The Best Day Trips from Hanoi is the perfect guide for travelers looking to explore the areas around Hanoi, Vietnam.
Hanoi is located on a bend of the Red River. To the south and east lies the watery world of the Red River Delta, where farms and villages continue as they have done for millennia: producing crops and crafts to feed their craft. dollar. To the north and west, the Red River valley extends as far as China. Here, mountains rise from the floodplains of the great river, forming deep ravines surrounded by mountain peaks and misty forests. The Red River valley and delta are also the historical, mythological and spiritual center of Vietnam. It was here that the first great kings of the country ruled; Its first stronghold was built, and military victory was achieved. Therefore, this area has many temples, pagodas and shrines. In short, the best day trips (full half day) from Hanoi will bring lots of fun around this amazing city! You should include it in your Vietnam trip.
In this Vietnam Travel Guide, we outline the best day trips from Vietnam’s capital. If you are looking to travel to Saigon, you should check out the best day trips around Ho Chi Minh City.
Day trips from Hanoi:
All in all, all day trips listed here can be easily organized through reputable Hanoi travel agents. Because there are so many great attractions within Hanoi’s reach, we’ve sorted them into three groups by different categories:
Thay & Tay Phuong Temple:
Only 30 minutes west of Hanoi, these two pagodas have many beautifully decorated structures and are in surprisingly peaceful locations (due to their proximity to the city center of Hanoi). Built around craggy hills, these temple complexes are filled with rooms, lounges, ponds and courtyards. Small papyrus and jackfruit wood figurines house the prayer rooms, some dating back to the 16th century. Thay Pagoda was founded nearly a thousand years ago and has a fitting sense of time and history here, especially since there are very few tourists compared to other historical sites. Travel tips: combine with a trip to Ba Vi National Park (see below) Time: a few hours
Long considered Hanoi’s day trip, the Perfume Pagoda is a mystical journey southwest of the capital: first by road, then by boat through the limestone valley, and finally by boat. walk up long stairs to sacred caves with shrines. In many ways, this is the perfect day trip: a blend of natural beauty, history, culture and architecture. But over the years, it has become increasingly busy with domestic and foreign tourists and pilgrims. The crowds can’t detract from the natural beauty of the area, but the rubbish, the cheap sales and the constant troubles can make the place feel like a circus and certainly detract from its spiritual character. of this occasion. Travel tips: book a package tour from Hanoi so you don’t have to wait in long queues and bargain when you arrive. Time: half day or full day.
Hoa Lu ancient capital:
Strategically located in a forest of limestone hills, Hoa Lu was the capital of Vietnam from AD 968-1009. The physical setting is really beautiful, with rivers and moats bisecting dozens of limestone ‘hills’. Most of the original structures are gone, but a few temples dating back to the 16th century still exist. These buildings are dedicated to worshiping Emperors Dinh Tien Hoang and Le Dai Hanh, both of whom ruled from Hoa Lu. The temples are dark and airy, but the best place to see Hoa Lu is from the top of the hill where Dinh Tien Hoang’s tomb is located: from here there are stunning views of the area and surrounding countryside. Travel tips: combine with other attractions in the area, such as Bai Dinh Pagoda (see below). Time: full day itinerary (if combined with nearby sightseeing).
Bai Dinh Pagoda:
Just a few minutes’ drive from Hoa Lu, Bai Dinh Pagoda is a huge complex of brand new religious buildings. Although built on the site of an ancient temple, Bai Dinh was built between 2003 and 2010. The size alone is reason enough to visit. But there is also art and craftsmanship in the smaller details of this massive, modern Buddhist monument. For example, of the 500 statues that line the original courtyard, each of them is individually designed, giving a beautiful symmetry and rhythm to the overall layout of the complex that spans over 700 hectares. In terms of scale, awe, pomp and ceremony, there is nothing quite like it in Vietnam. However, Bai Dinh Pagoda has quickly become popular with domestic tourists, so expect crowding and a certain theme park atmosphere. Travel tips: combine with other attractions in the area, such as the Trang An boat ride (see below). Time: go all day (if combined with nearby points).
Ho Ancient Citadel:
Located the most southerly of all the attractions on this list, it’s worth the extra mile to visit the Ho Citadel, especially if you’re a history buff. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2011, the castle’s imposing walls and vast siege date back to the late 14th century. Having only recently begun to attract tourists, the gates and The old wall of the Ho Citadel is surrounded by a fertile rural landscape typical of the Red River Delta. The rest of this royal enclosure is impressive and vast. But another fascinating aspect of this historic site is that rural and rural life continues inside the ancient complex. Travel tips: combine with Ho Chi Minh Road (see below) for a scenic drive to and from the citadel. Time: full day trip, including travel time.
Phat Diem Cathedral:
Visited in 1951 by Graham Greene and featured in his novel The Quiet American, Phat Diem Cathedral is an architectural fusion of Christian, European and Asian elements. The result is an enchanting East-West version of a cathedral. The arched, tiled roofs, stone nave and wooden pillars of this 1891 church are quaint. The church serves the large Catholic community in the area, which has been in contact with Christianity for nearly four centuries, since the arrival of Portuguese missionaries. Travel tips: combine with nearby attractions, such as Tam Coc boat trips (see below). Time: full day itinerary (if combined with nearby sightseeing).
Ba Vi National Park:
Once a hill station during the French colonial period, the slopes of Ba Vi mountain covered with trees grew to the west of Hanoi. About 70 km from the capital, this national park is an easily accessible part of nature: plenty of trees, birdsong and fresh air just a few hours’ drive from Hanoi. A road leads close to the top of the mountain, which offers beautiful views of the Red River Valley and back to the expansive urban area of the capital. Hiking, birdwatching, and waterfalls are all offered. Travel tips: combine with Thay Pagoda and Tay Phuong (see above). Time: half a day.
Tam Dao Hill Station:
Another French colonial hill station nestled in the mountains northwest of Hanoi, Tam Dao is bigger, greener and wilder than Ba Vi. Three main peaks emerge from the mist to form the three islands (‘three islands’). The area is a national park, with a variety of flora and fauna on the forested slopes. Tam Dao town itself is a tourist trap, but from here there are hiking trips to bamboo forests, waterfalls and orchid gardens. At an altitude of nearly 1,000m above sea level, the temperature here is significantly cooler than Hanoi, which is especially attractive if you visit during the hot and humid summer months. Travel tips: avoid weekends, when Hanoians flock here in large numbers. Duration: a full day trip.
Mai Chau Valley:
Although most visitors will want to spend more than a day in this verdant valley, if you’re running out of time, you can head to Mai Chau and back in a day. Improved road connections from Hanoi mean Mai Chau’s verdant valleys, terraced hillsides and ethnic minority villages are easier to reach from the capital than ever before. They will take a lot of time in the car, but it is a fascinating journey and by lunchtime you will be in the green arms of one of the most beautiful valleys in Vietnam. Relax in a wooden stilt house owned by a white Thai minority family and dine on wonderful home-cooked food while overlooking the sea of rice, before taking a gentle hike through the valley. valley. Travel tips: start as early as possible to get the most out of the day. Duration: a full day trip.
The Ho Chi Minh Road to Cuc Phuong National Park:
One of Vietnam’s longest and most beautiful highways, the Ho Chi Minh Road begins just an hour west of Hanoi. From here, head south through a memorable landscape of limestone outcrops broken by azure rivers and dotted with small farming towns. In a day it can be as far south as Cuc Phuong National Park, where, weather permitting, you can swim in the river before heading back to Hanoi. Travel tips: combine with a trip to the Ho Citadel (see above). Duration: a full day trip.
Trang An & Tam Coc Boat Rides:
Trang An and Tam Coc both offer boat rides through enchanting landscapes of limestone caves and columns, creating a natural maze accessible only through narrow waterways, canals and canals. The wooden canoes are piloted by Vietnamese women, many of whom operate the boats with their feet to operate the oars. The scenery is amazing: it’s everything you want in exotic Southeast Asia. But be warned that both Trang An and Tam Coc are within the sights of domestic and international tourists and can therefore get very busy. Try to go early in the morning or after noon when the crowds tend to lessen. Travel tips: combine with nearby attractions, such as Bai Dinh pagoda (see above). Duration: a full day trip.
Bac Son Valley:
Located northeast of the capital, Bac Son is emerging as an alternative destination to Ninh Binh. Bac Son valley is a corridor of bright rice fields along a gently meandering river, bordered by majestic limestone spires: a landscape worthy of the Lord of the Rings. However, unlike Ninh Binh, mass tourism has not yet reached Bac Son, which means there will be more of a sense of adventure when visiting the area. There isn’t much tourist infrastructure yet, so driving around the beautiful valley and stopping for lunch in Bac Son town might be your only itinerary option. Travel tips: it’s a long way, so start early in the day. Duration: a full day trip.
Bat Trang Ceramics Village:
Of all the craft villages around Hanoi, Bat Trang is probably the most famous, easiest to get to and therefore, the most visited. Bat Trang is known for its pottery: bowls, plates, tiles and pottery of all shapes and sizes. Less than 15 kilometers from central Hanoi, the narrow, winding streets of Bat Trang village resemble a medieval suburb, still fueled by the industry that kept people busy for centuries. The famous blue and white ceramics are sold throughout town, but to see some of the actual work in progress, wander down some of the smaller, back alleys where you’ll find the incinerators coal and gas. Just a short distance east across the Red River, you can visit Bat Trang by bike or even on foot from the center of Hanoi. Travel tips: combine with other attractions near Hanoi, such as Thay Pagoda (see above). Time: a few hours.
Van Phuc Silk Village:
Just 10km southwest of Hanoi, Van Phuc is known for its silk production. With a long and proud tradition of producing some of the finest textiles in the country, you’ll find materials for tailor-made as well as custom-made apparel, both of which are inexpensive here. than in the center of Hanoi. There are many workshops in the area – the sound of electric looms is shrill – and no one seems to mind if you wander around them. Travel tips: combine with a trip to Ba Vi National Park (see above). Time: one hour.
Duong Lam Ancient Village:
About 50km west of Hanoi, Duong Lam is a preserved and restored traditional craft village. Although many of its buildings are new, a large portion of the older buildings (some as old as 300 years) still exist. It’s a very open place to walk around and the local villagers (many of whom appear to be in their eighties) are exceptionally friendly and chatty. The traditional architecture is beautiful: wide stone courtyards, village gates, tiled verandas and local temples. Travel tips: combine with a trip to Thay Pagoda and Ba Vi National Park (see above). Time: half a day.
We hope this guide helps you plan your trip to Hanoi and surrounding areas. Visit the Vietnam Travel Guide for more information about traveling in Vietnam.