skip Ba Be and save it for the next trip.
#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,800
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We took the local bus to the Ho Chi Minh Trail Museum. It's a bit of a way out, but the bus journey is enjoyable (as is the museum). Locals in HaNoi will tell you the bus number and where to get it. The museum is at the journey's end.
In case you're committed to a week, you could also enjoy the day journeys to Perfume Pagoda and/or Tam Coc.
An alternative is a trip to Mau Chai and a stay in a white Tai stilted house.
Definitely check out the Museum of Ethnology on Nguyen Van Huyen Road. A great place to learn more about the Ethnic Minorities of Vietnam - traditional clothing, custom, architecture (they have built several minority homes in the grounds of the museum - very impressive).
Temple of Literature is nice and lunch at KOTO (across the road) is a must. KOTO is a restaurant that provides a training and support program for Hanoi's street kids - a great cause.
A day trip to Tam Coc/Hoa Lo might interest if you want to see more limestone karst scenery.
You could even consider a homestay at Mai Chau. A great two day excursion out of Hanoi.
#5 tingers has been a member since 9/4/2009. Posts: 36