Unwind in the countryside
Arrive in Hanoi at 05.10am on Vietnam Airlines. Transfer to Moon Garden Guesthouse (moongardenhomestay. com), a delightful, upmarket homestay in the village of My Son, 40 miles west of Hanoi. The host family offers cookery classes (spring rolls of course!), massages and fragrant steam baths, and they are happy to explain local customs (ancestor worship is very strong).
Moon Garden provides bicycles for a leisurely ride through local villages (don’t be afraid to stop and chat – locals are used to curious foreigners) or take a longer guided excursion to the village of Duong Lam whose centuries-old houses showcase an ancient way of life.
Hanoi old and new