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  • Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Halong Bay, Vietnam
  • Sapa, Vietnam
  • Ninh Binh, Vietnam
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Buses from Ninh Binh to Hanoi 1 $16 2 hours Check schedules

Hanoi information

Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, embraces both Vietnamese heritage and French colonial influence. Situated in the northern part of the country, Hanoi exudes an old-world charm mixed with modernity. Wandering around bustling streets, you have opportunities to stumble upon historical landmarks, sample mouthwatering street food, and experience warm hospitality.

In a nutshell:

  • Hanoi features a captivating blend of rich history, vibrant culture, and bustling city life.
  • The city’s vibrant street food culture is legendary attracting food enthusiasts from around the world.
  • Hanoi is a perfect base for you to take day trips to Halong Bay, Ninh Binh, Perfume Pagoda, and Mai Chau.
  • Noi Bai is one of the biggest international airports in Vietnam connecting many international destinations.

Location and geography

Hanoi is located in the north of Vietnam, on the right bank of the Red River. The city capital is close to famous tourism hubs namely Halong Bay, Ninh Binh, and Sapa. Hanoi's topography is characterized by a mix of plains and low hills. The Red River Delta, a fertile agricultural region, extends to the south and southeast of Hanoi. The Red River flows through the city, dividing it into two main parts: the eastern part with the existence of the Old Quarter and the western part, which includes the West Lake area.

Regarding the surrounding, Hanoi is embraced by a ring of hills and mountains, providing a spectacular mountainous backdrop. Noticeably, Ba Vi National Park in the west of the city appeals to adventure enthusiasts with lush forests, mountain peaks, and Ba Vi Mountain, perched at a height of around 1,296 meters (4,252 feet). Meanwhile, the city's eastern outskirts feature smaller hills and agricultural fields.

Best time to visit

Hanoi is a vibrant city that can be visited throughout the year. However, spring and autumn offer the most comfortable weather conditions for exploring the city's attractions. During the spring (February to April) and autumn (September to November), the weather is most pleasant and dry, perfect for outdoor sightseeing trips. Meanwhile, in summer, Hanoi’s weather is characterized by high humidity and occasional heavy downpours, and in winter, it can be chilly and misty throughout the day.

Best attractions and things to do in Hanoi

Hanoi offers a rich cultural heritage, bustling streets with a labyrinth of local markets, delicious cuisine, and numerous attractions. Here are some of the best things to do in this capital city.

  1. Explore Hanoi Old Quarter: Wander through the narrow and old-fashioned streets of the Old Quarter, you can admire its traditional architecture blended with colonial style, taste typical street food sold by local vendors, and soak up the vibrant atmosphere. 
  2. Take a leisure walk around Hoan Kiem Lake: Hoan Kiem Lake has a long-lasting history boasting the symbol of Hanoi. A lot of people flock there, especially at the weekends for entertainment activities or simply relaxation.
  3. Get an insight into Vietnam’s rich culture at the Temple of Literature: This well-preserved complex is Vietnam's first university and a testament to Confucianism's influence on education. Coming here, you can admire the impressive ancient architecture, a large number of Back of the Turtle, tranquil courtyards, and the Well of Heavenly Clarity.
  4. Visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum: Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is also a not-to-miss attraction for both locals and foreigners. This is the time for you to pay respects to Vietnam's revered leader, President Ho Chi Minh, and enjoy the peaceful surrounding with a highlight of the One Pillar Pagoda.
  5. Take photos and enjoy great performances at the Hanoi Opera House: Hanoi Opera House is well-known for its gorgeous French colonial architecture and is a prominent venue for art performances.
  6. Watch a Water Puppet Show: Water Puppet Show is a unique feature of Vietnamese culture. In Hanoi, you can experience the traditional art of water puppetry, a unique Vietnamese performance that originated in the Red River Delta at Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre. The show displays colorful puppets, live music, and fascinating storytelling.
  7. Take a Cyclo Ride: Last but not least, you should not miss a chance to hop on a cyclo, a traditional Vietnamese bicycle taxi, and explore the city at a leisurely pace. Immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and flavors of Hanoi while being transported by a cyclo driver.

How to get there

Getting to Hanoi is quite easy with the availability of different modes of transportation.

  1. By air: Taking a flight to Noi Bai International Airport is the most popular option since it is the main gateway to Hanoi. The airport receives both domestic and international flights connecting with various cities throughout the country and in the world. Upon arrival at the airport, you can easily take a taxi or airport shuttle bus to reach the city center.
  2. By train: If you are already in Vietnam or Southeast Asia, you can consider traveling to Hanoi by train. The city is well-connected to major cities in Vietnam and neighboring countries like China. There are two main train stations in Hanoi: Hanoi Railway Station and Gia Lam Railway Station. 
  3. By bus: For a more economical transportation option, you could take a bus from Hanoi to many cities within Vietnam and nearby countries. Major bus terminals in Hanoi include My Dinh Bus Station and Giap Bat Bus Station.
  4. By car: With a short distance, you can enjoy a road trip to reach Hanoi by car. Vietnam has an extensive road network, and major highways connect Hanoi to other cities. However, you should be aware of traffic congestion and potential dangers when driving on roads.

Useful tips when visiting Hanoi

  1. Dress appropriately: Hanoi is a conservative city, so you should pay attention to your clothing when visiting temples, pagodas, and other religious sites.
  2. Be cautious with the chaotic traffic: Transportation in Hanoi is overwhelming most of the time, with lots of motorbikes, cars, and pedestrians. Cross the street carefully and consider hiring your own driver or catch a grab taxi to circulate on the road.
  3. Bargain at markets: Local markets in Hanoi is a haven for a wide range of goods and souvenirs. Bargaining is common practice and you can negotiate the prices with vendors in a polite and friendly manner.
  4. Be aware of scams: Hanoi is generally a safe tourist destination but minor crimes can still occur so you protect yourself and your own property.
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