Biking Hanoi: Cycling to Co Loa citadel one day

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The one day biking Hanoi, provided by the Hanoi based tour operator Lotussia Travel takes you to the outskirts of Hanoi. Begin the tour with a taxi transfer from your hotel to our bike store. Then you start your Hanoi urban adventure visiting some local houses, bonsai garden, going through villages lanes before embarking on a local ferry to the other side of Vietnam’s capital. Just after one hour cycling, you find yourself in the outskirts of Hanoi, the Hanoi rural area. Cycling along Duong dykes, through agricultural villages, rice fields and meeting up with local friendly people. Opportunity to visit Co Loa citadel before taking another biking trail to get back to Hanoi. The day biking tour is recommended for small groups touring, family travel, holidays with kids or those loving outdoor, active, fun tour to the rural Hanoi. Contact Lotussia Travel for more details.
Itinerary:

7:00 am you will be met up with Lotussia Travel guide at your hotel in Hanoi (please inform us your hotel name). After a short briefing about the bike, gears and the biking trail, you will begin your adventure by pedaling from your hotel to the other side of the Red River (for those who are not familiar with cycling in the city where the traffic is quite busy, we recommend booking a support vehicle. The extra charge will be advised by your Lotussia Travel consultant when you book the tour).

After about a half hour, you will leave the Hanoi busy town behind. You cycle across the Long Bien Bridge,  the first steel bridge spanning the Red River in Hanoi, built by the French (1899-1902) and named for Doumer, read as though-love (the name of Governor Paul Doumer Indochina).

Once you are on the other side of the town, you will cycle along the dyke, goring into the rural area of Hanoi.

Visiting an ancient village that is located by the Red river will help you know further the real life of Vietnamese people. You may want to visit a master of martial who practices Vietnamese Kungfu for years or a retired person who has lots of beautiful Bonsai.
Then take a ferry crossiing the Duong river. You will arrive in the area where people live of agriculture. You cycle from villages to villages, through rice fields and friendly people. You will arrive Co Loa citadel around noon. This old fortress attracts many foreign tourists for its historical and cultural value. It would be interesting for tourist to find that this Citadel is not only built in a large scale, but also took a very long time to construct. Especially, it has also been the source of various relics of the Dong Son culture of the Bronze Age. This would be a precious chance for tourists to explore such large site and its potential beauty. This spiral-shaped complex will take you to the mysterious ancient Vietnam thousands of years ago.
Lunch will be provided in a local restaurant or picnic lunch can be arranged.
In the afternoon, it is possible for you to cycle for some more kilometers before being picked up by our vehicle and transferred back to your hotel in Hanoi. The end of Lotussia Travel service.

About Co Loa citadel:

Co Loa Citadel is a citadel built near Phong Khe, about 20km to the North of today’s Hanoi, during the end of the Hong Bang Dynasty (about 257 BCE). The fortress is a spiral-shaped complex of the then new capital. Its name is derived from the Sino-Vietnamese, meaning "old spiral." The site has been the source of various relics of the Dong Son culture of the Bronze Age.

According to folklore, Thuc Phan (An Duong Vuong) defeated the last of the Hung kings in 257 BCE and founded the kingdom of Au Lac, choosing the site of Co Loa as his capital. Co Loa is a very large site and is the dominant presence in the northern floodplain of the Red River Delta, which would have required a large amount of labour and resources to have built in its time.
The site consists of two outer sets of ramparts and a citadel on the inside, of rectangular shape.
The outer rampart comprises a perimeter of 8 km and is lined with guard towers. The ramparts still stand up to 12 m high and are 25 m in width at their base. Archaeologists have estimated that over two million cubic metres of material were moved in order to construct the entire fortress, including moats that were fed by the Hoang River.

Excavations made by archaeologists have revealed Dong Son style pottery that had stratified over time under the walls, while a drum was found by chance by Nguyen Giang Hai and Nguyen Van Hung. The drum included a hoard of bronze objects. The rarity of such objects in Southeast Asia and the range found at Co Loa is believed to possibly be unique.
The drum itself is one of the largest Bronze Age drums to have been recovered from the Red River Delta, standing 57 cm high and boasting a tympanum with a diameter of 73.6 cm. The drum itself weighs 72 kg and contains around 200 pieces of bronze, including 20 kg of scrap pieces from a range of artefacts. These include socketed hoes and ploughshares, socketed axes, and spearheads.

The artefacts are numerically dominated by the ploughshares, of which there are 96. Six hoes and a chisel were in the set. There were 32 socketed axes of various shapes, including a boat shaped axehead. This was almost a replica to a clay mound found in the grave of the bronze metalworker at Lang Ca.
Sixteen spearheads, a dagger and eight arrowheads were also found. One spearhead generated special interest because it was bimetallic, with an iron blade fitting into a bronze socket.

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