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“One Day in Hanoi” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Autochtones - CLOSED

Autochtones
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Attraction details
Owner description: One Day in Hanoi is a unique day tour organized by Autochtones, a non profit organization (registered French charity). Join us to explore a side of the capital very few tourists experience. The tour includes laughing yoga, a cooking class, lotus tea tasting, cycling, a reflexology massage... And for the food lovers, join our street food tours to wake up your taste buds!
Sydney, Australia
1 review
“One Day in Hanoi”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 December 2013

A MUST for the traveller that wants to see how the locals enjoy life in this crazy,hectic,Asian city that has more hidden corners than Rubics Cube.It's a very busy day and closely supervised --
there's skill learned to cross the road !! Navigating markets ! Ordering street food ! Cycling ! Lotus tea ! Lunch of your own made VN Spring Rolls ! Interesting Coffee Stops
and all meals etc.covered made this a great value fun and unique day

Visited November 2013
Review collected in partnership with this attraction

Helpful?
Thank James O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

20 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    19
    1
    0
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Hanoi, Vietnam
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Experience a local and authentic side to Hanoi”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 December 2013

I highly recommend this as a day tour for those wanting to see a more local and authentic side to Hanoi. It starts bright and early with laughing yoga, which is great fun as the name suggests. Definite highlights were the pho breakfast and lunch at the secret garden. I also really enjoyed the bicycle ride at the end of the day around West Lake. I did this tour when it first started up earlier this year and have since recommended it to my friends and family. My mum did it about a month ago and also had a great experience.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank KarenM2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kampala, Uganda
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great authentic one day tour in Hanoi”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 December 2013

Thanks for the very nice tour to Dicover hidden pathways in Hanoi! I have been living in Hanoi for more than a year and even for me it was a nice way to rediscover certain places, discover new ones, try Vietnamese drinks and dishes which i otherwise would not have done, and some other typical activities which i don't want to give away.
We had a great time with the laughing yoga and that experience set the pace for the whole day! Our guide was very supportive but was not rushing us. We finished the day at a bar in the midst of lotusflowers. What else can you wish for!

Visited July 2013
Review collected in partnership with this attraction

Helpful?
Thank Nele B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“A different insight to Hanoi”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 December 2013

This is a great new tour that takes you both through some interesting sights in the old quarter that you wouldn't find on your own and to some other really worthwhile areas of Hanoi that most tourists miss out on, like truc Bach and west lake. Laughing yoga and the old cafe where definate highlights as well as cycling along the lake.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank tess_p123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
35 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Awesome, but wear the right shoes and get a good nights sleep!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 November 2013

I published this as a blog post in October, but Trip Advisor would n't accept the link. So here's the blog post text.

A few days a go we were hanging out at the Hanoi Social Club and picked-up a lovely looking postcard for a day tour called ‘One Day in Hanoi‘. The graphic design was beautiful and it promised things such as a walking tour, local food, market shopping, lotus flower tea and a bike ride. Just up our alley!

Perrine was our host and is involved with Autochtones, a French organization in Vietnam that promotes meaningful cultural exchange. They have had a number of projects, which includes film making and since mid-2013, walking tours.

At 6.15am (!) we met at the meeting point in an important public square in Vietnam. Under the statue of one of Vietnams founding fathers we joined a very local ritual of ‘laughing yoga’. Now – I’m a skeptic of laughing classes/groups, but will give everything a go once. Yes, it was surreal to be laughing on-demand with group of middle-aged Vietnamese ladies in a public square. Even more bizarre was the young man at the centre of the circle leading the group. Apparently he does this voluntarily every day. The reason? He’s believes happiness comes through laughing and this is his advocacy approach. We asked Perrine to make a doco about him.

Anyway, after yoga we briefly joined the group on the other side of the statue learning be-bop. In a public square. At 7.30 on a Sunday morning.

Then the walking and eating started. We walked around Hoam Kiem Lake and Perrine brought us to a little street food stall in an alley for a tomato and crab based noodle soup. Noodle soup is fundamental to northern Vietnamese cuisine and so many words exist, mostly describing the noodle they use. This was Bun – a long, thin rice noodle. The Pho we know is called so because the noodles are flat and wide. The broth was delicious served with a basket of fresh herbs, chilli and garlic water to self medicate.
breakfast noodles hanoi

Soon after, we were taken through another small alleyway which opened out into a lush indoor/outdoor space. We climbed onto the rooftop for a Vietnamese egg coffee. The
Vietnamese coffee is topped with a kind of Italian meringue for a sweet coffee treat. I elected to go with my new favourite ca phe sua cua. Coffee with yoghurt.

There is lots of walking in this tour – Perrine really has packed it in. The commentary is not limited to food. We learnt about the history of Hanoi’s Old Quarter which was pretty useful after a couple of days wandering around with no rhyme or reason. The great part of walking with a guide is that is unlocks the city you can’t see – I guess that’s called local insight.
We left the touristed Old Quarter and ducked into what I thought was a mechanics store, until Perrine told me it was the most famous wedding cake store in Hanoi. These are not the wedding cakes we know. Small (10x10cm), square glutinous rice cakes filled with yellow or red bean paste are traditional at weddings. This one we sampled was bright green. Apparently it’s not colored – the rice itself is green!

More walking and the next stop was a local wet (i.e food) market. No tourists here! Perrine has given us a quick Vietnamese lesson and the idea was that we would buy all the ingredients for lunch here ourselves – in Vietnamese! The market ladies played along and we had a great time! I alway find market to be a lot of fun and a great insight into what the local people are eating. I tell you that they are eating well in Vietnam!

Our final walk took us to a peaceful, private garden retreat owned by a local and managed by Minh and Nga, a young couple who have lived in Australia and studied hospitality and tourism. We sat in their outdoor kitchen and learnt to make Nem – the fried rice paper roll. Pork, dried mushrooms, kohlrabi and carrot, bound with egg and wrapped in rice paper before being shallow fried in vegetable oil and eaten hot, wrapped in greens. I will replicate this at home.

A number of other dishes appeared including wilted mustard greens and morning glory and a caramel pork served in a coconut shell. Dessert was simple but delicious – pomelo and dragonfruit – stunning to look at, refreshing to eat.

By this time we had walked (a lot) and eaten (a lot). It was time for a massage in a studio overlooking a lily pond. It’s a pretty special place and I was feeling pretty good about the world by the end of it.

We finished with an incredible lotus flower tea. The flowers are stuffed with green tea before sunrise (4am) and then at the end of the day the flower has perfumed the tea. The flower is picked and wrapped in lotus leaves for storage. The brewing of the tea is quite spectacular. The ugly little package of a dry,dead leaf is unfurled to present a moist, vibrant purple flower. The petals are peeled back and the tea is ready for the teapot. The bright yellow stamen is then added to the tea pot for extra perfume. The brew time was not more than 1 minute. We drank from tiny cups (not more than 20 ml) and the perfume and flavour were intense! Like a very intense green tea, but with an extra perfume. Not especially floral, but super interesting. A second cup a few minutes later proved too strong.

After our tea experience, we cycled around the largest large in Hanoi (West Lake) and it being a Sunday afternoon, was full of locals enjoying a sunny afternoon.
‘One day in Hanoi’ is a brilliant tour for those interested in food, but also interested in other things as well, such as language, history, insight into local life and generally a good story. Perrine is an amazing host and also has a group of Vietnamese tour guides. You can contact her on asso.autochtones@gmail.com. I recommend you do.

Visited October 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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