Hanoi opens tour to Co Loa Ancient Citadel
Update: Apr 04, 2023
The new tourism product tied to Co Loa Citadel in Dong Anh District, and themed "Visiting the Ancient Vietnamese Capital", has just been launched as an appealing side event of the recently-held Hanoi Tourism Festival 2023 in Hanoi.

This newly-launched tour will delight tourists who love Vietnamese history and traditional culture.

Co Loa Ancient Citadel from a bird-eye view. Photo: VNA

A fresh storytelling style

Organized by Vietnam S.T.I.D in collaboration with Thang Long - Hanoi Heritage Conservation Center, the brand-new tour starts and ends at the Thang Long Imperial Citadel.

On the way to Co Loa, visitors will have the chance to explore the heritages of Hanoi: the medieval beauty of the Imperial Citadel with valuable artifacts from the Ly, Tran, and Le dynasties, the tree-lined Phan Dinh Phung Street - one of the most charming in the capital, as well as the Red River, Long Bien Bridge or Chuong Duong Bridge.

According to the tour organizer, the route was planned with a clear storyline to help visitors to better understand the values of Co Loa Citadel in the past. Especially the stories of King An Duong Vuong building the spiral citadel and defeating the Qin dynasty general Trieu Da, the Golden Turtle magic crossbow, and the love between princess My Chau and prince Trong Thuy - Trieu Da’s son not only delight travelers but also help them to learn about Vietnamese history.

Tourists will also be led around the Artifact Display House of Co Loa Relic Site, the three sets of ramparts with many remnants, the Co Loa Communal House or Ngu Trieu Di Quy, the Goddess Shrine of Princess My Chau, the temple of Cao Lo Vuong, the Upper Temple of An Duong Vuong, among others.

Tourists visit the Artifact Display House of Co Loa Relic Site to learn about the site's overall layout before embarking on a journey to explore the ancient capital.

Visitors enjoyed learning about Vietnamese history at Co Loa Ancient Citadel. Photo: Hanoimoi

Interesting side activities

The new feature of this tour is that the visitors could experience many activities that have never been available before, such as making their earthen arrowheads with molds similar to those found by scientists in Co Loa and recognized as National Treasures, according to the tour organizer.

Visitors can also learn to make and enjoy the famous Mach Trang’s Bun xao can or stir-fried rice vermicelli with water celery. Legend has it that the dish was prepared by the villagers at the wedding of Princess My Chau and Prince Trong Thuy; since then, it has been a tradition and specialty of the Co Loa residents.

Vietnam S.T.I.D Director Phung Quang Thang said the tour would bring novel experiences to domestic and foreign tourists coming to Co Loa. “Although the monuments and historical story of Co Loa are familiar to many Vietnamese people, we still hope that this product will offer a whole new experience to the locals and tourists so that the heritage will have renewed vitality in contemporary life,” he said.

The model of the Golden Turtle magic crossbow in the King An Duong legendary story. Photo: Hanoimoi 

Thu Hang, a tourist from Ba Dinh District, shared that she had visited Co Loa citadel before, but this time, she could learn many interesting things about this legendary historical site of Hanoi.

“Historical events are strung together and narrated fascinatingly by a tour guide, which makes this tour much more engaging and memorable than if tourists had to see the models and read the captions by themselves,” she commented.

The launch of “Visiting the Ancient Vietnamese Capital” will be the herald of innovations in preserving and promoting the value of Co Loa’s heritage.

 Visitors experience making earthen arrowheads at Co Loa relic site in Dong Anh District, Hanoi. Photo: Hanoimoi

As part of the Hanoi Tourism Festival 2023, the Hanoi Center for Investment, Trade and Tourism Promotion, in cooperation with the Hanoi UNESCO Travel Club, organized a FAM trip for nearly 100 travel agencies to experience and review the “Visit the Ancient Vietnamese Capital” tour to promote this product to domestic and international tourists.

This one-day trip departs at and returns to the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long every Saturday and Sunday. The prices range from VND199,000 (US$8.5) per person (for children aged 6-11) to VND399,000 ($17) per person (for adults).

Co Loa Citadel, about 20km north of Hanoi’s center, is the oldest building in Vietnam, with the largest structure and a long history. Its name, "Co Loa", comes from Sino-Vietnamese and means "old spiral", since the structure is shaped like a spiral.

Along with Thang Long Imperial Citadel, Co Loa Citadel is believed to represent the thousand-year history of the nation.

Jenna Duong

Hanoi Times - hanoitimes.vn - March 30, 2023