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Travel GuideMonday, 08/28/2006, 02:25

Back to Thang Long-Hanoi 

During Ben Thanh Tourist’s four day short break to the north, visitors will be able to visit Hanoi, Yen Tu and Ha Long, with over two days spent in the capital to allow a leisurely expedition of its many historical sites, including the historical epicenter, the Thang Long Citadel
Back to Thang Long-Hanoi

Back to Thang Long-Hanoi 

 

During Ben Thanh Tourist�s four day short break to the north, visitors will be able to visit Hanoi, Yen Tu and Ha Long, with over two days spent in the capital to allow a leisurely expedition of its many historical sites, including the historical epicenter, the Thang Long Citadel.


Thang Long, which was the former name of the Vietnamese capital from the Ly Dynasty, was founded in 1010 when Ly Thai To relocated the royal court. The Dai La Citadel, as it was originally known, subsequently changed its name to, first Thang Long and then Hanoi.


Although the total number of tourists that visit Hanoi is still less than that which visit the southern economic hub, HCMC, the number is growing at a very quick rate. Furthermore, since many of the visitors to HCM City are business travelers, Hanoi has a greater opportunity to increase the number of pure tourist travelers to its many scenic sites as more hotels and other such facilities are developed since it has far more attractive, historical sites than HCM City and distinctly different climatic seasons.


The Ben Thanh Tourist expedition takes in most of the major sites including Hoan Kiem (restored sword) Lake, Van Mieu-Quoc Tu Giam (Temple of Literature), the National University, Dong Xuan Market, Quan Thanh Temple, West Lake, Tran Quoc Pagoda, and One Pillar Pagoda, amongst others.


Van Mieu-Quoc Tu Giam, in particular, is one of the most popular attractions for tourists to Hanoi, as it has many stone tortoises that carry stone steles on their backs. The stone steles are venerated since they were only presented to the most worthy and well-respected courtiers, including those who came first in the royal tests of loyalty and honor back in the old days.


So, many Vietnamese students and youngsters believe that if they pray and touch the heads of stone tortoises at Van Mieu, they too will be touched by good fortune and inspiration from the spirits of past scholars and worthy dignitaries. In fact, the tradition is so popular that visitors to Van Mieu throughout the centuries have made the stone heads of tortoises glossy, so that they shine under the sun�s rays.

 

During the organized tour to the north, explorers can also enjoy some traditional Hanoi food, including famously tasty Banh Tom (Crisp shrimp pastry) at Ho Tay Restaurant, charmingly situated on the banks of Truc Bach Lake close to Ho Tay (West Lake).


Then, the tour ambles off towards Halong Bay, a renowned World Heritage Site, where all visitors are awestruck by the incredible beauty of the bay juxtaposed against the innumerous impressive islands, the soaring limestone cliffs, and the many grottos and caves. With some 1,969 islets sprinkled over 1,553 square kilometers, the bay is rightly considered to be one of Asia�s and the world�s greatest natural wonders.


Tourists will also get the chance to go for walk around some of the beautiful sites, including Thien Cung (celestial palace) some 25 meters above sea level and considered to be a veritable museum for beautiful stalactites and stalagmites, and to Sung Sot (surprise) grotto, arguably the most beautiful in all of Halong. Then, at Tuan Chau Resort, some 8 kilometers from Halong city, visitors can relax whilst enjoying some sea sports or by visiting its famous sea animals circus.


The final leg of the trip takes in Yen Tu, some 15 kilometers northwest of the provincial capital of Uong Bi, and about 120 kilometers from Hanoi, before flying back home to HCM City relaxed and rejuvenated.


The tour price starts at VND4,890,000 per person.

For more information, contact Ben Thanh Tourist Travel Service, 86 Ly Tu Trong, District 1, HCM City. Tel: 08 5222 506, Fax: 08 829 6269. Email: domestic@ benthanhtourist.com

 


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