5 Days

Home > Hanoi Culture and Traditions

Trip Overview

This 5-day itinerary explores the wonderful traditions and history of Vietnam’s charming capital, Hanoi, through workshops, cycling tours, and off-the-beaten path historical attractions. It also includes a day-trip to the culturally-rich Red River Delta and its many ancient villages and pagodas.


  • Interacting with locals over family meals and homestays
  • Cycling through the Red River Delta through preserved villages and breathtaking landscapes
  • Attending a traditional Do-paper workshop led by Hanoian artists
  • Wandering the charming countryside surrounding Thay Pagoda

This Tour is Perfect for

  • Culture aficionados and history buffs
  • Combining exciting city life with pristine nature and natural beauty
  • Leisure travel in a relaxed, upscale style
  • Combining a stay in Hanoi with the mountains of Sapa or a Lan Ha Bay cruise

Detailed Itinerary

Topas Travel creates tailor-made tours for our guests according to their specific requests. This itinerary has been designed to show you just one of many options

Day 1: Hanoi Arrival
Day 2: Hanoi
Day 3: Hanoi – Banana Island – Hanoi
Day 4: Hanoi – Duong Lam – Thay Pagoda – Hanoi
Day 5: Hanoi Departure

Xin Chao and welcome to Vietnam! Upon arrival to Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport, a Topas representative will welcome you to the land of the ascending dragon before heading straight to your hotel in the heart of the city. The day is at leisure to discover Hanoi on your own, wandering the crooked alleys of the iconic Old Quarter and the promenade around Hoan Kiem Lake until an evening dinner date with a local family.

When you want to get to know a culture, there’s nothing quite like breaking bread (or spooning rice) with a local family. Expect to fill up on spring rolls, hearty soups, light stir fries and plenty of hot white rice. Get to know the family without worrying about the language barrier, as English-speaking students from the local university will accompany you throughout, teaching you about local etiquette and making sure you avoid making any social faux pas.

Included meals: Dinner
Distance and Activities: 45’ drive

Experience the morning like a true Hanoian at Hang Be Market, one of the Old Quarter’s liveliest “wet” markets. Wet means fresh, so expect picture-perfect mountains of vegetables, a rainbow of exotic, tropical fruits, and all manner of other items.

Once you’ve had enough to eat, pass the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum on the way to the Temple of Literature, the oldest university in the country that also functions as a place of prayer, especially for students during exam week). Then head to the Citadel and Flag Tower, a true testament of Vietnam’s strength, resilience, and beauty.

Browse the superb exhibits at the Vietnamese Women’s Museum, an essential stop on any visit to Hanoi. Learn about the heroines of Vietnamese society, especially in regards to ethnic minorities, war, and modern exhibitions before heading back to the Old Quarter for a tasty lunch in one of the Old Quarter’s most picturesque houses, with tiled flooring, ancient wooden beams, and antique furniture.

Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Distance and Activities: 4h sightseeing tour

Most visitors to Hanoi stay within the city, navigating the hustle and bustle of thousands of motorbikes weaving through the streets. However, what most don’t know or get to experience is Hanoi’s close proximity to an idyllic countryside. Banana island, found beneath the legendary Long Bien Bridge, is a pocket of vibrant nature hidden right in the middle of the city center. Explore the network of paths on a bicycle before heading back to the city for lunch.

In the afternoon, visit Zo Workshop and join a class to learn the ancient process (100 steps) of creating Do paper, a traditional type of material from the 18th century used for paintings, royal decrees, calligraphy, and historical records. Once the class is complete, the rest of the afternoon and evening is free at leisure.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Distance and Activities: 15 to 25km cycling, 2h paper-making workshop

Take a day-trip through the Red River Delta, the cradle of Vietnamese civilization for thousands of years, to Duong Lam, one of Vietnam’s best-preserved villages. Enjoy a lovely stroll through the quiet roads, gazing at  centuries-old houses, and trying tuong, a kind of fermented bean dipping sauce produced here.

Settle down for a picnic lunch in one of the ancient houses before continuing on to the tomb of Ngo Quyen and the temple of Phung Hung, two of Vietnam’s most important historical figures.

Depart from Duong Lam and stop by Thay Pagoda, a gorgeous pagoda dedicated to Buddha. Admire the ornate architecture and charming scenery before returning to Hanoi in the late afternoon.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Distance and Activities: 6km walking tour, 3h round-trip drive

Savor your last morning in Vietnam with a final bowl of pho and enjoy the day at leisure until your transfer to Noi Bai International Airport for onward travel.

Included meals: Breakfast
Distance and Activities: 45’ transfer

Tour Inclusions

  • 2-way private A/C airport transfer
  • All accommodation indicated as twin-shared room
  • All meals as indicated in the program
  • All entrance tickets to local villages
  • Refillable water in vans (Please check with your guide or driver)
  • 1 x English speaking local tour guide on days with activities
  • Government VAT

Important Notes

  • Prices are quoted in Vietnamese Dong and valid until 31st October 2020
  • Prices based on group of 4
  • Exchange rate applied at VND 23,200. to USD 1
  • Prices calculated with Value Added Tax
  • Surcharge may be applicable during peak season and public holidays

Tour Exclusions

  • Drinks and alcohol
  • Vietnam visa (On request with additional charge)
  • Travel insurance (Compulsory with Topas Travel programs)
  • Upgrades to higher standard rooms or single supplements
  • Personal travel items (Please visit our Vietnam weather page for more information)

Essential Information

This program utilizes comfortable accommodation in the form of carefully curated hotels, lodges, and homestays. Hotels and lodges have been selected with the active traveler in mind, offering standard services and located as close to nature and local engagement as possible. Homestays are simple and equipped with western toilets and amenities such as fans and mattresses. If you have a specific property in mind you wish to stay at, please let your travel designer know so they can work it into your program.

All bookings are made with and through Topas Travel. By booking a trip with Topas Travel, you agree to the terms and conditions set forth here.

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