Vietnam in Brief – A Quick Guide to Hanoi
A Quick Guide to Hanoi
Hanoi oozes with charm. It’s a 1000 year old city built by royalty and heavily influenced by its former Chinese and French occupiers. Its winding streets are a throng of activity, street food, business, sport and spirituality. Ancient temples sit snugly next to glass high rises. French villas share streets with communist monoliths. It has an air of old Paris and an eye firmly on the future. The food is divine, the people hardy and proud and the spirit both calm and chaotic. Hanoi is our home and we love every bit of it.
What to do and see in Hanoi
Get stuck into the Street Life:
Hanoi’s charm lies in its bustling street life. It is fascinating. Pavement cafes and street food stores line the winding streets of the Old Quarter. Perch yourself on a tiny plastic stool, grab a steaming bowl of pho or a Vietnamese coffee and watch the overloaded motorbikes, street vendors and locals whizz past for hours.
See the sights:
Hanoi’s museums are some of the best in the country. Notable highlights include the Women’s museum and Museum of Ethnology. You can also visit Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and see the preserved body of Vietnam’s modern founder. A large museum just behind the mausoleum tells the story of his life. The Temple of Literature, a 1000 year old University and the Hoa Lo prison where American POWs were kept are also Hanoi Highlights.
The street food is everywhere and it is tasty. Must tries include Pho, Banh Cuon, Banh Bot Loc and Bun Cha.
Hanoi has some incredible day spas to massage, pluck and scrape you into shape.
How’s the food?
Out of this world. If you’re feeling adventurous the street food is some of the best in the world with dozens of types of noodle soups, grilled meats, silky meat stuffed pancakes and table top BBQs. If you fancy finer dining Hanoi has an abundance of boutique eateries, upmarket steak houses and rooftop fine dining restaurants.
Where should I stay?
From boutique 3 stars in the winding streets of the Old Quarter to 5 star resorts overlooking West Lake. Hanoi is well stocked with some of the country’s best hotels including one of Trip Advisor’s best hotels of the year. We have excellent rates with all of them. Get in touch to find out more.
Hanoi can be a shock to the senses. The roads are heaving with honking bikes, street vendors wander around yelling out what they have for sale, the air is filled with hundreds of different smells and the high streets are a riot of small businesses. Just try to take it easy and go with the flow. If you’re feeling overwhelmed retreat to Hoan Kiem Lake where you can sit in peace.
Is Ha Noi for you?
If you are a culture junky, food lover, urban explorer or history buff, you are going to love it. If you don’t like hustle and bustle or prefer nature you might want to try the mountains of Sapa, Beaches of Da Nang and Hoi An or take a cruise in Ha Long Bay.
The best time to go to Ha Noi
The best times are in Autumn and Spring where the weather is a cool and pleasing 26-30c and the lotus flowers are in bloom. Summer gets quite hot and rainy (around 35-41c) and winter can be a chilly 6-10c.
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