Hanoi Free Walking Tours Daily Report – November 2016 | Free Walking Tours in Hanoi

Hanoi Free Walking Tours Daily Report – November 2016 | Free Walking Tours in Hanoi

Hanoi Free Walking Tours Daily Report – November 2016

[ Free Walking Tours report]
– Tourist: Jean Paul
– Nationality: England
– Date: 29/10
– Time: 9am- 1.30pm
– Tour guide: Nga Nguyen
– Destinations: Bach ma temple, Sword lake, Hoa lo prison



Free Morning Walking Details 

First of all, I am so sorry for the late report because of some problems. Hjxhjx. Jean is very friendly and knowledgable because he had been a history teacher in High school for 2 years. I guided him to Bach ma temple, a place our free tour guides were trained well, Sword lake and Hoa lo prison. I was very happy that he sounded very pleased about the tour. I just planned to guide him to try egg coffee on the way to his hotel. But while coming to the coffee shop, he was quite hungry so I guided him to try Banh Canh ghe in Nha Chung street, quite confused hehe because I had never enjoyed it there. Luckily, he was very interested in this cuisine and “Nha Đam”juice. ^-^. As you know,we was going to organize the Halloween party in that night. So I asked him to invite Huyen to chat in Cong coffee next to Hanoi cathedral. Of course he is very willing. We had successfully invited him to our party although he said thatbhe was too old to join with us. But it was not problem. If you think You are old, you’ll be old. If you think you are young, you’ll be young. Our party was very wonderful and brought some new and meaningful experience to him



And thank Jean again for giving us an excellent review on tripadvisor

Hanoi Free Walking Tours ‘review on Tripadvisor French

“Ce sont des jeunes étudiants qui en contrepartie de pratiquer l’anglais avec vous, vous font découvrir leur ville bénévolement. Et il y a de forte chance que vous vous fassiez de nouveaux amis !! J’ai eu cette chance de visiter le plus ancien temple d’Hanoi, Den Bach Ma, avec une très agréable et bien informée guide, le lac Hoan Kien et la bien triste prison Hoa Lo. Et pour les remercier vous ne pouvez faire guère mieux que de les inviter pour un café ou un repas. Et là les guides vous emmèneront dans les meilleures endroits d’Hanoï.
Un must comme dit et surtout de belles amitiés qui naissent.”

Hanoi Free Walking Tours ‘review on Tripadvisor in English

“These are young students in return to practice English with you, you discover their city voluntarily. And there’s a good chance that you do new friends !! I had this opportunity to visit the most ancient temple of Hanoi Den Bach Ma, with a very pleasant and knowledgeable guide, Hoan Kien and sad Hoa Lo Prison. and thank you can do no better than to invite them for a coffee or meal. and then the guides will take you to the best places in Hanoi.
A must be said especially beautiful friendships that arise. “


Hanoi Free Walking TOUR REPORT – Free Walking Tours in hanoi

Hanoi Free Walking TOUR REPORT – Free Walking Tours in hanoi

Hanoi Free Walking TOUR REPORT – Such an amazing free walking tours

– Tourists: Jen and Sergio
– Nationality: US
– Date: 3/11/2016
– Time: 5pm-8.30pm
– Tour guide: Nga Nguyen
– Destinations of Free Walking Tours in Hanoi
: Sword lake, French quarter, HN cathedral, Quan cay da and egg coffee



OMG Last night, I just said to Huyền Ngọc Nguyễn that I haven’t guided tourists at Apricot hotel. Luckily Linh had pointed me this tour today and tourists from this hotel. At first, I was quite worry because of their high expectation with the rich, even we, as a free local guide just provides free city tours. . So I had asked Trang for supporting me. Hehe okay,she said: ” Don’t worry” and advised me to guide this tour by my own. I had prepared a lot about the French quarter because I had rarely guided tourists there. They were very very nice,friendly and funny. I introduced a lot about the war between French and VietNam and why having the French quarter in the past. Maybe because of the old,so they really focused on my speaking and my introduction :3.



Free Walking tours with local students in hanoi

Then I also helped them take many nice and cute photos around the Sword lake like a photographer :v :v. Next, we enjoyed the pillow cake,Shrimp cake, summer cake,.. in the restaurant near the church. And finally, to finish our free walking tours,  we tried egg coffee in Hang Gai street with the beautiful view of the sword lake. I don’t know why I felt free to share everything about my life in Hanoi, my family, my part time jobs,my school,etc. They also told me about their daughters and showed me a lot photos of their home, their garden and their trip in African. By any way,we had a wonderful time tonight. Thank you Pinky Boo very much :3 :3 :3 

Thank you Hanoi Free Local Tours for giving me this chance of taking those amazing people around hanoi event for free.

Nga Nguyen




Welcome to Hanoi Free Local Tours, a non-profit organization running by students with the mission to bring tourists free walking tours around Hanoi in any available time as long as you remember to reserve your tours in advance.

Let us give some information about Free Hanoi Street Walking Tours

With more than 1000-year history, Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, has so many attractions that could keep tourists engaged all the time: from well-preserved buildings along with lush and verdant parks to handful of well-appointed museums, from many natural lakes to handicraft villages and delectable cuisine, from attractive buildings of French to Chinese and  Russian architecture .



Particularly, our free Hanoi walking tour today concentrates on guiding tourists through Hanoi’s most attractive destination, the OLD QUARTER, which first appeared when King Ly Thai To relocated the capital city from Hoa Lu, Ninh Binh to Thang Long, Hanoi. The Old Quarter, at first, consisted of many workshop villages around the royal palace, but now it is a trading place for guilds and craft cooperatives. Most streets in the Old Quarter begin with the word “Hang”, which means merchandise or shop, and the other word, which shows their product, service or location.



We begin our journey in HANG DAO Street, one of the oldest streets in all of Vietnam. It goes right through the middle of the old quarter and divided it into two directions, north and south. Hang Dao Street was once a center for the trading of silk products under the French colony. This street now specializes in ready-made clothing.

Turn right at the end of the street, we reach HANG BAC street, which dates from at least the 13th century. This street was a silver factory under the Le Dynasty; therefore, its name is Hang Bac, which means silver shop . Since the 18th century, the street has become a popular place for jewelry makers and money exchangers. Besides, the heavy metal bars were exchanged in Hang Bac for business transaction, so the French called it “Exchange Street.”

Keep walking straight forward, we come across TA HIEN Street, whose nick name is ‘international intersection’ as there are many foreign backpackers gathering there at night. Stopping here gives you great pleasure of tasting fresh beer and street food, as well as enjoying the breathtaking scenery of the Old Quarter in the hospitable atmosphere.



Next, we turn left and walk onto MA MAY Street, which is a union of two old streets: Hang May and Hang Ma. Rattan products were sold on Hang May and sacred joss to burn for the dead were sold on Hang Ma. The streets then became one: Ma May. The ancient house at 87 Ma May street which dated back from the late of the 20th century, is still preserved with typical architecture of ancient houses. Though being restored in 1999, this house still retains the pristine beauty of itself. Tourists can buy tickets to take a tour around the house.



(Ratten products)                                         (Sacred joss)

continually the free walking tour in Hanoi, we enter HANG BUOM Street, which means Sail Street. Sails used to be  sold in the past, but now there is no demand for them anymore. Therefore, to the western end of the street, confectionery is sold instead. If you prefer savory food, look out for the roasted meat store at No. 108 Hang Buom Street.

Roasted-Duck-with-Fig-Stuffing- FREE HANOI STREET WALKING TOURS

Roasted-Duck-with-Fig-Stuffing- FREE HANOI STREET WALKING TOURS

(lines of people queuing in front of the store) (roasted duck – one of the most popular dishes in the store)

Midway along the street, at the junction of Hang Giay, is Bach Ma Temple or White Horse Temple. There is a legend that King Ly Thai To was directed by a white horse to find an appropriate place to construct the Citadel. Hence, the temple was built to honor that white horse.



(Outside Bach Ma Temple)

Now turn right to HANG DUONG (Sugar) Street, which sells all kinds of sugar, sweets, and dried fruit (in Vietnamese: “Ô Mai”). Together with the ups and downs of history, the street’s appearance has changed but the treasured old houses such as Cau Dong Pagoda, which has been classified as national historical relics, are still preserved on the street.




Outside Cau Dong Pagoda with Hanoi Free Local Tour members

Going straight ahead, you step onto DONG XUAN Street / Springfield Street, which originally belonged to two villages Nhiem Trung and Hau Tuc. Dong Xuan market, Vietnam’s oldest and largest market, occupies half of the street, was one of the busiest urban areas in Southeast Asia thanks to its location at the confluence of To Lich and Red River. The French required merchants to bring their goods inside the market in order to facilitate tax collections. When the number of merchants increased, the market was enlarged. In 1889, a structure was built over it, and five gates were built leading to it. Each of the five market gates was used only for specified goods. In 1994, a fierce fire destroyed almost the market, leading to its being renovated.

With a smartphone, any foreign tourist can easily find online direction to explore Hanoi on their own, so why should you choose us to be your company in a couple of hours ? Because our tour guides are so friendly and enthusiastic that they certainly try to make sure you have a good time here. We will not only give you useful information about the Old Quarter but also share with you genuine stories of Hanoians from the perspective of a local. As our club’s slogan indicates: “Bring tourists and locals together”, the free walking tour offers you  authentic experience in exploring the city with a local companion – an experience that you shall never forget in the rest of your life!.

Seeing is believing. Hope to see you in Hanoi.

Many tourists have tried the tour with Hanoi Free Local Tours and kindly give us 5-star reviews with encouraging comments on TripAdvisor.


Hanoi Free Local Tours Homepage

Hanoi Free Tour Guides Tripadvisor

Hanoi Free War Site Walking Tours

Hanoi Free War Site Walking Tours

Hanoi Free War Site Walking Tours

Highlights of the free motorbike tours

  1. Itinerary
  • Hoa Lo Prison
  • Hanoi Flag Tower
  • Hanoi Military History Museum
  • Long Bien Brigde

     2. Time:

8:30Am -11:30Am


       3. Description of Free war site tour in hanoi

Let us give you some information about Hanoi Free War sites walking tour War sites are commonly known as places where battles took place in the past. If you visit Hanoi, let us lead you to some of the historical relics here – museums, prisons, fortresses. They will give you valuable information about the painstaking struggle for independence of the Vietnamese people.

For those who questions who are “us”, then the answer is that “us” here refers to the members in “Hanoi Free Local Tours” club.  It is an organization established by local students with a mission to help visitors from all around the world discover a truly beautiful Hanoi.  We, the local students, will be your tour guide, leading you to the most famous tourist destinations in Hanoi. Different tours will be suggested for you based on your time and your interest. If you are particularly keen on Vietnam war history, our Hanoi Free half-day war sites walking tour is an optimal choice.

Hanoi Free War Sites Walking Tour

Hanoi Free War Sites Walking Tour

Our first destination is the Hanoi Military History Museum in Dien Bien Phu Street, only 600 meters  from President Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum to the East.

Opened in 1959, the museum preserves factual objects and vivid proofs, which can give you thorough understanding of Vietnam’s constant struggles against the French colonialists and American imperialists.

Going inside the museum, you can see a lot of artifacts, films and photos reflecting different eras in Vietnam: from Hung Vuong Era – the era in which Vietnam first starts as a country, to one-thousand-year under Chinese’s colonization, and  the long struggle against French colonialist and American invaders. Pieces of weaponry displayed in the museum courtyard  such as aeroplanes, tanks, heavy artilleries, rockets, and bombs.                                          

The most impressive of all on the grounds of the museum is Hanoi Flag Tower. It is classified as the nation’s historical and cultural monument, where the first flag of Vietnam was hung after the successful revolution in 1945.

Hanoi Flag Tower - Hanoi Free War Sites Walking Tour

Hanoi Flag Tower – Hanoi Free War Sites Walking Tour

(Hanoi Flag Tower)

To continue the Hanoi Free half-day war sites walking tour  you can either take a walk in just 15 minutes or  take a taxi to get to Hoa Lo prison.  Rated as one of the top 10 notorious prisons in the world, Hoa Lo is a place that you should never miss if you want to take a closer look into Vietnam history, particularly the struggle against the French colonial empire.

At first, the prison was built by the French colonialists to capture Vietnamese political activists who took part in the struggle against them. Hoa Lo is where you can see how terrible the life of prisoners was, from the room where they were shackled all day, their meals, their clothes to hundred kinds of torture in the prison.


Hoa Lo Prison - Hanoi Free War Sites Walking Tour

Hoa Lo Prison – Hanoi Free War Sites Walking Tour

In the war between Vietnam and America, Hoa Lo was used by the Vietnamese government to imprison American pilots who were captured in the campaign “Dien Bien Phu in the air”. Documentary films and pictures about this campaign and the daily life of the pilots in Hoa Lo prison are also on display. You will also have the chance to look at the clothes and pictures of a famous pilot: John McCain – who later became a senator and a presidential candidate in 2008.

(Senator John McCain looked at the photo of his being captured at Truc Bach Lake during his visit to Hoa Lo prison in April, 2009.)

Leaving Hoa Lo, we walk along Duong Thanh and Phung Hung Street to the last spot in our war-site tour: Long Bien Bridge.


Long Bien Bridge - Hanoi Free War Sites Walking Tour

Long Biên Bridge – Hanoi Free War Sites Walking Tour

Being constructed during the French occupation in the country, Long Bien was the first steel bridge across the Red river in Hanoi, and one of four greatest bridges in the world at the time it was built. Over the past 100 years, Long Bien Bridge has been a witness to all the historical events that made the capital city like it is today

The bridge was a connection point to transport tons of rice from Northern area of Vietnam to Dien Bien Phu battle, thus contributing greatly to the victory of Vietnam People’s army against the French, 1954.

Because of its strategic function, Long Bien Bridge was a main target for the US’s bombing in its invasion war (1954-1975). It was bombarded many times by air attacks of the US Army; therefore, many spans of the bridge were destroyed. The remained spans, the spotting shrapnel and bullet holes still left in the bridge reminds us a painful but unforgettable past. The bridge, hence, is not only a great architecture but also a living historical witness.

At the end of the Hanoi Free war sites walking tour, you can have the best view of the bridge at the sunset and take photos of the rice paddling fields. Long Bien Bridge is an ideal place for sightseeing, for relaxing and remembering about the memorable past.

We are pretty sure that you will be impressed by those historical sites in a tour with Hanoi Free Local Tours.

Many tourists have tried the tour with us and kindly give us 5-star reviews with encouraging comments on Tripadvisor.

Hanoi Free Local Tours Homepage

Hanoi Free Tour Guides Tripadvisor


Hanoi Free City Tour with Locals ( Half-Day)

Hanoi Free City Tour with Locals ( Half-Day)

Hanoi Free Local Tours, a non-profit organization, was established to bring tourists and locals together. Therefore, tourists can truly explore our culture, customs, history of Vietnam while local people have opportunity to get to know more about diverse culture, reaching their full potential. We bring tourists and locals together

 Hanoi Free Half-day Tour Option 1
+ Duration: 3-4 hours
+ 8:30Am – 12am or 2:00Pm -5 pm
+ Places: The Old Quarter,  Sword Lake Area,  Hoa Lo Prison, Dong Xuan Market, Long Bien Bridge

The Old Quarter:
After the guide picks you up at your hotel at 1 p.m, the tour will begin with walking to the Old Square which any tourist comes over when visiting Hanoi.



If you visit Hanoi without stopping over in the Old Square, certainly you will overlook the most interesting part of your trip. Coming to Old Square, you will be charmed by architectural construction with ancient houses having hundreds of years old and animated, busy space of trading in various commodity. Moreover, this is a good chance for you to experience, contact with friendly local people and have more understanding of customs and cultures of Vietnam. You will know to how to bargain, to buy some souvenirs or to find routes. Because the old square looks as a maze with 36 wards associated by the system of interlacing intersecting routes, if you don’t go with a native person, you will go astray easily. Maybe the thing tourists like most is to do sightseeing and enjoy some typical food of Hanoi such as pho, bun cha, banh mi,…Sometime you can catch culture-spirited activities directly on the street. Although this nowadays area has innovation than the past, peaceful and simple lifestyle of people and the features of ancient architecture in here still maintain and preserve. Maybe this reason the Old Quarter

Sword Lake Area:

Hanoi free walking tours

visit Sword lake with Hanoi free walking tours

After having a good time at the Old Quarter, we will go on foot to Sword lake area at 2:30pm. The community of the Sword lake area is the soul of culture as well as history of Hanoi in 19th century. You will be told legends or pieces of interesting stories to interpret for its name . If you are lucky, you can see the big and rare turtle having hundreds of years old surfacing. Furthermore, you also contemplate the turtle tower, the pen tower, the Huc bridge and Ngoc Son temple. They are not great works such as Eiffel in France or the statue of liberty in the US,… but they are a harmonious works of art bringing historic meaning. It will make you exclaim ‘Wow! Perfect’. Coming here you not only have knowledge of Vietnamese tradition but also enjoy a little peace in busy life and beautiful nature. In addition, you can take part in interesting activities, folk games or simply go for a walk on pavement or walking streets. With all reasons above, from the long time, the Sword lake area became the symbol of Hanoi and a place attracts to a large number of tourists. Let go and take a lot of memorial photos with us.

Hoa Lo Prison:

Hoa Lo Prison with Hanoi free tour guides

The facade of the Hoa Lo prison museum, formely known as the “Hanoi Hilton” during the Vietnam-American War, in Hanoi, Vietnam, Asia.

We will follow the instruction of tour guide to move to Hoa Lo prison and buy tickets at 3:30pm. Vietnam was known as a war nation with the two resistance wars against the French colonialists and the American imperialist producing a stir in world. So they had misunderstanding that Vietnamese people are ambitious and warlike. They didn’t know Vietnamese nation always longed for independence and freedom. We will discover together where Ho Chi Minh president of Vietnam and John Mc Cain of the US used to be detained, where is called ‘Hell on earth’. The French had the prison built to arrest political prisoners and patriots of Vietnam in 1896. Go deeply in prison, you can feel blood-curdling cold and cheerless space covered with black walls and terrible sounds. Then tour guide will help you understand about history of Vietnam  and important events in the war. The prison displays statues and implements to reappear poor life condition as well as ways they were tortured and persecuted savagely by the French. But the specialist thing in here is in the same place the way the French treated Vietnamese prisoners and the way Vietnamese people treated the American pilots were absolutely contrary. Nowadays Hoa Lo prison becomes an attractive sightseeing site to abroad visitors desiring to learning about Vietnamese history.

Traditional Market Hanoi Free Local Guides

Trying food is always a fundamental part of a travel. And Pho or Cha Ca are traditional foods in Vietnam. If you are a vegetarian, we will have lunch at a unique vegetarian restaurant which serves the food that you couldn’t find anywhere else.

In the afternoon, we will take a taxi to the oldest traditional market in Vietnam- ( Dong Xuan Market). This is the place to see how locals make their livings and discover a variety of interesting alleys with diverse tasty street foods. There are only a few tourists there, which makes us feel like we are going to discover the new place in planet.

Long Bien Bridge:

We will go to Long Bien bridge by taxi and reach there at 4:45pm. Escape of quite stuffy air of prison, we will visit a well-aired place with strong wind blowing through your hair. You will feel when going for a walk along bridge to contemplate peaceful and plain landscape. This is the first bridge built by the French at the end of 19th century. It existed thousands of years and witnessed the rise and fall of history of a nation. With the classic architecture of the west, the bridge likes central character in poetic natural picture of Vietnam. We go with each other to admire the sunset and listen to interesting stories. Let your journey finish in here and in perfect space by checking in a memorial photo.
So we will finish a half day tour in 5:10pm and it’s time for us to say good bye. Have a good journey!

Hanoi Free Half-day Tour Option 2:

+ Places: The Old Quarter,  Sword Lake Area,  Hoa Lo Prison, Long Bien Bridge
+ Duration: 3-4 hours
+ 8:30Am – 12am or 2:00Pm -5 pm

Ho Chi Minh complex

Ho Chi Minh Complex- hanoi Free Local Tours

Ho Chi Minh Complex- hanoi Free Local Tours

Location: Hung Vuong Street, Dien Bien precinct, Ba Dinh district, Ha Noi.
Time opening hot season:

+ 7h30 am to 10h30 am
+ 1h30 pm to 4h30pm

In cold season: – 8h to 11h am.
On Saturday and Sunday, it is opened from 8am to 11h30 am

it reflects a period of Ho Chi Minh‘s life. Nowadays, there are thousand people visiting Ho Chi Minh complex each day to express their admiration and gratitude towards him
Ho Chi Minh complex has 8 areas.

1. Ho Chi Minh mausoleum : the a place to preserve Ho Chi Minh corpse
2. Ba Dinh square : the place has been taken place many important national historical events for many years, especially : September the 2th 1945, HO Chi minh president read Vietnam independence Declaration
3. Ho Chi Minh house: the place Ho Chi Minh President welcomed Heads of State.
4. Stilt House: where Ho Chi Minh worked and lived.
5. Fish pond
6. The 54th house: where Ho Chi Minh president worked.
7. Ho Chi Minh museum: display traces, introduce about Ho Chi Minh’s life and fighting of Vietnamese.
8. One pillar pagoda : In 2012, the pagoda was admitted the most unique pagoda in Asia
Tips: because it is a revered place, you should notice on your clothes and etiquette.
Temple of Literature.

Hanoi free tours


Quoc Tu Giam Street, at the south of Thang Long citadel.
It has two areas :
1. Van Mieu: it was built to dedicate to Confucius who created the Confucianism – the most powerful idea at that time. There are many traces reflecting the moral popular at that time. Especially, Constellation of Literature Pavilion was chosen to be the symbol of Ha Noi since 2012
2. Quoc Tu Giam: It was the first university in Viet Nam. Traces are still preserved to reflect the form of examination at that time.

West Lake
located in the west north of Ha Noi in Ho Tay district. It is not far from Temple of literature. It is the biggest lake in Ha Noi. There are many legends relating to names of it such as Trau Vang or Xac Cao. It is also an attracting destination for check in, eating and viewing. West lake is known as heritage road in Ha Noi with 20 history heritages such as : Tran Quoc pagoda, Vong Thi pagoda, Ba Danh temple. If you want to buy souvenirs for friends or family, To Ngoc Van, Xuan Dieu or Yen Phu street are crowed with many unique stores serving primarily for foreigners.

Moreover, our lovely tour guides will introduce a variety of delicious food. Ice cream, banh tom or roast meat are the most food of interest of tourists. It is an ideal place to explore the lifestyle of Vietnamese. Exploring a new country may take a long time so a good partner will help you enjoy the most exciting experiences. It would be wonderful if we get to take a trip together. Ha Noi Free Local Tour welcomes you to Ha Noi – the Viet Nam’s heart.

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