Gain a deeper perspective of Vietnam in Hanoi, the traditional and cultural heart of the entire country, with this 6-day artist’s dream escape filled with private collections, hands-on workshops, and contemporary galleries. An added bonus is the overnight homestay in the countryside of the Red River Delta, surrounded by well-preserved ancient villages and sparkling rice paddies.
- Exclusive art tours with curators and researchers at top Hanoian galleries and museums
- Interacting with locals over family meals, workshops, and homestays
- Cycling through the Red River Delta through ancient, preserved villages and breathtaking landscapes
- A private tour of Thang Chuong Palace
This Tour is Perfect for
- Art lovers, 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
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
Day 4: Hanoi – Thanh Chuong Palace – Moon Garden
Day 5: Ky Son – Duong Lam Village – Hanoi
Day 6: 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 fish that couldn’t be fresher (because it’s still alive and kicking). Then, head into an alley and pull up a tiny plastic stool for a breakfast bowl of bun ca and ca cuon (a noodle dish served with fried fish, plenty of vegetables, and usually a broth).
Once you’ve had enough to eat, head to the Citadel, a true testament of Vietnam’s strength, resilience, and beauty. Marvel at the ancient architecture while strolling past leafy gardens and learning about the Citadel’s central position of power, of which it maintains even to this day. Then, head over to the superb Vietnamese Women’s Museum, an essential stop on any visit to Hanoi. Explore 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 on one of the most famous food streets in Southeast Asia.
Finally, spend the afternoon at a local café soaking up the atmosphere of a favorite Vietnamese hobby, drinking coffee with friends. Surrounded by businessmen and giggling teenagers, take your pick of local drinks, although we suggest trying the quintessential Hanoi specialty, egg coffee, a decadent drink brewed with Robusta beans and whisked together with chocolate powder and egg whites.
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Distance and Activities: 4km walking tour
Appreciate the finer things this morning with a behind-the-scenes gallery tour with Sophie, a British expat who has conducted a substantial amount of research on Vietnamese art. Visit private collections, the Fine Arts Museum, and contemporary art spaces to gain insight into Hanoi’s distinct art scene as well as a unique perspective on local history.
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: 4h art gallery tour – 2h workshop
Depart Hanoi after breakfast and travel through northern Vietnam’s Red River Delta, the cradle of Vietnamese civilization for thousands of years. Stop by Thanh Chuong Viet Palace, 35 km outside of Hanoi and one of its most important cultural spaces with an extraordinary collection of antiques and historical artifacts.
Arrive to Moon Garden Homestay 2 hours later, nestled deep into the countryside and surrounded by rice paddies, and settle into your surroundings, enjoying lunch and a welcome drink in the tiled courtyard and absorbing the old-world atmosphere of Vietnam’s countryside
After lunch, enjoy an herbal hand spa while practicing Vietnamese with a family member of the homestay. Once you’re nice and rested, take a gentle walk through the surrounding area, exploring the quiet villages of Ky Son, Tam Son, and Van Minh as well as Cham farming communities.
Return to the homestay and observe a traditional prayer ceremony featuring Vietnam’s unique and accessible form of Buddhism followed by a big dinner and footbath flavored with ginger, salt, and medicinal herbs to ensure a seamless sleep.
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Distance and Activities: 3h drive – 2h art gallery tour – 2h village tour
After a superb night’s sleep, enjoy a hearty breakfast. Then, hop onto a bicycle and explore the surrounding countryside. Whizz through farming communities and learn how the locals work the land – which will be different depending on the season – before arriving at Duong Lam, one of Vietnam’s best-preserved villages.
Duong Lam is famous for its preserved, centuries-old houses, and the production of tuong, a kind of fermented bean dipping sauce that you can sample if you’re feeling up for it! 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.
Return to Hanoi in the mid-afternoon and after freshening up, head to the Hanoi Opera House for a showing of My Village, a modern performance of rhythmic dancing, acrobatics and juggling showcasing traditional Vietnamese lifestyle with bamboo props and folk music.
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Distance and Activities: 6km cycling – 1.5h 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
Transfer and activities: 45′ drive
- 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
- 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)
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.