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Walking tours to discover Hanoi open this weekend

The Friends of Vietnam Heritage will organize two English-speaking city walks in Hanoi during the weekend.

The first walking tour to discover the Thang Long Imperial Citadel will take place on Saturday, June 9. The walk, led by Spanish volunteer tour guide Alvaro Grana, will start in front of the Flag Tower with a brief introduction to the citadel. Visitors will then go to the citadel to learn about its architecture and history. The tour will start at 9am and last for about 1.5 hours. Maximum of 14 people will be allowed to join the walk. Total fee for this walking tour is 100,000 dong. Meeting point: In front of Highlands Flag Tower, 28A Dien Bien Phu street.

Thang Long Citadel is a cultural heritage classified by UNESCO.
The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long is an intriguing historical relic which was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010. Also known as the Hanoi Citadel, the site of great archaeological value accommodates a huge complex of architectural relics and an exceedingly large volume of artifacts and items dating back to between the 6th and 20th centuries, which were excavated in 2004.

A notable attraction in the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long was the Hanoi Flag Tower, a renovated 40-metre-tall stone fortress offering expansive views of Ba Dinh Square and Hanoi City Center.

On the second walking tour, which will take place on Sunday, June 10, visitors will discover the Hoan Kiem Lake area – the heart of Hanoi, starting at 9am until 11am.

The walk will start in front of Ly Thai To statue with a brief introduction. The group will walk around the streets bordering Hoan Kiem Lake, discussing points of interest, stories, history, legends and traditions. Maximum of 10 people can join the walk, with the fee of 70,000 dong per person. Meeting point: in front of Ly Thai To statue, 12 Le Lai street.
Hoan Kiem Lake is a favorite site for international visitors to Hanoi.

Hoan Kiem lake is associated with the Legend of the Returned Sword. The legend is about Emperor Le Loi (1384-1433), one of the greatest heroes of Vietnam, who was given a magic sword inscribed with the words “the Will of Heaven” by Kim Quy, the Golden Turtle God. This sword gave the emperor great strength and helped him lead his forces to defeat the invading Ming Chinese armies in 1427. After defeating the enemy and becoming King Le Thai To, Le Loi returned the sword to Kim Quy on the Green Water Lake (Luc Thuy) which he then renamed the Lake of the Returned Sword (Hoan Kiem Lake).

The organizer of the tours, the Friends of Vietnam Heritage (FVH), is a Hanoi based non-profit group of volunteers from many countries, including Vietnam, whose purpose is to preserve, and enhance and deepen the understanding of Vietnamese heritage and culture.

FVH hosts four different monthly events, of which “City Walk” (a walk to explore Hanoi) is the most important.

To register for the tour, visit