Hanoi City Tour Excursion Reviews
The Bus ride is all on a secondary 2 lane road through every little town. Seems the Communist Government can't afford to build a Highway?
Excellent tour guide who explained much about vietnamese culture. The links to the Vietnam war could not be missed, but were covered in a factual rather than triumphant manner. The old town was an astonishing mix of people and motorbikes - an experience that is not available in the west. Ho Chi Minh memorial was very impressive - but one cannot avoid wondering about the cost to an essentially poor country. It is easy to describe as unspoilt and charming, which it was - but it was also obviously fairly poor and I suspect the people living there might prefer a liitle less charm and a little more prosperity.
Be aware that the "Hanoi Hilton" is largely devoted to French atrocities against the Vietnamese, and that only one room is devoted to the spectacular treatment given to the US POWs. They are shown to be so happy & healthy that they are decorating a Christmas tree. I almost threw up.
Hanoi is a three and a half hour journey from the ship docked in Halong Bay but most people visiting Vietnam would regard Hanoi as a "must see" The journey is broken up by a stop half way at a huge shopping warehouse selling everything from silk to marble statues. The problem was that the coach was there for 45 minutes on the way to Hanoi and 30 minutes on the way back. Comfort breaks were necessary and toilets very clean but these have to be paid for and the souvenir shops provide for this. Hanoi is interesting and to see how Ho Chi Minh lived was enlightening. The City is very clean and lunch in a local restaurant very good. Criticism was that there was not enough time to explore the shops but we were told by our guide that it was because he needed "keep us together" as we could easilly get lost. This was not really true and some of us felt that they wanted us only to see what they were allowed to show us. There is a much stronger feeling of a communist country in Hanoi than Saigon
Bus ride and walking tour to major sites.Informative.
We had Tom from Smile Tours and not only did we get a wonderful tour of the city, but a history lesson that was so interesting as well. He showed us things off the beaten path, and was the best tour of our Asia trip.