If Hanoi and its lavish array of attractions still cannot satisfy your adventurous spirit or you are simply getting fed up with this noisy crowded city and want some fresh air, just pack up and move out of the inner city to explore numbers of destinations where both stunning scenery and fresh atmosphere are always welcoming you.

This Vietnam Business Magazine guide shall introduce you to five must-see sites near Hanoi for a one-day trip.

* Huong (Perfume) pagoda

Huong pagoda is an immense complex of Buddhist pagodas, several temples and communal houses, located in Huong Son town, My Duc district. The centre of this complex is laid inside Huong Son cave, called Chua Trong (Inner Pagoda).

In order to reach this holy sanctuary, tourists are given chances to travel on boats cross a long and narrow but romantic stream. Along its side are extending patty fields where egrets flying intermittently above; grassy dunes and temples here and there. It may take ones 2-3 days to pray at all temples and explore the entire zone.

The real challenge is the uphill path which consume both of ones’ time and energy with thousands of slippery stone steps. After sweating a little bit to reach the top, where the main pagoda is settled inside Huong Son cave, ones are advised to wear on warm clothes or take a few minutes to dry sweat because the inner cave is quite cold. This cave is naturally decorated with stalactites and stalagmites of wonderful shapes that may dazzle visitors’ eyes.

Huong pagoda is most well-known for its festival, lasting very long from the beginning of January to early April. During the occasion, Huong Pagoda welcomes millions of pilgrims from both inside and outside of Vietnam.

* Traditional handicraft villages

Visiting traditional handicraft villages around Hanoi should be a good idea for travelers getting bored with busy life of the inner city. The tour will be divided into morning and afternoon sessions with one village to visit in each depending on travelers.

Bat Trang ceramic village: Getting to the destination either by motorbike or bus crossing Chuong Duong bridge, a large area of ceramic pottery workshops are open to you. Here, ones can buy the best quality ceramic products, moulded by skillful hands of craftsmen and in various sizes, colours and design. It’s even more exciting when ones are invited to create a ceramic product by themselves.

Van Phuc silk village: The site is undoubtedly a paradise for silk and fashion lovers with over 1,000 shops, offering a diverse range of delighting shirts, crafts, ties and dresses made of silk, favoured for light weight and smooth appearance, high quality and a variety of colours that will definitely be suitable for any skin tones.

* Duong Lam ancient village

The village is 60km from Hanoi centre that may take you a whole day trip. Duong Lam village is proud to be one of the most ancient villages in Vietnam which is still remaining its lavish array of historic relics and ancient architecture dated to 1,200 years of history.

Besides, Duong Lam landscape is typical for a Vietnamese village with poetic rivers lined by rows of bamboo on its bank.

* Ha Long Bay

Located in Quang Ninh province, Ha Long Bay, just qualified as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, is definitely a must-see destination. Located within the Gulf of Tonkin, it is a spectacular formation of around 2,000 small limestone islets with the total space of 1,553 sq.km. The bay’s outstanding scenic beauty promises tourists unforgettable experience.

* Ancient capital Hoa Lu

The ancient capital Hoa Lu is the first capital of the feudal system in Vietnam, associated with two prosperous dynasties: Dinh and Le. From 968-1010, the old capital achieved lots of glories before King Ly Cong Uan decided to move the capital to Thang Long, the present-day Hanoi.

Hoa Lu is a complex of ancient vestiges. The collection of national relics here is larger than any other provinces in Vietnam, consisting of temples and communal houses worshiping national heroes Dinh Tien Hoang and Le Dai Hanh; ancient pagodas which are well-known all over Indochina like Bai Dinh pagoda, Ban Long pagoda or Nhat Tru pagoda; underground palaces and grottos; not to mention a bunch of natural wonders like Thien Ton cave, Tam Coc-Bich Dong, Ma Yen mountain, Flag mountain.

Spring is really a festivity season in Hoa Lu thanks to dozens of carnivals being held in this first capital of Vietnam.-VNA