Tay Phuong pagoda was built in the 8th century and has been restored several times since. In 1632, the pagoda was rebuilt according to the Sino-Vietnamese character Tam (three), featuring three sections: the upper sanctuary, back palace, and lobby rooms.
After climbing 239 stone steps bearing the signs of the passage of time and sheltered by the shade of age-old trees one reaches a gate. The gate carries the name of the structure: Tay Phuong Co Tu (Ancient Pagoda of the West). According to the inscription on a 17th century stone stele it also has two other names: Sung Phuc Tu and Hoang Son Thieu Lam Tu.
On the left bank of Hong river and about 10 km from Hanoi in East (in Gia Lam District, Hanoi), there situated a pottery village, which is the most famous and long-standing pottery village in Vietnam for its name of Bat Trang. Up to present, Ba Trang Pottery Village has still been operating and developing ceaselessly.
Tour type: day trip from Hanoi to outside
Tour style: Private tour
Tour cost: from $ 42
Dong Ky was at one time known as the 'firecracker village'. Prior to 1995 (when the Government banned fire crackers) there was always a firecracker festival in Dong Ky. A competition for the loudest firecracker once resulted in the building of a gargantuan 16m long firecracker.
With the firecracker industry now extinguished, the village survives by producing beautiful traditional furniture inlaid with mother-of-pearl.
Tour cost: from $40 USD
A journey to Duong Lam village is a trip to trace back the origin of Vietnam's culture and Vietnam's traditions. This is also the great chance explore architecture of ancient houses while wander along its narrow alleyways, visit temples dedicated to the two kings born there, and most interesting of all, chat with locals living in the ancient houses.