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Hanoi Rainy-day activities

Our most recommended Hanoi Rainy-day activities

Hanoi: Water Puppet Show Tickets

1. Hanoi: Water Puppet Show Tickets

Skip the lines at the Water Puppet Theater with this service that includes show tickets. Choose from several Water Puppet Show times. Experience one of Vietnam's most memorable and traditional art forms during a live 50-minute performance. The art of water puppetry has a distinct Vietnamese identity. It came into existence more than a thousand years ago in the Red River Delta. In its earliest days, water puppetry portrayed the daily life of villagers – in farming and fishing activities, children’s play and in romance. Today the performance also brings in ancient legends and myths.

Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre Skip-the-Line Entry Ticket

2. Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre Skip-the-Line Entry Ticket

Book tickets in advance for the best seats for the show at your preferred timing. Skip the lines to the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre and experience one of Vietnam's most distinctive art forms live on stage.  See a unique art form that originates over 1,000 years ago in the Red River Delta. In the past, water puppetry showed the daily life of villagers such as farming, fishing and romance. Now, watch plays about ancient Vietnamese legends, myths and history. The world-famous Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre in Hanoi has its roots in an art form that dates back to the 11th century. The tradition of water puppet theater stems from a time when rice paddy fields were flooded and villagers would create entertainment by standing in the waist-deep water with the puppets performing over the water. Using large rods to support the puppets it appeared as if they were moving across the water with the puppeteers hidden behind a screen.

Hanoi Food Tour with Train Street visit

3. Hanoi Food Tour with Train Street visit

First, starting from our supplier's office at No.47 Hàng Bông street, we go to an old and traditional restaurant specializing in entrees such as pillow cake, shrimp cake, Pho rolls, spring rolls... Have a taste of some of our popular dishes. St. Joseph’s is right nearby, so we stop by there for some pics of the late colonial French architecture. Stop at a local restaurant to try banh cuon (filled rice noodles) and watch as skilled chefs demonstrate how this tasty dish is created. Next, enjoy pho (noodle soup), which is Vietnam’s most famous dish. Try both the beef and chicken versions. And we definitely can't miss out on a Vietnamese traditional dessert called Chè. They have both hot and cold versions for each season. After several dishes, you must be full right now. We'll catch a taxi and go straight to the train street. Although train schedules show them to come daily, sometimes they do and sometimes not, sometimes they get delayed too. So if you're lucky enough, you may catch one and experience the huge train passing right in front of your face. Place your bets. We also get egg coffees at a nice shop trackside to enjoy the ambiance. When you’re done with the drinks, we’ll hop on a taxi again to go back to our office. This is where the tour ends. For the disabled and those who simply have sore feet, we have the cyclo option where you can sit back and tour in quiet comfort.

Full-Day Perfume Pagoda Private or Small-Group Tour

4. Full-Day Perfume Pagoda Private or Small-Group Tour

Embark on a full-day tour to visit Perfume Pagoda – a vast complex of Buddhist temples and shrines built into the limestone Huong Tich mountains. Glide along scenic waterways and walk up steep mountain paths as you encounter the area's centuries-old pagodas and temples. Around 8:30 AM, the guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel in Hanoi Old Quarter. After pickup, enjoy a scenic 2-hour drive to Perfume Pagoda. Upon arrival, hop aboard your 1-hour row boat trip on the Yen stream to Thien Tru harbor. Once you have arrived in Thien Tru, you will enjoy time for some trekking, visit the main cave where you’ll arrive at Huong Tich Cave on the top of the mountain. Then enjoy a 1-hour trekking back down or take optional cable car instead of trekking (optional). Next, enjoy lunch at the local restaurant at the bottom of the mountain. After lunchtime, you will see the Heaven Kitchen pagoda and learn about Buddhism ancient architectural at Le Dynasty. Re-board your boat and sit back and relax as you head back to the pier, enjoy 2-hour road trip back to Hanoi. Your tour ends with a drop-off at your hotel around 6:00 PM.

Hanoi: Morning or Afternoon City Highlights Tour

5. Hanoi: Morning or Afternoon City Highlights Tour

Explore Hanoi and see its highlights on a morning or afternoon city tour by van. See the Temple of Literature, Ho Chi Minh Complex, Tran Quoc Pagoda, and more. Begin your tour at the Hanoi Opera House in the French Quarter and wonder at one of the city's main architectural landmarks. Then head to the Temple of Literature, the first university of Vietnam built in the 10th century under the Ly Dynasty and greatly influenced by Confucianism. Make your way to the Ho Chi Minh Complex, an important place for the Vietnamese. The complex is a traffic-free area full of botanical gardens, monuments, memorials and pagodas. Stop outside Ba Dinh Square and take a look outside the mausoleum, then continue to explore the One Pillar Pagoda. Go to Tran Quoc Pagoda, one of the oldest pagodas in Hanoi, before concluding your tour at St. Joseph's Cathedral to learn about religion in Vietnam. The church was one of the first structures built by the French colonial government in Indochina when it opened in December 1886.

Hanoi: Full-Day City Tour with Lunch and Optional Extras

6. Hanoi: Full-Day City Tour with Lunch and Optional Extras

Start the day in the early morning from the convenient meeting point or with a pickup from your hotel in Hanoi’s Old Quarter. Meet your guide and driver and depart for Buddhist Tran Quoc Pagoda at West Lake, one of the oldest pagodas in Vietnam. Next up, visit the Ho Chi Minh Complex, consisting of the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Ho Chi Minh's Stilt House, and Ba Dinh Square. See the final resting place of Uncle Ho and the One Pillar Pagoda, an important symbol for the people of Hanoi. Discover the Ethnology Museum which offers an insight into the 54 different ethnic groups of Vietnam in an effort to preserve cultural heritage and promote sociology-cultural diversity within the country. The museum is packed full of information detailing traditional Vietnamese ways of life, from religious events to the symbolic rituals of all Vietnamese ethnic groups. Afterward, return to the Old Town and savor a delicious lunch at a local restaurant. Head then to Van Mieu Quoc Tu Giam, the Temple of Literature, and Vietnam’s first university, constructed in 1070 with its gardens and well-preserved architecture offering a relaxing glimpse into Vietnam’s past. Next stop is at Hoa Lo Prison, which was built by the French, from 1886 to 1901, when Vietnam was still part of French Indochina. Learn more about the wars against colonial France. If you would prefer to further explore the city, there is an optional cyclo tour taking in around 36 streets during a 45-minute ride on a traditional Vietnamese rickshaw known locally as a xích lô This was the most popular means of transportation in Vietnam during the French colonial period and was used as luxury transportation for the French and a small number of Vietnamese people at that time.

From Hanoi: Perfume Pagoda Tour and Yen Stream Boat Ride

7. From Hanoi: Perfume Pagoda Tour and Yen Stream Boat Ride

ITINERARY : 8h – 8h45 : We pick you up at your hotel and start to visit Perfume Pagoda. 9h15 – 9h30 : Have a short break for 15-20 minutes to relax 10h15 : We arrive at Perfume Pagoda and walk to Yen wharf to get on local boat. The boat will go through Yen stream and you can enjoy beautiful landscape. 11h30 : Short trek to the main cave on the mountain summit ( 2.5km), we visit Huong Tich cave. The tour guide will help you understand about this landscape. 13h00 : Have lunch at the restaurant. 14h00 : Visit Thien Tru Pagoda for resting and if you wish, Buddhist prayer. Thien Tru Pagoda was built in the 18th century under King Le Thanh Tong dynasty. Thien Tru means a heaven kitchen, derived from the imagination of the locals in this region, of which the rock formations in this area look like chefs busily working in the kitchen. 15h30 : Back to Yen wharf and return by bus to Hanoi. 18h00 : Arrive back to Hanoi and get dropped at the Hotel. The Trip end !

Private Half-Day Hanoi City Tour: Mausoleum, Temple & Pagoda

8. Private Half-Day Hanoi City Tour: Mausoleum, Temple & Pagoda

Explore Hanoi and see its highlights on a morning or afternoon city tour by van. See the Temple of Literature, Ho Chi Minh Complex, Tran Quoc Pagoda, and more. Begin your tour at the Hanoi Opera House in the French Quarter and wonder at one of the city's main architectural landmarks. Then head to the Temple of Literature, the first university of Vietnam built in the 10th century under the Ly Dynasty and greatly influenced by Confucianism. Make your way to the Ho Chi Minh Complex, an important place for the Vietnamese. The complex is a traffic-free area full of botanical gardens, monuments, memorials and pagodas. Stop outside Ba Dinh Square and take a look outside the mausoleum, then continue to explore the One Pillar Pagoda. (Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum is closed on Mondays and Fridays, and for at least 2 months (June 15-August 15) for annual maintenance but you can still take pictures of the Mausoleum and walk around the area) Go to Tran Quoc Pagoda, one of the oldest pagodas in Hanoi, before concluding your tour at St. Joseph's Cathedral to learn about religion in Vietnam. The church was one of the first structures built by the French colonial government in Indochina when it opened in December 1886. (The itinerary may change due to weather and operating conditions)

Hanoi: Full-Day City Tour and Water Puppet Show

9. Hanoi: Full-Day City Tour and Water Puppet Show

Get picked up by your friendly guide and start to explore Hanoi City. Arrive at Tran Quoc Pagoda located on Golden Fish IsLand in West Lake. It is the oldest pagoda in Ha Noi, built in the 6th century. Visit the Ho Chi Minh complex, where you'll have a chance to see the embalmed body of Ho Chi Minh then walk around the garden to see 2 houses where he lived and worked from 1954 to 1969. Then visit One Pillar Pagoda where people come to worship the Goddess of Mercy – it is the most unique padoga in the world. Visit Vietnam Ethnology Museum to learn about the culture of 54 ethnic groups living in the whole country of Vietnam. Have lunch at a restaurant. Enjoy Vietnamese cuisine with 8 delicious dishes. Continue to visit the Temple of Literature – the first university of Vietnam, established in the 11th century. Head to Hoa Lo Prison Museum which was originally used by the French colonists in Indochina for political prisoners, and later by North Vietnam for U.S. prisoners of war during the Vietnam War. Get dropped off at the Water Puppet Theater and enjoy the show for about an hour.

From Hanoi: Trang An & Bai Dinh Pagoda Full-Day Private Tour

10. From Hanoi: Trang An & Bai Dinh Pagoda Full-Day Private Tour

After pick-up from your hotel in Hanoi, start the two-hour drive to Ninh Binh province. Mid-morning, your tour guide will take you to Bai Dinh Pagoda, which has hundreds of Buddhist statues including the biggest statue of Buddha made in bronze standing 10 meters tall. After that, it's time to take a break and have lunch at a local restaurant serving traditional Ninh Binh goat's meat dishes. Continue the trip to Trang An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Upon on arrival, take a boat trip along Trang An river to enjoy the cave complex. The scenery of Trang An is a unique combination of deep turquoise river water between mountains, water caves and clear blue sky. The boat trip will last between two to three hours, and you will be rowed by local people. After the boat trip, return to your private car and head back to Hanoi city for drop-off at your hotel around 18:00 PM.

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Frequently asked questions about Hanoi

What are the best day trips and excursions from Hanoi?

The best day trips and excursions from Hanoi are:

Ha Long Bay

Other Sightseeing Options in Hanoi

Want to discover all there is to do in Hanoi? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Hanoi

Our street food tour was amazing. Our guide Gen was really friendly,knowledgeable and entertaining. It’s the best tour to do if it’s your first time in Vietnam as you really get a feel for the place. Gen spoke very good English so there were no misunderstandings and all in all we had a brilliant time. A bonus for us was going to train street where we actually saw the train go through the street!

What a great day! Austin was funny and friendly, showing me unique places and answer my many many questions. He shared his personal favourites and made sure I got to see the train street. He was excellent. The tour was great value for money- I ate so much food and it was all delicious.

Great small group tour with James. Four of us in total and only me for Train St. Introduced us to some very tasty Hanoi local street foods. And v lucky, perfect timing for the train

Alex was very knowledgeable about the local food scene. His picks for 6 best restaurants was spot on

the map is big and if only a day tour, only a few temples and pagoda are visited.