Vietnam: Walking tour strides toward ‘new normal’ in tourism

After many months of keeping her daughter at home due to social distancing, Thai Kim Tuyet can finally bring her to enjoy a walking tour of French architecture in downtown Hanoi.

The tour, called the “French Architecture in Downtown Hanoi,” has been jointly organized by the National Museum of Vietnamese History and Hanoitourist, bringing tourists to the most beautiful streets of the capital.

They stop at various historical and cultural sites like the Opera House, the Tonkin Palace and the Sofitel Metropole Hotel to learn about the history of the buildings.

At the National Historical Museum, they can see national treasures like the Ngoc Lu drums dated back to Dong Son civilization (some 800BC) and gold books and royal seals dating back to the Nguyen dynasty (1802-1945), the final feudal regime in Viet Nam.

At the museum, the visitors can experience an audio guide app for the first time.

Joining the tour, visitors can add to the experience with an audio app at the National Historical Museum for the first time. “We are so excited to join the tour with other parents and children,” Tuyet told Viet Nam News. “After so long a time at home and learning online, our children can now meet one another and follow the guide to learn about history. The lesson is light, fun and useful for them.”

Hoang Thao Ngan, a fifth-grade pupil, said she learned more about architecture and history than she ever would have from a book.

“I have more knowledge for my literature writing assigned by my teacher,” she said.

Duong Khanh Toan, another resident in Hoan Kiem District, joined the tour with his family. He said they all enjoyed the relaxing trip.

“I have visited the Opera House and the museum many times, but thanks to this tour I understand more about the hidden meaning inside the architecture and objects,” he said.

“I understand more of the value of the buildings and I love the city even more.”

Deputy Director of the museum Nguyen Thi Thu Hoan said the tour is specially designed for visitors to the capital, which links the museum with sites in Hanoi that share historical and architectural values.