After breakfast, you will visit President Ho Chi Minh’s complex, starting at the President’s Mausoleum. You continue to his humble “house on stilts”, see the French colonial Presidential Palace from outside and the 11th century One Pillar Pagoda. You will then meet your chef to one of the bustling local markets for an overview of the ingredients used in local food. Our chef will introduce some of the vendors, demystify the ingredients, encourage you to taste and assist you with purchasing items for the cooking lesson later. Enjoy meal of your own creation, topped off by time to chat with your host about Vietnamese cuisine and culture.
Transfer to the Ethnology Museum which gives an excellent overview of the country's ethnic groups. The large outdoor area features genuine houses and compounds as built by the many different ethnic groups. You will have time on cyclo tour around Hanoi's vibrant Old Quarter and Hoan Kiem Lake, the focal point of the city.
Enjoy the unique performance of a water puppet show, a traditional art form closely linked with the agricultural roots of the Vietnamese people on the Red River Delta. It is performed in a pool of water, with the water surface being the stage. The puppeteers stand behind a screen and manipulate the lacquered wooden puppets using long bamboo rods and strings hidden beneath the water surface. A traditional Vietnamese orchestra provides musical accompaniment.
Overnight in Hanoi
Note: Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum opens in the morning only and closes on Mondays & Fridays and the whole months of September & October for anual maintenance. Ho Chi Minh’s house-on-stilts is closed on Monday & Friday afternoon. Most of Hanoi’s museums also close on Mondays, except Museum of Vietnam Women & Museum of Vietnam Fine Arts.