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Amazing Hanoi & Surrounding Craft Villages

Explore the Hanoi that insiders know – hidden gems, great street food, fabulous markets, great cafes & bars, beautiful peaceful lakes, old temples & craft villages

Hanoi, located on the banks of the Red River at the heart of the Red River basin and delta, the birthplace of the Viet peoples, is one the great cities of South East Asia.

More so than some cities, it has strongly retained its core heritage and culture, while assimilating influences from China, South East Asia and France among others. The result is a rich and uniquely Vietnamese mix of ancient pagodas, colonial buildings, diverse neighborhoods, an Old Quarter of crowded narrow streets that still display their craft-based origins dating back centuries, a vibrant multi-cultural community, and a wonderful fusion cuisine. It is more conservative than Ho Chi Minh, but also more quintessentially Asian.

Hanoi is also one of the oldest capitals in the world, with a rich history, having been inhabited since before 3,000 BC. Around 1,000 BC, during the Dong Son period, there was a great flourishing of art and culture, with intricate and beautiful bronzes being cast in the Hanoi region, including the famous Don Son bronze drums.

From 1010 AD, at the end of a thousand years of Chinese occupation, to 1802 AD, when the capital was moved to imperial Hue during the Nguyen Dynasty, Hanoi was the most important political center in Vietnam. In 1887, Hanoi became the capital of French Indochina, and then after the defeat of the French in 1954 it became the capital of North Vietnam. In 1976, after the Vietnam War, Hanoi became the capital of re-unified Vietnam. All of these layers of history have their echoes in modern Hanoi, including in the country’s best museums.

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Today the nation’s capital is a dynamic city of some 8 million people and 5 million motorbikes. What makes it special is this layered mix of history, culture, architecture, street life, food, energy and motorbikes.

However, most visitors see only a small part of what the city has to offer — off the beaten path there are hidden gems all over the city and the near surrounding countryside, places known best to locals: hip suburbs, beautiful lakes, fabulous temples, wonderful markets, cool cafes, quirky bars, terrific restaurants, delicious street food, contemporary art spaces, great bicycle and motorbike routes through the urban fringe, interesting craft and historical villages. It is a city that rewards exploration.

Look through our insider’s tours and options below or contact us to discover Hanoi off the beaten path — we are always happy to help.

Helping you discover the best of North Vietnam

Experience different with Other Path Travel

 

Helping you discover the best of North Vietnam

There is travel that fits within the expected and then there are journeys that go beyond. At Other Path Travel, we specialize in small group tours that will take you to a Vietnam that most travelers never see, extraordinarily beautiful, amazingly diverse, off the beaten path.

From astounding natural beauty to scooter-packed streets in vibrant cities, we offer a range of experiences to suit your interests and travel style whether that’s exploring extraordinary scenery by private car or motorbike; cruising spectacular islands by boat …

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There is travel that fits within the expected and then there are journeys that go beyond. At Other Path Travel, we specialize in small group tours that will take you to a Vietnam that most travelers never see, extraordinarily beautiful, amazingly diverse, off the beaten path.

From astounding natural beauty to scooter-packed streets in vibrant cities, we offer a range of experiences to suit your interests and travel style whether that’s exploring extraordinary scenery by private car or motorbike;
cruising spectacular islands by boat hiking mountains & rice-terraced valleys; getting lost in amazing ethnic hill tribe markets; eating like a local in bustling Hanoi; discovering Vietnam’s rich culture and beautiful historical temples and palaces; getting creative with some of the best photography in Asia; or all of these and more.

Our focus is the northern half of Vietnam, one of the great treasures of Asia. It is a very special place.

In the far Northern Mountains of Ha Giang you will find some of the most dramatic tropical mountain landscapes anywhere, including the limestone peaks of Dong Van, the famous rice terraces of Hoang Su Phi, and the great valleys and wonderful market of remote Xin Man.

West of Ha Giang lies the Roof of Vietnam, with the country’s highest and grandest mountains towering above the hill town of Sapa and extending south past the legendary rice terraces of Mu Cang Chai.

South of Hanoi are the incredible hidden waterways and mountains of Ninh Binh and rainforests of Cuc Phuong and the gorgeous, tropical rice fields, valleys, hills and tea plantations of Mai Chau, Pu Luong and Moc Chau.

Along the coast are the wonders of Ha Long Bay and Lan Ha Bay, where you can cruise, swim and kayak among beautiful islands, cliffs and golden beaches set in emerald seas. North east of Hanoi are beautiful, tranquil Ba Be Lake and spectacular Ban Gioc waterfall.

And at the heart of the North lies Hanoi, a fantastic, dynamic, multi-layered, ancient city of 8 million people and 5 million motorcycles, full of contrasts, contradictions and surprises.

We’ve combed all these regions to find the hidden gems, backroads and best experiences that will make your trip special. Vietnam is one of those places where having a guide really makes a difference, and is essential for tours by car. Our guides are seasoned experts and wanderers, there to make sure you get the most out of your time in this remarkable part of the world.

Look through our tours and see where we can take you.

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Tours You’ll Love

Tours You’ll Love

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