Hanoi, Vietnam is a bustling and vibrant city full of culture, history, and delicious food. With a rich culture and exciting attractions, it is a great destination for travelers of all kinds. Here are 17 things to know before traveling to Hanoi, Vietnam:
1. Destination Overview of Hanoi:
Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam and one of the most visited cities in the country. It is known for its ancient pagodas, traditional Vietnamese culture, and unique cuisine. The city is full of vibrant markets, beautiful parks, and a wide variety of cultural attractions.
2. What are the Fun Things to Do in Hanoi?
• Visit the Old Quarter, a historic area of the city with narrow streets and traditional Vietnamese architecture.
• Explore the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, a memorial to the former leader of Vietnam.
• Tour the Temple of Literature, the oldest university in Vietnam.
• Shop at the Dong Xuan Market, a bustling market filled with vendors selling everything from food to clothing.
• Take a day trip to Halong Bay, a stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site.
• Relax in the tranquil Hoan Kiem Lake, located in the center of the city.
• Visit the Ngoc Son Temple, a beautiful temple located on an island in the lake.
• Enjoy the local cuisine, from street food to high-end restaurants.
• Take a day trip to the Perfume Pagoda, a Buddhist temple complex located in the hills outside the city.
3. Best Places to Stay in Hanoi:
• Luxury Places: InterContinental Hanoi Westlake, JW Marriott Hotel Hanoi, and the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi.
• Mid Range: Hotel Nikko Hanoi, Hanoi La Siesta Hotel & Spa, and the O’Gallery Premier Hotel & Spa.
• Budget Friendly: Hanoi Hostel, Hanoi Sunshine Hotel, and The Swan Hotel Hanoi.
4. How to Travel to Hanoi?:
The best way to get to Hanoi is by air. There are direct flights from many major cities in Asia and Europe, as well as a few domestic flights. The city is also connected to the rest of the country by train, bus, and car.
5. Must Try Local Food and Drink in Hanoi:
• Pho: A traditional Vietnamese noodle soup made with beef or chicken.
• Bun Cha: Grilled pork served with a side of noodles and vegetables.
• Banh Mi: A French-influenced sandwich made with pickled vegetables and herbs.
• Cao Lau: A noodle dish made with pork, herbs, and bean sprouts.
• Xoi: A sticky rice dish topped with fried shallots and herbs.
• Egg Coffee: A unique coffee made with egg yolks, sugar, and condensed milk.
• Banh Cuon: Steamed rice rolls filled with pork and mushrooms.
• Nem Ran: A fried spring roll filled with pork, mushrooms, and vermicelli.
• Che: A sweet soup made with mung beans, coconut milk, and tapioca pearls.
6. Best Places to Eat in Hanoi:
• Highway 4: Serving up delicious Vietnamese street food.
• KOTO: A restaurant and social enterprise offering cooking classes and hospitality training.
• La Badiane: A French-Vietnamese fusion restaurant with a focus on seasonal ingredients.
• La Verticale: An upscale restaurant serving traditional Vietnamese cuisine.
• La Siesta Signature: A rooftop restaurant with panoramic views of the city.
• Pho 10: A cozy restaurant serving up traditional pho.
• Ngon Villa: An award-winning restaurant serving traditional Vietnamese dishes.
• Hanoi Social Club: A hip restaurant and bar serving modern Vietnamese cuisine.
7. Weather and Climate:
Hanoi has a tropical climate with hot and humid summers and cool, dry winters. The best time to visit is from March to May and from October to December. The months of June to August are the wettest and the hottest.
8. Local Customs and Etiquette in Hanoi:
It is important to be respectful of local customs and etiquette in Hanoi. It is customary to remove your shoes when entering a home or temple. Dress modestly and avoid public displays of affection. It is also important to respect the city’s traffic laws and be aware of pickpockets.
9. Popular Scams in Hanoi:
Be aware of scams in Hanoi, such as fake taxi drivers, street vendors selling counterfeit goods, and pickpockets. Be sure to use reputable taxi services and be wary of strangers offering services.
10. Suggested Trip Duration:
A minimum of three days is recommended for a first-time traveler to Hanoi.
11. Total Estimated Budget Per Person:
12. Nearby Cities:
• Halong Bay: 160 km (99 mi)
• Hue: 583 km (362 mi)
• Sapa: 338 km (210 mi)
• Hoi An: 743 km (461 mi)
• Ninh Binh: 110 km (68 mi)
13. Local Language and Communication in Hanoi:
The official language in Hanoi is Vietnamese. English is widely spoken in tourist areas and most signs are written in both Vietnamese and English.
14. Accepted Currency and Money:
The currency in Hanoi is the Vietnamese Dong (VND). Credit cards are accepted in most hotels, restaurants, and shops. Tipping is not common in Hanoi, but it is appreciated.
15. Health and Medical Information:
It is recommended that travelers to Hanoi get vaccinated for Hepatitis A and B, and Typhoid. The city has a good medical infrastructure and most hotels have a doctor on call.
16. Packing Tips for Hanoi:
When packing for Hanoi, be sure to bring lightweight, breathable clothing, comfortable walking shoes, a hat, sunscreen, and insect repellent. It is also important to bring a power adapter, as the voltage in Vietnam is different from other countries.
17. To Sum Up:
Hanoi, Vietnam is a vibrant city full of culture, history, and delicious food. Before traveling, it is important to know the destination overview, fun things to do, best places to stay, how to travel, local food and drink, best places to eat, weather and climate, local customs and etiquette, popular scams, suggested trip duration, total estimated budget per person, nearby cities, local language and communication, accepted currency and money, health and medical information, and packing tips.