Halong Bay, Vietnam
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Approximately 11½ hours
Discover Hanoi—Vietnam’s capital and a remarkable city that will seduce you with its old-world charm. Boasting a romantic blend of ancient Asian and French heritage, Hanoi holds that it is the jewel in Vietnam's crown. It is an approximately 2 ½ hours drive from the pier, and upon arrival in Hanoi you will visit Ba Dinh Square, also known as the Ho Chi Minh Quarter. Nearby you will find the One Pillar Pagoda, and step inside the Temple of Literature, built in 1070 and dedicated to Confucius. This is a serene retreat from the busy streets and was Vietnam’s first university.
After a sumptuous lunch of local delicacies at a local restaurant, transfer to Hoa Lo prison namely Hanoi Hilton where most Vietnamese patriots were imprisoned by the French. When the American army began to drop bombs into Hanoi, many American pilots were arrested and imprisoned here. Some of them are Mr. John Mc.Cain, Mr. Pete Peterson, the first American ambassador to Vietnam after the war. Next stop is the ancient house at 87 Ma May Street which was built at the late of the 20th century near Hanoi Old quarters which is quite intact with typical architecture of ancient houses.
Continue to drive to the Sword Lake area. Take photos of the tiny island in the middle of the central lake perched the Ngoc Son pagoda, reached by an arched footbridge. Hoan Kiem Lake is also known as the Lake of a huge turtle species and you will hear the legend that is the origin of this name. Nearby is the quarter of 36 street district. You have some time to walk around this booming quarter of Hanoi. Pass the myriad of streets that were traditionally named after the tradesman that worked them - such as Tin Street, Paper Street and Silk Street. Drive back to the port.
Please note: Travel time to Hanoi is approximately two and a half hours each way.