vietnam travel hanoi Hanoi is the capital and one of the most vibrant cities of Vietnam. It is a city of contrasts, where the old and the new, the traditional and the modern, the east and the west coexist in harmony. Hanoi is also a city of culture, history, cuisine, and adventure. Whether you are looking for a relaxing getaway, a cultural immersion, or an exciting exploration, Hanoi has something for everyone. In this blog post, we will guide you through some of the best things to do, see, and eat in Hanoi.
How to Get to Hanoi vietnam travel hanoi
Hanoi is located in the north of Vietnam, about 1,700 kilometers from Ho Chi Minh City. There are several ways to get to Hanoi from other parts of Vietnam or abroad.
- By plane: Hanoi has an international airport called Noi Bai International Airport (HAN), which is about 30 kilometers from the city center. There are many domestic and international flights to and from Hanoi every day. You can take a taxi, a bus, or a shuttle service to get to the city from the airport. vietnam travel hanoi
- By train: Hanoi has a main railway station called Hanoi Railway Station (HN), which is located in the center of the city. There are trains connecting Hanoi with other major cities in Vietnam, such as Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Hue, Nha Trang, and Sapa. The train journey can take from 2 to 36 hours depending on the destination and the type of train. You can book your train tickets online or at the station. vietnam travel hanoi
- By bus: Hanoi has several bus stations that serve different routes and destinations. Some of the main bus stations are My Dinh Bus Station (for northern and central provinces), Giap Bat Bus Station (for southern provinces), and Nuoc Ngam Bus Station (for nearby provinces). You can also take a bus from neighboring countries, such as Laos, Cambodia, and China, to Hanoi. The bus journey can take from 4 to 24 hours depending on the destination and the type of bus. You can buy your bus tickets online or at the station. vietnam travel hanoi
How to Get Around Hanoi
Hanoi is a large and busy city, but it is also easy to get around. There are many options for transportation in Hanoi, such as:
- By taxi: Taxi is one of the most convenient and comfortable ways to get around Hanoi. There are many taxi companies in Hanoi, such as Mai Linh, Vinasun, Taxi Group, and Grab. You can hail a taxi on the street, call one by phone, or book one online or via an app. The taxi fare is usually based on the meter, which starts from 10,000 VND (0.43 USD) and increases by 13,000 VND (0.56 USD) per kilometer. You should always check the meter and ask for a receipt before paying. vietnam travel hanoi
- By motorbike: Motorbike is the most popular and common way to get around Hanoi. It is also the most adventurous and exciting way to experience the city. You can rent a motorbike from many shops or hotels in Hanoi for about 100,000 to 200,000 VND (4.3 to 8.6 USD) per day. You will need a valid driver’s license and a helmet to ride a motorbike in Hanoi. You should also be careful of the traffic rules and the chaotic traffic in Hanoi. vietnam travel hanoi
- By bus: Bus is the cheapest and most eco-friendly way to get around Hanoi. There are more than 100 bus routes in Hanoi that cover almost every part of the city. You can find the bus stops and the bus schedules on the map or online. The bus fare is usually 7,000 VND (0.3 USD) per trip, which you can pay by cash or by a smart card called Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) card. The buses are usually crowded and slow, but they are also a good way to see the local life in Hanoi. vietnam travel hanoi
- By cyclo: Cyclo is a traditional and unique way to get around Hanoi. It is a three-wheeled bicycle with a seat for passengers in front of the driver. You can find cyclos near tourist attractions or in the Old Quarter of Hanoi. You can negotiate the price and the route with the driver before getting on. A cyclo ride can cost from 50,000 to 150,000 VND (2.2 to 6.5 USD) per hour depending on the distance and the time. A cyclo ride can be a fun and relaxing way to enjoy the sights and sounds of Hanoi.
What to See in Hanoi
Hanoi has many attractions that showcase its rich and diverse history, culture, and beauty. Some of the must-see places in Hanoi are:
- Hoan Kiem Lake: Hoan Kiem Lake is the heart and soul of Hanoi. It is a beautiful and serene lake surrounded by trees, gardens, and historical buildings. The lake is also known as the Lake of the Returned Sword, because of a legend that says that Emperor Le Loi returned a magical sword to a turtle god in the lake after defeating the Chinese in vaders. You can walk around the lake, visit the Ngoc Son Temple on an island in the lake, or watch the water puppet show at the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre near the lake. vietnam travel hanoi
- Old Quarter: Old Quarter is the oldest and most lively area of Hanoi. It is a maze of narrow streets, old houses, shops, cafes, restaurants, and bars. Each street has its own specialty, such as silk, silver, herbs, or flowers. You can explore the Old Quarter by walking, cycling, or taking a cyclo ride. You can also enjoy the street food, the nightlife, and the atmosphere of the Old Quarter. vietnam travel hanoi
- Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum: Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is a monumental building that houses the embalmed body of Ho Chi Minh, the founding father and revered leader of Vietnam. The mausoleum is located in Ba Dinh Square, where Ho Chi Minh declared the independence of Vietnam in 1945. The mausoleum is open to visitors from Tuesday to Thursday and Saturday to Sunday from 8:00 am to 11:00 am. You have to follow a strict dress code and etiquette when visiting the mausoleum. vietnam travel hanoi
- Temple of Literature: Temple of Literature is a temple dedicated to Confucius, the ancient Chinese philosopher and teacher. It is also the site of Vietnam’s first national university, which was founded in 1076. The temple consists of five courtyards, each with its own gate, pavilion, pond, and garden. The temple is a symbol of Vietnam’s culture and education. You can visit the temple to admire the architecture, the statues, the stelae, and the exhibits. vietnam travel hanoi
What to Do in Hanoi
Hanoi has many activities that cater to different interests and preferences. Some of the best things to do in Hanoi are:
- Watch a water puppet show: Water puppetry is a traditional art form that originated in the rural areas of Vietnam. It involves wooden puppets that are controlled by hidden puppeteers in a pool of water. The puppets perform stories and scenes from Vietnamese folklore and history, accompanied by music and narration. You can watch a water puppet show at the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre or the Lotus Water Puppet Theatre in Hanoi. The shows usually last for an hour and cost from 100,000 to 200,000 VND (4.3 to 8.6 USD) per ticket. vietnam travel hanoi
- Visit the museums: Hanoi has many museums that display the history, culture, art, and science of Vietnam. Some of the most popular museums in Hanoi are the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, which showcases the diversity and richness of Vietnam’s ethnic groups; the Hoa Lo Prison Museum, which tells the stories of the prisoners who were held there during the French colonial and American war periods; the Vietnam Military History Museum, which exhibits the weapons and artifacts from Vietnam’s wars; and the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum, which displays the works of Vietnamese artists from different periods and styles. vietnam travel hanoi
- Shop at the markets: Hanoi has many markets that sell everything from fresh produce, flowers, and spices to clothes, souvenirs, and antiques. Some of the most famous markets in Hanoi are Dong Xuan Market, which is the largest and oldest market in Hanoi; Hang Da Market, which is a colorful and modern market that sells fashion items and accessories; Quang Ba Flower Market, which is a fragrant and lively market that sells flowers and plants; and Cho Hom Market, which is a fabric paradise that sells fabrics of all kinds and colors. vietnam travel hanoi
- Enjoy the street food: Hanoi is a paradise for food lovers, especially for those who love street food. You can find street food stalls and vendors everywhere in Hanoi, serving delicious and cheap dishes that reflect the local flavors and ingredients. Some of the most famous street food dishes in Hanoi are pho, which is a noodle soup with beef or chicken; bun cha, which is grilled pork with rice noodles and herbs; banh mi, which is a baguette sandwich with various fillings; and egg coffee, which is a coffee with whipped egg yolk and condensed milk. vietnam travel hanoi
- Take a day trip: Hanoi is also a great base for exploring the nearby attractions and destinations. You can take a day trip from Hanoi to places such as Ha Long Bay, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that features thousands of limestone islands and caves; Sapa, which is a mountainous town that is home to many ethnic minorities and stunning rice terraces; Ninh Binh, which is a scenic province that is known as the Ha Long Bay on land; and Mai Chau, which is a peaceful valley that offers cultural and natural experiences.
What to Eat in Hanoi
Hanoi has a rich and diverse cuisine that reflects its history, culture, and geography. You can find dishes from different regions and influences in Hanoi, such as the northern, southern, central, Chinese, French, and Thai cuisines. Some of the must-try dishes in Hanoi are:
- Cha ca: Cha ca is a signature dish of Hanoi that dates back to the 19th century. It consists of grilled fish marinated with turmeric, ginger, garlic, and dill, served with rice noodles, herbs, peanuts, and fish sauce. You can enjoy cha ca at Cha Ca La Vong or Cha Ca Thang Long, two of the oldest and most famous restaurants in Hanoi.
- Bun thang: Bun thang is a noodle soup that originated from the royal cuisine of the Nguyen Dynasty. It is made with chicken broth, rice noodles, shredded chicken, pork, egg, mushroom, onion, cilantro, and shrimp paste. It is a delicate and elegant dish that requires skill and patience to prepare. You can try bun thang at Bun Thang Ba Duc or Bun Thang Cau Go in Hanoi. vietnam travel hanoi
- Banh cuon: Banh cuon is a steamed rice crepe that is filled with minced pork and wood ear mushroom. It is served with fried shallots, bean sprouts, cucumber, herbs, and fish sauce. It is a light and refreshing dish that is perfect for breakfast or snack. You can find banh cuon at Banh Cuon Gia Truyen or Banh Cuon Thanh Van in Hanoi. vietnam travel hanoi
- Xoi xeo: Xoi xeo is a sticky rice dish that is colored with turmeric and topped with fried onion, mung bean paste, and shredded chicken or pork. It is a hearty and satisfying dish that is popular among locals and tourists alike. You can get xoi xeo at Xoi Yen or Xoi Ba Thin in Hanoi. vietnam travel hanoi
- Che: Che is a sweet dessert soup that can be served hot or cold. It is made with various ingredients, such as beans, tapioca, jelly, fruit, coconut milk, and sugar. There are many types and flavors of che, such as che dau xanh (mung bean), che troi nuoc (glutinous rice balls), che ba mau (three colors), and che bap (corn). You can enjoy che at Che Tran Hung Dao or Che Ba Thin in Hanoi. vietnam travel hanoi
Hanoi is a city that has something for everyone. It is a city that combines the old and the new, the traditional and the modern, the east and the west. It is a city that offers culture, history, cuisine, and adventure. It is a city that will surprise you, delight you, and inspire you. Hanoi is a city that you should not miss when you travel to Vietnam. vietnam travel hanoi