Ha Noi will celebrate its 1,000th anniversary and 56th Liberation Day on October 10, making it an ideal time for tourists to explore the city.
Vietnam Heritage Travel Company is offering typical tours to favourite destinations in the north including the Ha Noi-Autumn season, Ancient citadels of Viet Nam, Sa Pa and Ha Long in Autumn.
Annually, the HCM City-based travel agency organises seasonal tours – Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter – to tourism sites throughout the northern provinces.
But this year, the Ha Noi-Autumn season is seen as the most attractive programme as it coincides with the city's millennium celebrations.
"We hope tourists will have more chances to witness numerous cultural festivities in Ha Noi during autumn. It's a special time," said a marketing staff of the company, Hoang Thuy Linh.
"The Ha Noi-Autumn programme has hosted around 12,000 tourists since early this year and hundreds of foreigners have flocked to the city this season," Linh added.
She also said the capital had lured tourists with the season of fruits, com (young sticky rice) flake and cool weather.
The travel agency began preparing the tour last year to meet the increasing demand to visit Ha Noi.
The four days and three nights tour will depart from HCM City and wind through the Trang An tourism site in Ninh Binh Province, Ha Noi and Ha Long Bay.
It costs VND4.2 million (US$215) per person.
After arriving in the capital, tourists will visit the four historic temples of Bach Ma (White Horse); Linh Lang, or Voi Phuc (Crouching Elephant); Tran Vu and Kim Lien – the homes of the four gods of the former royal capital – before touring part of the Royal Thang Long Citadel and the Temple of Literature.
A pedestrian route from the Quan Chuong Gate and exploring the city's Old Quarter will close the first tour day.
"Tourists will go shopping at the biggest whole sale market of Dong Xuan in the middle of the Old Quarter, which is a symbol of the ancient capital," said head of the agency's Ha Noi office Nguyet Nga.
The centre of Ha Noi will be the main visit for the tour second day with a visit to sites around Hoan Kiem (Returned Sword) Lake such as Ngoc Son Temple and turtle tower.
"The lake is also the heart of Ha Noi and visitors can experience a quiet moment as they walk around the lake and see the trees in the autumn.
The most visited places during the day are buildings dating back to the French colonial times including 1902-built Long Bien Bridge; the Opera House built in 1911 and 1931-constructed Museum of Vietnamese history.
The existence of buildings provides real samples of the capital's varied history.
Travellers can ask tour guides to take them to the night market, which opens at 7pm and closes at midnight in Hang Ngang and Hang Dao streets, which were the former silk trading centre of ancient town.
The third day will start with a two-hour visit to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and One Pillar Pagoda before going to Ha Long Bay – the World Natural Heritage Site.
The seasonal programme also includes the vestiges of ancient imperial cities in a trip to the ancient capitals.
According Vietnam Heritage Travel's marketing section, Nguyen Anh Thang, the tour offers visits to the former capitals of Hue, Hoa Lu in Ninh Binh, Co Loa and the UNESCO recognised Thang Long Royal citadel in Ha Noi.
"We have intentionally arranged destinations in a combined tour, to help tourists gain a deeper understanding of Vietnamese history," Thang explained.
"The destinations are quite well-known to Vietnamese people, but we link a string of citadels that were built from the country's foundation to the current capital."
Arriving in Ha Noi on the morning flight, tourists will take a visit to Co Loa spiral Citadel, which was built in the third century BC.
From Thang Long Royal Citadel in Ha Noi, visitors will return to country's former capital of Hoa Lu in Ninh Binh Province – 100km south of Ha Noi – in 968-1010.
"Hoa Lu was a capital nearly half century before it was moved to Ha Noi by King Ly Thai To. The route will provide a real historical story of the former capital at Hoa Lu and Ha Noi today," Thang explained.
The former imperial capital of Hue will be the last place visited on the fourth day.
A night cruise on the Huong River with folk music will help people relax prior to their departure for peaceful mind for HCM City.