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Upcoming holiday in Hanoi: Sightseeing from central city to outskirts

The five-day holiday is an occasion to explore the colorful life of a dynamic, creative city, offering visitors a variety of experiences.

Hanoi promises to be an experience-rich destination for tourists this holiday season. The capital boasts a plethora of attractions with natural and cultural charms that can satisfy all types of tourists. Especially in celebration of Reunification Day (April 30) and International Workers’ Day (May 1), these are The Hanoi Times' recommendations for your trip from downtown to the suburbs.

Duong Lam Ancient Village in Son Tay Town, Hanoi. Photo: Nga Do

Day 1: Hanoi - the millennial capital

With a rich history, Hanoi offers a variety of unique historical and cultural relics that bear the distinctive marks of each era. If you are a history buff, you can spend your first day visiting Thang Long Imperial Citadel, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Temple of Literature - Imperial Academy, One Pillar Pagoda, Hoan Kiem Lake - Ngoc Son Temple and Thang Long's Four Guard Temples (namely Quan Thanh, Voi Phuc, Bach Ma and Kim Lien).

Besides admiring relics and ancient artifacts, visitors can also take night tours of the Thang Long Imperial Citadel, Temple of Literature and Ngoc Son Temple. Such unusual experiences will give visitors a new and impressive perspective on the destinations.

The suggested itinerary for the first day includes watching the flag-raising ceremony at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum at 6am., visiting the Mausoleum, touring the Thang Long Imperial Citadel, admiring the beautiful streets of Hanoi, such as Thanh Nien and Phan Dinh Phung, sampling West Lake ice cream and shrimp cakes, going to Tran Quoc Pagoda, sitting back at a West Lake cafe, and watching the sunset over West Lake.

 Trang Tien Tien Street after rain. Photo: Vinh Pham/ Yeu Hanoi Group 

Day 2: Duong Lam Ancient Village - Ba Vi National Park

If the first day is filled with cultural experiences in the heart of the city, the second day will be a journey among old villages and lush greenery.

Located over 60 kilometers from downtown Hanoi, Duong Lam Ancient Village is one of the attractions that still preserves the traditional beauty of the northern Vietnamese countryside.

Arriving here is like stepping into another world of banyan trees, water wells, communal courtyards, medieval laterite walls, quiet village streets and chirping birds.

Duong Lam is also known for its diverse, delicious food and snacks, which many Vietnamese associate with their childhood.

If you have enough time to feel the relaxed pace of life in this village, take a break at the refreshment stand opposite the Mong Phu Communal House.

 Wonderful Nature in Ba Vi National Park. Photo: Melia Ba Vi Mountain Retreat

From Duong Lam Ancient Village, travelers only need to drive 20 minutes to encounter the cool green canopy of ancient trees in Ba Vi National Park. Completely different from the hustle and bustle of the city, Ba Vi is a wonderful place to slow down, relax and recharge.

Inside the national park, a medieval church, a cactus greenhouse, Uncle Ho's Temple on Vua Peak, or Thuong Temple are among the many sights for visitors to explore. You can camp in the Coste 400 pine forest if you want to stay longer in the park.

Day 3: Explore the Heritage Road in the South of Thang Long

Day 3 is a journey to delve into Hanoi's long-standing traditional craft villages in Thanh Oai, Ung Hoa and My Duc districts. Along the "Nam Thang Long Heritage Road" are craft villages and relics imbued with the culture and history of the land to the south of the ancient Thang Long Citadel.

In particular, Noi Binh Da Temple in Binh Minh Commune, Thanh Oai District is associated with the legend of Lac Long Quan and Au Co - the ancestors of the Vietnamese people.

Meanwhile, the incense-making craft village in Quang Phu Cau Commune, Ung Hoa District is famous for its photogenic scenes thanks to the attractive colors and arrangement of incense sticks, not to mention many other charms of local craft and culture.

 Quang Phu Cau incense-making village. Photo: DMC Travel 

Meanwhile, the weaving village in Phung Xa Commune, My Duc District, famed for its signature My Duc lotus silk products, allows visitors to experience the stages of growing mulberry trees, raising silkworms, spinning silk, weaving fabric, growing lotus plants, producing lotus silk, and weaving and embroidering with lotus silk. 

Besides handicraft villages, visitors can also explore Quan Son Lake - 'Ha Long Bay on land' of My Duc District, and enjoy boating on the lake, camping, and BBQ parties.

Day 4: Bat Trang Ceramics Village - Sunset  camping by the Red River

Celebrated for its traditional pottery, Bat Trang attracts tourists with highly experiential activities. Not far from Hanoi, this destination is accessible by car or motorbike.

Bat Trang is indicative of the whole street where every house sells ceramics. The products on display come in all sizes and shapes, making it impossible for visitors to take their eyes off them.

 Bat Trang Ceramics Museum with unique architecture. Photo: Tuan Dao

After strolling through the village, the Bat Trang Ceramics Museum is a perfect stop for photo opportunities and learning about the history of Vietnamese pottery. Located near the Bac Hung Hai irrigation system, the museum has a unique design inspired by a pottery wheel.

After leaving Bat Trang, travelers have two options to continue exploring Hanoi on the fourth day of their vacation. The first, for those who like excitement and bustle, is the Mega Grand World Hanoi complex in Ocean City, about 10 kilometers from the Bat Trang Ceramics Museum.

The second option is to set up camp and watch the sunset at the Longan Garden under the Vinh Tuy Bridge if you want a quiet afternoon.

Above are The Hanoi Times recommendations for the five-day holiday in Hanoi starting on April 27. Hopefully, they will be useful for your vacation plans.