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3 travel experiences not to be missed in Hanoi

By Lan Huong, Trung Nghia   April 11, 2022 | 02:00 am PT
If time is not your friend, here is a list of three must-try travel experiences in Hanoi, where tourism activities have resumed post-pandemic.

Going on a luxury cruise tour on the Red River

A female passenger enjoys a cup of drink on the Jade of River cruise amid the Red River in Hanoi, April 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Lan Huong

A passenger enjoys a drink on the Jade of River cruise on the Red River in Hanoi, April 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Lan Huong

Sailing on the Red River is not uncommon, but a luxury cruise that was launched last week promises a new travel experience for visitors.

Departing from Chuong Duong Do Wharf in Hoan Kiem District, the cruise takes tourists past bridges like Chuong Duong, Long Bien and Nhat Tan and shows them the city from a very different perspective at sunset.

The Jade of River tour is available from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

It also offers modern facilities of international standards such as a massage Jacuzzi, a gym and a private dining room.

Guests can enjoy an outdoor BBQ and are served free drinks.

Chefs serve guests with outdoor BBQ party on the cruise. Photo by VnExpress/Lan Huong

Chefs serve guests with outdoor BBQ party on the cruise. Photo by VnExpress/Lan Huong

Thanh Lam, a Hanoian who took this cruise tour last week, said though she has lived in the capital for many years, this was her first time on a cruise on the Red River.

"I was impressed by seeing Hanoi's iconic bridges at sunset, and despite the bustle the feeling is very romantic and peaceful."

A three-hour trip cost from VND1.39 million (US$61.36) from Monday to Thursday and from VND1.49 million on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Guests also go on a cruise at dawn or have lunch on the Red River at prices starting from VND150,000.

Watching The Quintessence of Tonkin show

The Quintessence of Tonkin show at the Thay Pagoda, 30 km southwest of Hanoi and at the foot of Sai Son Mountain, has resumed after being suspended for a long time due to the pandemic.

A scene of The Quintessence of Tonkin show at the Thay Pagoda, Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Tuan Dao

A scene of The Quintessence of Tonkin show at the Thay Pagoda, Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Tuan Dao

Arranged on an interactive stage and with state-of-the-art technology and a stunning setting, the show features an array of traditional art forms and ritual practices from the northern delta like ca tru (ceremonial singing), folklore melodies, quan ho (love duet singing), hau dong (spirit possession ritual), and water puppetry.

The stage is permanently under the water and large enough to accommodate 250 performers at a time.

The show mainly tells the story of Monk Tu Dao Hanh, who was well-known for his humility and generosity toward the poor. Legend has it that Hanh invented water puppetry to depict the lives of rural people.

Lauded by the international media as a "world-class performance", the show has been a massive success and picked up the Gold Stevie Award in Media, Visual Communications & Entertainment given by the American Business Awards Organization.

Tickets cost VND300,000 for silver and VND400,000 for gold.

Audiences can also watch dolphins and seals perform.

Exploring Thang Long Imperial Citadel at night

Constructed in the 11th century during the Ly Dynasty era, the Thang Long Imperial Citadel marked the independence of Dai Viet, today’s Vietnam. It was the seat of power under many dynasties.

In 2010 the citadel was recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site.

The night view of Thang Long Imperial Citadel in Hanoi. Photo by Shutterstock/minhanh.

The night view of Thang Long Imperial Citadel in Hanoi. Photo by Shutterstock/minhanh.

But it has always been ignored by inexperienced tourists.

To bring it into the limelight, a night tour of the citadel is scheduled to be launched later this month, enabling visitors to explore the history, architecture and cultural values of a legacy that is being forgotten.

Visitors can also enjoy royal performances and art programs along with an introduction to archeological excavations that are shedding light on the Ly, Tran and Le dynasties.

The citadel is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., except Mondays.

Tickets cost VND30,000 for adults.

 
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