Hanoi

Hanoi

Things to do - general

Hanoi (Vietnamese: Hà Nội), the capital of Vietnam, and also its second largest city, is a fascinating blend of East and West, combining traditional Sino-Vietnamese motifs with French flair. It is largely unscathed from the decades of war, and is now going through a building boom, making it a rapidly developing city in Southeast Asia.

The first institution of learning in Vietnam, Quoc Tu Giam, was founded here in the 11th century. Nine hundred years later, the first western-style universities in Vietnam were also founded in Hanoi. The city is one of the leading centres of scientific study and research in the country. Hanoi retains much of its older charm of bygone eras, despite the battles that have raged over it; conflict had the side effect of making it largely oblivious to modern architecture, and as a result, few buildings in the city centre area are higher than five stories. The Old Quarter is second only to Hoi An for uninterrupted stretches of colonial and pre-colonial architecture, well-preserved on dense warrens of narrow, wonderfully atmospheric streets. It trades the commercial boom and sprawl of Ho Chi Minh City in the South for a more understated charm, worth enjoying for an extra day or two, and with countless transport options and travel agents, it makes a perfect base for exploration of the North.

As you walk along the street, you may find that people start talking to you. It is a cultural norm there to make conversation with strangers. They might ask you where you are from and other general questions. It takes a while to get used to that. However, there are times when you find this friendliness extremely helpful, such as when you are lost or need help.

Country Vietnam
Visa requirementsNo Visa needed
Languages spokenVietnamese
Currency usedVND
Area (km2)3,345 km²

Nightlife info

Hanoi is not world famous for its nightlife and some visitors find it outright staid but there are some places worth checking out and – as everywhere – it's all out there if you look for it. Perhaps the most prolific side to Hanoi's after-work activities is its many beer bars selling 'bia hoi (fresh beer) where a glass costs a fraction of what it would in the west. One famous travel guide claims that US$10 will buy you (and hopefully your friends) 100 beers! Once again, the Old Quarter of the city is the place to be for night moves. Nightlife image

Culture and history info

Invading forces from every direction agree: Hanoi makes a fine capital. It has held that title for more than a thousand years, through several invasions, occupations, restorations, and name changes. The Chinese conquered the imperial city of Thang- Long in 1408 and renamed it Tống Bình. Le Loi repelled the invaders in 1428 and ascended the throne, becoming known as Lê Thái Tổ (黎太祖); for his efforts, a slew of legends about his heroic exploits, many centred around the Hoan Kiem Lake in the Old Quarter. The Nguyen Dynasty gave the city its modern name of Ha Noi in 1831, but they had transferred power to Hue by then; it remained there until 1887, when the French made Saigon and then Hanoi the capital of all French Indochina. It changed hands again in 1954, when it was ceded to Ho Chi Minh and the Viet Minh after almost a decade of fighting, and it became the capital of North Vietnam; Saigon was the rival in South Vietnam. Upon reunification in 1976, it assumed that title for the entire country. The first institution of learning in Vietnam, Quoc Tu Giam, was founded here in the 11th century. Nine hundred years later, the first western-style universities in Vietnam were also founded in Hanoi. The city is one of the leading centres of scientific study and research in the country. Hanoi retains much of its older charm of bygone eras, despite the battles that have raged over it; conflict had the side effect of making it largely oblivious to modern architecture, and as a result, few buildings in the city centre area are higher than five stories. The Old Quarter is second only to Hoi An for uninterrupted stretches of colonial and pre-colonial architecture, well-preserved on dense warrens of narrow, wonderfully atmospheric streets. It trades the commercial boom and sprawl of Ho Chi Minh City in the South for a more understated charm, worth enjoying for an extra day or two, and with countless transport options and travel agents, it makes a perfect base for exploration of the North. As you walk along the street, you may find that people start talking to you. It is a cultural norm there to make conversation with strangers. They might ask you where you are from and other general questions. It takes a while to get used to that. However, there are times when you find this friendliness extremely helpful, such as when you are lost or need help.Culture and history image
Thang Long Espana Hanoi Hotel

Thang Long Espana Hanoi Hotel

63 Nguyen Truong To Street, Ba Dinh, Hanoi, Vietnam, Hanoi
Ideally located in the city center of Hanoi, Thang Long Espana Hanoi Hotel is a destination for fun More info
Thang Long Opera Hanoi Hotel

Thang Long Opera Hanoi Hotel

1C Tong Dan Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam, Hanoi
Following the recent refurbishment of Thang Long Opera Hanoi Hotel, visitors today enjoy the charm o More info

Unfortunately there are no self-catering offers at this location at the moment.

Duong Lam Ancient Village - Van Phuc Silk Village (1 Day)

Duong Lam Ancient Village - Van Phuc Silk Village (1 Day)

Hanoi
08:00   Get picked up at your hotel then depart for Duong Lam ancient village (60km from Hanoi cente More info
Hanoi city tour 1 day

Hanoi city tour 1 day

Hanoi
OPTION 1: TUESDAY, THURSDAY, SATURDAYS, SUNDAY   07:45 – 08:30  Get picked up by our tour More info

Unfortunately there are no cruise offers at this location at the moment.