Hanoi Overview and Most Visited Destinations
Imagine a city where the exotic chic of old Asia blends with the dynamic face of new Asia. Where the medieval and modern co-exist. A city with a blend of Parisian grace and Asian pace, an architectural museum piece evolving in harmony with its history, rather than bulldozing through like many of the region’s capitals. Hanoi is where imagination becomes reality.A mass of motorbikes swarms through the tangled web of streets that is the Old Quarter, a cauldron of commerce for almost 1000 years and still the best place to check the pulse of this resurgent city. Hawkers in conical hats ply their wares, locals sip coffee and Bia hoi (beer) watching life (and plenty of tourists) pass them by. Witness synchronised t’ai chi at dawn on the shores of Hoan Kiem Lake while goateed grandfathers tug at their wisps over the next chess move. See the bold and beautiful dine at designer restaurants and cut the latest moves on the dance floor. Hanoi has it all: the ancient history, a colonial legacy and a modern outlook. There is no better place to untangle the paradox that is modern Vietnam.The grand old dame of Asia, Hanoi lay in a deep slumber after Vietnam’s partition in 1954 until the effects of economic reforms kicked in four decades later.
The city survived American bombs and Russian planners to emerge relatively unscathed in the early 1990s as an example of a French-conceived colonial city. Huge mansions line grand boulevards, and lakes and parks dot the city, providing a romantic backdrop to the nonstop soundtrack. There are still moments of Paris, as the smell of baguettes and café au lait permeates street corners. Known by many names down the centuries, Thang Long (City of the Soaring Dragon) is the most evocative, and let there be no doubt that this dragon is on the up once more
Hanoi, Vietnam and one of the most visited of the Vietnam popular destinations, is the beautiful capital city of Vietnam, sprawling in the banks of the Red River with French colonial heritage. Hanoi has a population of 3 million which is constantly growing. This is a reflection of Hanoi being a metropolitan area of northern Vietnam as well as the country’s political centre. Hanoi has been traditionally a point of convergence of much of country’s talents in arts and culture with a heavy influence of Confucianvalues among the people.
Hanoi, Vietnam today is a somewhat slow paced city but with a charm and elegance of its own. It has an abundance of lovely landscapes such as lakes, shaded boulevards, and lush green public parks and a touch of French architecture in the streets. Today with Vietnam tourism on a rise,Hanoi, Vietnam readily welcomes visitors willing to have a vacation in Hanoi, Vietnam. Some of the most visited tourist attractions in Hanoi, Vietnam are:
Public buses serving southern destinations (e.g. Ninh Binh, 2h - VND 60,000) leave from Giap Bat  bus station. To get from the Giap Bat bus station to the old quarter and Hoan Kiem Lake, leave aside all the hassle of taxi and motorbike drivers and simply take public bus number 8 towards Đông Mỹ (VND 3,000, pay on the bus) - to find it head towards the main road inside Giap Bat station, you will see signs with numbers indicating the stops of different bus lines.
If you want to do some mild weight training on a budget, head to 88 Hang Buom St, a short walk from Hoan Kiem Lake. The cost is 30,000 dong per session as of Dec 2012. Locals apparently pay 130,000 dong/month. Be aware, however, that the gym is in very poor condition. The floor is hazardous and no one will spot you whilst benching so ensure you are able to place the bar back on the stand with your last repetition or go with a friend. The front of the gym is full of scooters and the rear wall has pictures of Uncle Ho exercising back in the day! Drinks are 10,000 dong.
ATMs are everywhere and cash is king here. There is a transaction limit (2,000,000 dong). For a higher transaction limit (4,000,000 dong) try the ANZ and Techcombank. The Techcombank SE of the Hoa Lo Prison allows transactions of at least 7 mil (didn't try more than this, so try starting as high as possible, maybe 20 mil?). The Citi bank machine in the shopping plaza on Xuan Dieu will dispense 6 mil. Many places will accept USD as well.
Check exchange rates daily. Jewellery shops will consistently offer a better rate than banks or hotels.
Since the mid 90s, Vietnamese cuisine has grown in quality and variation, and is now very diverse and most delicious. Most famous remains 'Pho Ga' (chicken noodle soup) or 'Pho Bo'(Beef noodle soup). There are various dishes including chicken, beef, fish and seafood, and there are hundreds, if not thousands, of restaurants nowadays in Hanoi catering to everyone's taste. Hanoi street food become a cuisine culture of Hanoi.
Look to the Old Quarter for atmospheric street stalls and reasonably priced Western and local fare.
If you have been travelling in SE Asia for a long time, Hanoi offers excellent bread. The street baguettes are a welcome treat for western taste buds
By road:Hanoi is 93km from Ninh Binh, 102km from Haiphong, 153km from Thanh Hoa, 151km from Halong, 474km from Dien Bien Phu, 658km from Hue, 763km from Danang, and 1,710km from Ho Chi Minh City.
By air:Noi Bai International Airport, over 35km from the city center, is one of the biggest airports of the country with various international and domestic routes. There are domestic flights from Hanoi to Danang, Dien Bien, Ho Chi Minh City, Hue, Nha Trang and international flights to many countries in over the world.
By train:Hanoi Railway Station is Vietnam's main railway station. It is the starting point of five railway lines leading to almost every province in Vietnam.
Hanoi is a sacred land of Vietnam. In the 3rd century BC, Co Loa (actually belonging to Dong Anh District) was chosen as the capital of the Au Lac Nation of Thuc An Duong Vuong (the King Thuc). Hanoi later became the core of the resistance movements against the Northern invasions. Located in the middle of the Red River Delta, the town has gradually expanded to become a very populations and rich residential center. At different periods, Hanoi had been selected as the chief city of Vietnam under the Northern domination.In the autumn of Canh Tuat lunar years (1010), Ly Thai To, the founder of the Ly Dynasty, decided to transfer the capital from Hoa Lu to Dai La, and so he rebaptized it Thang Long (Soaring Dragon). The year 1010 then became an historical date for Hanoi and for the whole country in general. For about a thousand years, the capital was called Thang Long, then changing to Dong Do, Dong Kinh, and finally to Hanoi, in 1831. This sacred piece of land thereafter continued to be the theatre of many fateful events.
Hanoi is located in the Red River Delta, in the center of North Vietnam. It is encompassed by Thai Nguyen, Vinh Phuc provinces to the north, Hoa Binh and Ha Nam to the south, Bac Giang, Bac Ninh and Hung Yen provinces to the east, Hoa Binh and Phu Tho to the west.
Hanoi means "the hinterland between the rivers" (Ha: river, Noi: interior). Hanoi's territory is washed by the Red River (the portion of the Red River embracing Hanoi is approximately 40km long) and its tributaries, but there are some other rivers flowing through the capital, including Duong, Cau, Ca Lo, Day, Nhue, Tich, To Lich and Kim Nguu.
Climate: Hanoi is situated in a tropical monsoon zone with two main seasons. During the dry season, which lasts from October to April, it is cold and there is very little rainfall, except from January to March, when the weather is still cold but there is some light rain. The wet season, from May to September, is hot with heavy rains and storms. The average annual temperature is 23.2oC (73.7oF) and the average annual rainfall is 1,800mm. The average temperature in winter is 17.2oC (62.9oF), but can go down to 8oC (46.4oF). The average temperature in summer is 29.2oC (84.6oF), but can reach up to 39oC (102.2oF).
Lakes form a major tourist attraction in Hanoi. Most popular one of them is Hoan Kiem Lake(lake of Restored Sword) situated right in the middle of Hanoi, Vietnam with the 18th century Ngoc Son Temple (Jade Mountain Temple) sitting on an island in its centre. This lake is inhabited largely by a rare breed of turtles. Some other lakes in Hanoi are West lake, Giang Vo lake, Truc Bach. Lake and the Downed B-52.
Shopping in Hanoi
Old Quarter is centre of hustle and bustle in Hanoi and the most popular shopping area in Hanoi. It is a fascinating place of 40 streets packed with shops selling all kinds of goods and pavements covered with cafes and restaurants with each street named after its specialty good and service. Other shops that can be visited in Hanoi, Vietnam are Nguyen Art and Hang gai street Shop.
Museums in Hanoi
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, is undoubtedly the most popular tourist attraction in Hanoi. Here the national hero, Ho Chi Minh is more visible than in the city named upon him, Ho Chin Minh City, Vietnam. This museum is located in the old French administrative centre of Ville Francaise. Here Ho Chi Minh is held in reverential regard. Other popular museums in Hanoi, Vietnam are Bao Tang Lich Su (History Museum) Ho Chi Minh Museum, Fine Art Museum, Vietnam Museum of Ethnology and Bao Tang Cach Manh (Revolutionary Museum).
Other than this, some other popular Vietnam tourist attractions in Hanoi are the Temple of Literature built in 1076 as the first university in Vietnam, one Pillar Pagoda and the Water Puppet Theatre.
Hanoi, Vietnam can be visited any time of the year given its pleasant climate all round the year. It is well connected by road as well as flights.
Top Hanoi Tours & Tours from Hanoi