Top 3 village tours near Hanoi : Authentic, local and off the beaten track

Village Tours near Hanoi

Want to escape to rural local villages near Hanoi, away from the bustle and hustle of the Hanoi Old Quarter? You don’t want to travel a long distance and spend hours in the car. Here are the top 3 village tours near Hanoi within over 1-hour drive. 

Over the past 12 years as an English-speaking guide, I’ve been on many day trips from Hanoi. I decided to write an article about village tours experience near Hanoi Vietnam that some of them that you couldn’t find any information either on the guidebook or internet. 

This 3 villages tour near Hanoi is good for those who want to seek an authentic experience, learn more about the rich history, culture, and tradition, want to interact with locals along the way, and enjoy tasty homecooked lunch.

Top 3 village tours near Hanoi – Authentic rural Hanoi tours

Duong Lam Ancient village

Duong Lam village tour 2020

Duong Lam is the top choice for day trips to rural villages near Hanoi if you ask any travel agents or tour businesses in Hanoi. Duong Lam ancient village has become a popular tourist destination for Vietnamese and international travelers. 

Where is Duong Lam ancient village? 

Located in the heart of the Red River Delta, about 60 kilometers (40 miles) or one and a half hour’s drive from Hanoi Old Quarter. If you are traveling to Mai Chau valley, it’s great to combine a Duong Lam village tour along the way but you need to start from your hotel in Hanoi around 7.30am to have lunch in a local restaurant in Duong Lam before heading to Mai Chau.

One more suggestion, leave Duong Lam maximum at 1.30pm, so that you could arrive in Mai Chau before 5pm, which is good for the drivers who don’t have to drive over the slope roads before it gets too dark, especially from November to early April when the day is shorter 

What is so special in Duong Lam ancient village

  • Duong Lam is known as the oldest village in Hanoi, with a history of over 1200 years. In my opinion, Duong Lam isn’t an actual village, it’s a collection of 9 different hamlets where locals living here for many generations. 
  • Known as a Unesco Award village in 2014, an ideal place for a local living experience, unique architecture, and street photography
  • Maintaining an original structure of a typical Northern Vietnamese village with banyan tree, village wells, communal houses, old houses, and local temples. 
  • Having some of the authentic Vietnamese food in the rural area such as Thit Quay gion : Grilled pork belly and lean pork with skins on a charcoal fire, Che Lam “shaved ice dessert”, Keo Lac – locally made peanut candy at Hien Bao workshop
  • Unique house building materials of distinctive red laterite bricks for the walls and laterite tiles for the curved roof.

Top things to do and see in Duong Lam ancient village

  • Checking out the must-see religious sites in the village such as Mia pagoda, Mong Phu communal house, King Ngo Quyen temple and Phung Hung – the great father temple 
  • Taking a leisurely pushbike ride to explore tiny alleyways, and countryside roads passing local farms, rice fields, and temples.
  • Having lunch with authentic Vietnamese food at one of the old houses: Mr Hung’s 400-year-old house, Mr. Huyen’s over the 300-year-old house. Usually only available on a guided tour from Hanoi to Duong Lam ancient village
  • Having green tea at Ha Thi Hien’s ancient house. The host herself is a really friendly woman. I take tourists to visit her house whenever I travel to Duong Lam village. 

Use tips for Duong Lam ancient village

  • Remember to leave around 20k VND when visiting any old houses 
  • Avoid traveling at the weekend on Saturdays and Sundays since many Vietnamese families are travelling at this time.
  • Trying hot Thit Quay Gion – Roasted pork on charcoal on local stands when walking into the village. 
  • Appropriate dress code: no short sleeves and tank top when visiting local temples and shrines 
  • Entering the village at the ancient gate which you can see a big banyan tree. 

 Here is the top-rated private day tour to Duong Lam ancient village with Hanoi Eco Tour. A great choice for  village tours near Hanoi 

Duong Lam village tour is one of the best selling tour of Hanoi Eco Tour

Bac Hong village 

wet rice growing tour

Where is Bac Hong village? 

Located on the outskirts of Hanoi Old Quarter, about 25 kilometers or 16 miles or 45-minute drive from the Hanoi Old Town. 

What is so special about Bac Hong village

Bac Hong village is a beautiful, well-organized road, a tranquil, clean, quiet village with enough alleyways and detours that you can still find yourself the only tourist around. It will surely be a highlight of your Vietnam trip, which is 100% off the beaten track and you can learn a lot about local living in Vietnam. 

Personalized authentic experience: It’s a real haven for those who search for a truly unique local experience: local market visit, having authentic, tasty homecooked Vietnamese food, interacting with friendly locals and more. 

See tons of local green farms such as rice field, kohlrabi, cabbage, tomato, spinach and more.

Things to do in Bac Hong village

  • Enjoy hands-on farming experiences like a local do : Transplanting baby wet rice into the field, gardening, growing vegetables, and a lot more. 
  • Checking out a local bonsai garden with a superb friendly host. 
  • Taking a leisurely bicycle ride through farmlands.
  • Visit interesting local wet markets with homegrown vegetables, fruits, and alive animals in the cages such as chickens, and ducks.
  • Paying a visit to a unique garden over 10,000 square meters with a fish pond, gardens and animal stocks of chickens, ducks, geese 
  • Taking a mini cooking class in a local family home.

Use tips for Bac Hong village

  • Greeting people along the way if you run into a local
  • If you travel during the summertime, be there as early as possible and finish the farming activities before lunchtime. Otherwise, it will be so hot. 
  • Asking permission if you want to check out a local family’s house. No need to have an appointment. 
  • Visiting the local market before 10.30am and after 3pm since it is close during the lunch break (from 11am to 3pm) 

Note : Hanoi Eco Tour organized Wet rice farm tourFarm tour and home cooking class and Hanoi Culture fishing tour in Bac Hong village. We are the only one who offers these eco-tours in rural Hanoi in this village 

Kim Lan pottery village

Kim Lan pottery village

Looking for a village within a short drive from Hanoi Old Quarter? Interested in hands-on practices of making pottery but off the beaten track. Kim Lan village old pottery village will be my top pick, an alternative to the well-known Bat Trang ceramic village. 

Where is Kim Lan Old Pottery Village?

Located on the bank of the Red River, about 12 kilometers (about 7.5 miles) or a 40-minute drive from the Hanoi Old Quarter, just a mile away from the famous Bat Trang ceramic village. Kim Lan is known as an old pottery village in Gia Lam Dist, Hanoi, dating back from the 9th century, over 1000 years ago, earlier than Bat Trang village. 

What is so special about Bac Hong village

Kim Lan pottery village is a peaceful and clean village that is an ideal place for those who seek off-the-beaten tracks and authentic experiences: Talking with local craftsmen at their own workshops, drinking a few glasses of Bia Hoi “local draft beer”, enjoying a low pace of walking along the quietly hidden alleyways.

Things to do in Kim Lam pottery village

  • Enjoy hands-on pottery-making experiences in the local workshops: It’s fun and educational activities for kids
  • Learning an in-depth history of the village with a teatime in a friendly old man
  • Checking out the mini pottery museum 
  • Visit interesting local wet markets with homegrown vegetables, fruits, and alive animals in the cages such as chickens and ducks.
  • Paying a visit to a local communal house 

Use tips for Kim Lam ceramic village 

  • Taking a ferry crossing to return Hanoi on a different route. Highly recommend it for those who are taking a push bike ride or motorbike ride.
  • Joining a guided tour to arrange a visit to local family-run workshops and local communal house
  • Ask first before entering someone’s house.
  • Don’t visit during the lunch break; some of the workshops might be off for lunch and nap

In my opinion, Duong Lam ancient village is good for Senior-friendly travel groups who want to learn in-depth about Vietnamese culture and tradition, also the young travellers who love food tasting. 

Kim Lan pottery village and Bac Hong Village is good for family with kids and teenagers because there is lots of fun activities. If I have to choose Bac Hong Village is a bit better in terms of having more things to do and enjoying home-cooked local food. 

I hope this top 3 village tours near Hanoi guide will give you a better understanding of how to pick a right Hanoi countryside day tour 

If you like this local village tours near Hanoi article, please Like, and share it on social media for upcoming travellers. 

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