Start your city tour with a visit to the Temple of literature. Originally built in honor of Confucius by King Ly Thai Thong in 1070, a university was added to the grounds six years later. The university provided education to the royal family and children of the aristocracy or "mandarins". The University remained here until King Gia Long moved the countrys administrative capital from Hanoi to Hue at the beginning of the 19th century.
Drop in to a traditional teahouse to taste some of the best Vietnamese flavored green teas, and listen to thousand-year-old stories explaining the significance of tea leaves to local cultures. Tea is even better when served with some authentic snacks such as sweetened lotus seeds and green bean cake.
Continuing on our Hanoi tour, well head to the Hoa lo prison museum. Used by French Colonists for political prisoners till 1954 and later by North Vietnam for American POWs, the prison complex was nicknamed the Hanoi Hilton by American pilots during Vietnam War.
Our next stop will be the largest and oldest church in Hanoi. St Josephs Cathedral was built in 1886 with an architectural style often compared to the Notre Dame in Paris, this Gothic Revival church is not only a religious site, but is also a popular photo shoot backdrop for local teenagers.
Well continue to the heart of Hanoi - the Hoan kiem lake, with its magnificent The Huc Bridge and Ngoc son temple. Experience the spiritual harmony of different religions coexisting in the same place. You may then continue your own exploration of the area or our tour guide will assist you in getting a taxi back to your hotel.