Overview

Anyone who has ever visited Hanoi will probably tell you that it may be the most beautiful city in all of Asia - people have settled here along the Red River for a thousand years.

Nestled along wooded boulevards among the city’s two dozen lakes you will find architectural souvenirs left by all who conquered this great valley, from the Chinese who first came in the last millennium to the French, booted out in our own century.

Getting into Hanoi

The trip into the city from Noi Bai Airport takes about an hour and offers some poignant glimpses of modern Vietnamese life: farmers tending their fields, great rivers, modern highways that abruptly become bumpy roads. The drive is especially breathtaking at dusk when the roads fill with bicycles, and everything takes on the same deep colors as the modern paintings you see in Hanoi's galleries. Somehow the setting sun seems enormous here as it dips into the cornfields on the horizon.

On the edge of the city the road dissolves into a maze of winding, narrow, wooded lanes. You are surrounded by roadside artisans, shops and taverns, then by graceful villas and commuters on bicycles, cyclos and motorbikes. Modern buildings appear from nowhere, looking so out of place that you have to wonder if they were dropped from the sky and just left where they came to rest. While you tell yourself that nothing as preposterous as can be so

Ho Chi Minh airport transfer

Ho Chi Minh City's Tan Son Nhat International Airport ( SGN) is the usual destination for those coming to the south of Vietnam. When you arrive at the Immigration desks, all that is usually required from you is your passport (with visa inside - if required) and your incoming flight number. Leaving the International terminal building, the ATM area is at the right hand end. The official currency in Vietnam is the Dong (vnd), in March 2016 trades at approximately 22,250 to USD. You will find 4 / 6 working ATM's, some with a maximum withdrawal of 4,000,000 Dong. Do not leave the terminal without 300,000/500,000 Dong, it is the only legal currency in Vietnam and you will need it for paying food and taxi. Ho Chi Minh airport transfer The currency exchange shops inside the terminal are ok, with some currency better than some banks. See the link at the bottom of the page for more information. Taxis are located on the left part of the terminal, the cost to most hotels in District 1 is from 150,000 to 170,000 dong. Do not use USD as it is an opportunity to get ripped off. Please use only the two most reliable taxi company, Mai Linh, with car and van white and green, and the white Vinasun more frequent in HCMC. Depending on the hours taxi may be waiting at the curb, ignore any name apart the two mentioned, when one arrive the manager will magically appears and will ask for destination giving you a slip of paper with the taxi number.

Visa on arrival Vietnam

Visa on arrival (VOA) is the most comfortable way to obtain Vietnam visa without wasting time. When applying for Vietnam visa upon arrival, your visa approval letter will be issued by Vietnam Immigration Department. So it's a legitimate document and fully supported by Vietnamese government. With Visa on arrival, tourists will get their Vietnam visa stamped at Vietnam Airports so it's applicable to air travelers only. However, you are free to exit at any port. Visa on arrival Vietnam The tourist visa is only for single entry and one month stay, but extendable after you enter Vietnam. For longer stay with once application, you should choose visa for business. All you need are: Fill in "Online Application Form", pay the service fee, get your "Visa approval letter" via email and pick up your visa at Vietnam airport upon arrival.

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Getting Around

Meter taxis and hired cars are easy to find in Hanoi. If you plan an extended visit you might consider renting a bicycle or motorbike.

The north end of Hoan Kiem Lake is Hanoi's "ground zero." Practically all the city’s economical hotels, tourist shops, and cafés catering to visitors are located here. Not only is it the oldest part of the city, it is the busiest and most interesting. Every street is winding, intimate, and shady. At night the lights of storefronts keep the streets lit and animated.

Ha Noi Viet Nam


Depending on which guide book you read, this district of Hanoi is variously called the "Old Quarter," the "Ancient Quarter," and "36 streets." It is wedged between the northern shore of Hoan Kiem Lake, the walls of the ancient Citadel, and the levies that protect the city from the Red River. The 36 little streets in the quarter are each named for a commodity once sold by all the businesses on that street. Streets here are named for the medicine, jewelry, fans, copper, horse hair, chicken, and even coffins once sold on them. This explains why the names of some of the longer streets inexplicably change after one or two blocks. As you explore, you will still happen upon entire blocks of tinsmiths, tailors, paper goods merchants, and lacquerware makers.

In the Ancient Quarter the most appealing mode of transportation for those who do not care to enjoy the "36 Streets" on foot is the cyclo. Often they are driven by men wearing pea-green pith helmets that make them look like soldiers. Settle on the fare in advance (a dollar or less one way). Most drivers will also quote you an hourly rate and will take you to all the obligatory cultural and historical spots.

Sightseeing

Hanoi is very compact, and the city’s most interesting places for tourists are all relatively close to each other, which makes it easy to enjoy the best parts of the city on foot or by cyclo. You could probably explore the Ancient Quarter and visit all the places below in a single day, but why rush?

Sightseeing on your very first morning in Hanoi should begin with a visit to Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum, without a doubt the city’s single most visited site, and one of Vietnam's most revered places. The cyclo ride from Hoan Kiem Lake takes only about five minutes. The Mausoleum is open only in the mornings, from 7:30 to 10:30 in the Summer and from 8:00 to 11:00 in the Winter. There are often large crowds, so arrive early.

This imposing shrine was built on the edge of Ba Dinh Square, the place where Ho Chi Minh delivered the Declaration of Independence of the Republic of Viet Nam to half a million of his countrymen in 1945, following the surrender of the Japanese. The angular gray granite edifice stands stern and alone against the skyline. The street and square are usually so abandoned that the whole scene is enormously stately, like a miniature version of Tiananmen Square.

As you exit on the side of the building, look for the ornate yellow former Governor’s Palace, which also faces Ba Dinh Square. Although not open to the public, it is a poignant contrast to Ho Chi Minh's House on Stilts, which sits along a tiny lake in the wooded park behind. He lived and worked here in incredible simplicity from 1958 to 1969. Built of teak, the little house is an architectural gem, and many of his personal things remain on display.

The One Pillar Pagoda is about 50 meters away. This little architectural curiosity gets its name because the shrine sits atop a single massive pedestal. The original was built by Emperor Ly Thai To, who was inspired by a dream.

The Ho Chi Minh Museum is probably Vietnam's most important contemporary architectural achievement. Opened to the public in 1990 to commemorate Ho’s centenary, the exhibits are like a huge scrap book which chronicles his rather transient early years. Guides are available.

You can not help being overwhelmed by the serenity of Van Mieu (Temple of Literature) and Quoc Tu Giam (National University) from the moment you pass through its towering gates. Together, they make one

Tour Ha Noi
  • Time: 1 day
  • Price: 750.000 VND
  • Means: Cars
  • Time: 2 days 1 night
  • Price: 1.130.000 VND
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  • Time: 1 day
  • Price: 430.000 VND
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  • Time: 1 day
  • Price: 420.000 VND
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  • Time: 1 day
  • Price: 490.000 VND
  • Means: Cars
  • Time: 1 day
  • Price: 480.000 VND
  • Means: Cars
Hotel in Ha Noi
Hotel Hanoi Maidza
Ha Noi Viet Nam Ha Noi Viet Nam Ha Noi Viet Nam Ha Noi Viet Nam

52 Yen Phu Street, Tay Ho District, Hanoi, Vietnam

8.4 Good | 5 comments | show description | View map
EricMiri: "Hotel staff is very friendly, Behind The property may look very beautiful West Lake. Rooms in the hotel are also very nice and clean."
Price 1 night from
1.350.000 VNĐ
Holiday Gold Hanoi
Ha Noi Viet Nam Ha Noi Viet Nam Ha Noi Viet Nam

24 Hang Manh Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam

0.0 No comments | 0 comments | show description | View map
Price 1 night from
Price: 1.200.000 VNĐ
500.000 VNĐ
Golden Cyclo Hotel
Ha Noi Viet Nam Ha Noi Viet Nam Ha Noi Viet Nam Ha Noi Viet Nam

25 Station Lane, Hang Bong Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam

9.8 Excellent | 4 comments | show description | View map
Peta C: "We really enjoyed staying at Golden Cyclo in Hanoi. Our double room was very clean, attractive decorations. The hotel is located in the interesting ..."
Price 1 night from
Price: 5.487.000 VNĐ
3.482.500 VNĐ
Indochina Queen II Hotel Hanoi
Ha Noi Viet Nam Ha Noi Viet Nam Ha Noi Viet Nam

67 Thuoc Bac Street, Hoan Kiem, Vietnam

9.3 Excellent | 7 comments | show description | View map
Laurence M: "The hotel is one of the best hotels that I stay during your trip in Vietnam. My room was clean, comfortable and beautiful view looking out. Located ..."
3B Hanoi Hotel (formerly Golden Wings II)
Ha Noi Viet Nam Ha Noi Viet Nam Ha Noi Viet Nam

99 Ma May Street, Old City, Vietnam

8.5 Good | 10 comments | show description | View map
Eliseo P: "Everything is very good from the staff, location, breakfast, rooms .... hotel also contact us to arrange pick up at the airport before check-in. We ..."
Price 1 night from
Price: 1.350.000 VNĐ
750.000 VNĐ