This morning, tour this unique Asian capital where old and new combine for an inviting blend in a lush setting of parks and lakes. Visit the Temple of Literature with its maze of courtyards and graceful gateways, an excellent example of traditional Vietnamese architecture. Proceed to the 11th-century One Pillar Pagoda, one of Vietnam’s most iconic monuments, and the nearby Ho Chi Minh Memorial, a vast complex dedicated to the country’s 20th-century Communist leader.
This afternoon, tour the notorious “Hanoi Hilton,” the Hỏa Lò Prison where American POWs were held captive during the Vietnam War. Take a leisurely ride through the Old Quarter by “green” electric car, visit the Museum of Ethnology, which includes a number of fascinating exhibits that bring Vietnam’s history and astonishingly diverse culture to life and then enjoy some free time to explore Hanoi on your own before gathering for a festive farewell dinner. (B, D)