1.0 About Hanoi
The capital of Vietnam, Hanoi, is busy city where you definitely need to get used to the first day. The streets are full of motorbikes constantly using their horns, so you have to learn how to cross the street. After you are used to it, you can discover lively Hanoi.
Hanoi is known for its centuries-old architecture and a various culture with Chinese, French and Russian influences. There are many temples and museums that will tell you a lot about Hanoi’s and Vietnam’s history, which is very impressive.
The commercial core of Hanoi is Hoan Kiem District. You find most of the hotels, restaurants, shopping streets and markets in this area. Walk around the Hoan Kiem Lake itself and visit the nearby temples and museums. You will notice the abundant streetlife and architectural wealth that give the area its special allure.
Other popular areas in Hanoi are the old quarter and the French Quarter. Walk north from Hoan Kiem Lake and you will find the Old Quarter. It is a popular area with streets that each have a category such as bamboo, silver, therapeutic herbs, etc. At night it becomes an area where many people drink beer on the streets and party.
The French Quarter is located southeast of the Hoan Kiem Lake. This is a more luxurious area where you will find government buildings and prosperous residential areas. The luxury hotels and restaurants are usually located here and it is also a very good area for shopping.
Nowadays, there is more money and the people are wealthier. Hanoi now has fancy, multi storey shopping malls and wine warehouses; beauty parlours are the latest fad and some seriously expensive cars cruise the streets.
How To Get There?
- Flight Hanoi has a huge international airport where flights all over the world arrive. The airport is about 45 kilometers from the centre.
From Noi Bai Airport (Hanoi) to central districts
- Taxi You can order a taxi at the airport, but you can also walk outside and find a driver. They drive mostly with the meter, but sometimes you can discuss about a price. (Average price: 320,000 VND & Time: 40 minutes)
- Local city bus The bus stops in front of the airport and departs every 15-20 minutes from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. You can take bus number 90 and 17 to the city. Number 90 connects the airport to Kim Ma bus station and number 17 to Long Bien bus station. (Average price: 9,000 VND & Time: one hour)
- Mini bus Stops in front of the airport and brings you directly to your accomodation in Hanoi. Bus will leave when it’s full. (Average price: 90,000 VND & Time: about 40 minutes)
- Express bus - number 86 This is a bus from higher quality if you don't want to go with the cheap local busses. The last stop is the Hanoi Train Station. Drives from 05:05AM to 09:40PM and leaves every 25 minutes. Route: Noi Bai Airport (station T2/T1, floor 1) -> T Junction: Au Co -> Xuan Dieu -> Yen Phu -> Cua Bac -> Long Bien Bus Station -> Opera House -> Melia Hotel -> Hanoi Train Station
Note: For the Old Quarter: get of at the Opera House or Long Bien Bus Station
- Bus You can take busses from almost everywhere. It will take a long time if you will come from the south or central of Vietnam. You might consider going by train or flight to save time.
- Train The main train station is close located to the centre of Hoan Kiem. There are two stations, A and B. A departs to the south and B to the north. The train to the south stops at Hue, Da Nang, Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh City. If you go to Sapa or coming from Sapa, you take train B which stops at Lao Cai station.
- Da Nang, 16 hours: 1,000,000 VND
- Nha Trang, 1 day 2 hours: 1,400,000 VND
- Ho Chi Minh City, 1 day and 9 hours: 1,200,000 VND
- Hue, 14 hours, 700,000 VND
- Sapa, 6 hours: 600,000 VND
How long staying?