7 things to do during a family trip to Hanoi
- on Nov 27, 2020       By: BN
In this article, you will find our best ideas to fully enjoy your stay in Hanoi with your loved ones. These 7 things are enough to tempt young and old alike when visiting the Vietnamese capital, why wait any longer?
Watching the Thang Long Water Puppet Show is an outing that appeals to children and parents alike. This show full of magic, a true cultural quintessence of the Red River Delta, first appeared in the 11th century and was inspired by scenes from the daily life of Tonkinese farmers, bringing local legends to life on an aquatic stage where hand-carved wooden puppets and dragons colourful fire-eaters stir to the sound of an orchestra of traditional instruments. Each water puppet number is a joyful spectacle in which humour and humanism merge. This thousand-year-old art is an activity not to be missed with the family under any circumstances during your stay in Hanoi.
Designed in close collaboration with the Musée de l'Homme in Paris and inaugurated by then French President Jacques Chirac in 1997, the Ethnography Museum presents the traditions of the 54 ethnic groups that make up the beautiful ethnic mosaic of Vietnam. As a family, you will take pleasure in discovering the fabulous shimmering costumes of different ethnic groups, their agricultural customs and spiritual traditions. The outdoor gardens of the museum are a vast playground for your children to explore. On two hectares, several types of traditional houses of the ethnic minorities of Vietnam have been established. Your kids can take turns exploring the colossal Banar communal house capped with an impressive thatched roof or the Ede longhouse whose length of the house is measured by the "sound of the gong" which spreads from one end to the other of the house.
The bustling old quarter of Hanoi or district of 36 trades and corporations is the place in the capital that has enough to whet your children's curiosity. Women carrying hoists, street food, street vendors, overloaded scooters, picturesque markets etc. You can discover it on foot, preferably on weekends when the old quarter is pedestrianized at the end of the day, or by pedicab with a few stops to taste the legendary street food of Hanoi.
Hanoi and its surroundings have more than 1.300 craft villages including 276 recognised for their preserved traditional activity. By discovering one or more craft villages, your children will have the opportunity to discover ancestral traditions up close by participating in a craft workshop. Making a lacquer object, the traditional Vietnamese conical hat, a children's mask worn during the Mid-Autumn Festival or pottery in the famous Bat Trang village, you and your children have the choice to discover a wealth of traditional Vietnamese craftsmanship.
Go on a family bike ride to discover the area around West Lakeor Tay Ho Lake, the largest lake in the Vietnamese capital and a true oasis of tranquillity. During the day, the traffic is light and you can leiurely enjoy the dozens of pagodas, town halls, temples and the magnificent Shneider Villas of colonial architecture that dot the shores of the lake. You can stop for a pedal boat ride on the lake, especially at the end of the day at sunset. Another fun bike ride away from the hustle and bustle of the city for the family is to explore Banana Island at the foot of the iconic Long Bien Bridge, Hanoi's century-old steel lacework. In this vegetal maze, you will discover banana plantations, orchards, market gardening areas and the river activities of the Red River inhabitants by bike.
This is a gourmet activity that is sure to please your children! A few hundred meters from the charming Hoan Kiem Lake is the home of gourmets and chocolate lovers: the Marou chocolate factory. A chocolate brand, selected as one of the best artisanal chocolates in the world, which in their Hanoi store offers you the chance to see the process of making chocolate and pastries before tasting some of their signature creations with a dual culture, French and Vietnamese.
A popular outing on hot sunny summer days! The Ho Tay Water Park located North of Great West Lake offers swimming pools and plenty of water slides for cooling off as well as roller coasters, a pirate ship and a Ferris wheel for a more relaxed pace. You can get there by taxi from downtown Hanoi or go there for a fun bike ride around the lake.
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