Guide to Hanoi

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General information about Hanoi

Hanoi (Hanoi) – Vietnam's capital and second largest industrial center of the country after Ho Chi Minh city. The name of Hanoi is literally translated as "the city among rivers" because it lies on the banks of the red river of the City. Located on the North (Hanoi on the map of Vietnam), and visited by tourists all year round. The capital's population of 7 600 000 people, which is almost two times less than Moscow. The total area of Hanoi 3.3 million square kilometers, which is three times bigger than Moscow. Is among the 17 largest cities in the world and in the top ten the most attractive tourist cities in Asia.

In 2010 Hanoi celebrated its millennial anniversary, and birthday was celebrated throughout the country. Your current name city got only in 1831, from the day of founding in 1010 the city was named Thang long (meaning, city of the soaring dragon). Interestingly, in 1961-1962, the master plan of Hanoi was developed under the leadership of the Soviet architect Igor Alferov.

Мавзолей Хошимина в Ханое The Ho Chi Minh mausoleum in Hanoi
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Stay in Hanoi

For many tourists, Hanoi is just the starting point for a trip to Northern Vietnam or Asia as a whole: not far from the capital is world famous for its spectacular scenery of Halong Bay (Ha Long), hence the travelers go to the mountain town of Sapa (Sapa), the beaches of cat BA island, national nature reserves North of the country, or continue the trip to Asia in Laos.

However, Hanoi is not only the political capital but also the cultural center of Vietnam, rich sites. There were mixed unhurried spirit of vintage exotic Asia and business vanity modern. Crazy stream of countless motorcycles the river flows between ancient monuments, temples and memories of the recent history of Vietnamand an authentic trishaw ride tourists along the modern buildings of shopping centers. This is the place where you can spend hours wandering in circles around the same places, famous lake "Returned sword", and constantly see something new. So to visit the North of Vietnam to visit Hanoi is simply impossible. Zaplanirovano be sure to visit him at least two full days.

A beach holiday in Hanoi is not very. For a beach vacation you need to go to the coast, in the resort town of Vietnam. The nearest beach resort is at a distance of over 100 kilometers - the cat BA island. But Hanoi is a very interesting tour for a sightseeing holiday. The city has a rich history and it is full of historical, cultural, architectural and religious attractions. There are monuments that tell the history of the city and state from the beginning of his education, and heralds the modern history of the 20th century, such as the Lenin monument and the mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh city. The city has some very important and interesting museums. Like almost everywhere in Asia, scattered in the city churches, pagodas and other active religious sites, but not very much, if you compare Hanoi to Bangkok, for example.

Пагода на одном столбе в Ханое The one pillar pagoda
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However, you should know about some of the cons of the capital. Today's Hanoi is rapidly developing and changing, losing its historical appearance. It is very noisy and there's a huge amount of traffic, mainly motorbikes, which do not give you peace of mind even on the sidewalks. Slowly and lightly walk through the streets here will not work: sidewalks are busy goods, workshops, debris, parked motorcycles. Tourist attraction, besides sightseeing, there are few, and almost nothing interesting for children. Generally with regard to children, in our opinion, the Hanoi – uncomfortable and dangerous (due to traffic) the place and think several times before going here as a family.

Южные ворота, крепость Ханоя The southern gate of the fortress of Hanoi
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Basic tourist infrastructure in the city are full of hotels of various prices and categories, a huge amount; for shopping opportunities abound in the form of shopping centers and local markets and street shops; restaurants, cafes, travel agencies at every step. Well, the excellent system of public transport and abundance of inexpensive taxis make it easy to get around. Nightlife in the city are under-represented. At night almost the whole town is sleeping and the streets don't even have transport. Because Hanoi can be called the cultural capital, hence, the relevant evening entertainment: walking around Hoan Kiem lake or old quarter; Opera; theatre of water puppet; and, of course, a variety of restaurants and cafes. Meet and discos, but their visitors are mostly local young people and tourists there better not to meddle.

Турагентство на улице Ханоя The travel Agency on the street

Well, if you are preparing for an independent trip to Vietnam and particularly in Hanoi, we can make available on the website the following information about Hanoi:

On the forum about Hanoi can ask questions or share their impressions.

Weather, tourist seasons in Hanoi

The weather in Hanoi is bad is rare. The climate here is subtropical, and therefore the tourists are comfortable in any time of the year, although there are some features next:

From may to September of the rainy season (low season). The average summer temperature is plus 30 degrees, the humidity is very high, it often rains. If you are planning to visit the capital at this time, care should be taken to protect against mosquitoes and other insects, because of their at this time is especially many. But the summer months because of the heat and rains are the low tourist season, and prices are at this time reduced.

From September to April is high tourist season. Visiting Hanoi in autumn (especially in September - October) and spring (February-April) is the perfect time: the humidity and amount of rainfall decreases and the temperature is not yet time to fall. This is a great time to visit other popular resorts in the North of Vietnam (Halong Bay, catba island, Sapa) for the same reason – comfortable temperatures and low humidity.

November to February is winter or mid season. This time is not a contraindication to visit Hanoi, but you should be prepared that night the temperature can drop up to 15 degrees Celsius. Low temperature is compounded by the fact that buildings in Vietnam, as a rule, do not have heating systems, and at night you can freeze. The day temperature does not fall below 20 degrees Celsius.

The tourist seasons in Hanoi by months*

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

*best time to visit;
appropriate time to visit;
not a recommended time to visit

Current weather in Hanoi and forecast

The time in Hanoi

In summer and in winter time in Hanoi ahead of Moscow is +4 hours.

Current time in Hanoi*
The time difference with the cities:
Moscow: +4 Samara: +3
Kazan: +4 Nizhny Novgorod: +4
Ekaterinburg: +2 Novosibirsk: 0
Irkutsk: -1 Vladivostok: -3
* - if time is incorrect, refresh the page Ctrl+F5:

Where and what to eat in Hanoi

Вьетнамский фастфуд Vietnamese fast food on the street of Hanoi

Problems with tourists from Hanoi will not occur. All kinds of cafes, restaurants, food trucks and baguettes are sold at every step, especially in the tourist areas near the lake of the Returned sword. Presents all of international cuisine (Korean, Japanese, Italian, Chinese, and even Russian and Ukrainian). Into is a network of restaurants Burger King, KFC, Mcdonalds, but the prices are almost one and a half times higher than in Russia. To eat one of the most simple dish (fried rice with vegetables or egg, or soup Fo) in a cafe for locals from 30 000 dongs (approximately 88.51 RUB, see Vietnam currency), breakfasts are also over 30 000. To eat in the net cafe for tourists with drinks from 100 000 VND per person (295.04 RUB). Most hotels offer Breakfast from 30 000 (will typically include a choice of tea, coffee or juice, and scrambled eggs with a baguette), sometimes they are included in the room rate.

You can eat quite economically, if you buy processed or ready meals in the supermarkets. For example, in the supermarket Intimex West of lake of the Returned sword are sold ready-made meals of rice and chicken in plastic trays (15 000 VND). They are sold still hot, so you can buy them to eat at the hotel.

Shopping in Hanoi

Шоппинг в Ханое, Сувениры Shopping in Hanoi, Souvenirs

Hanoi – a huge market place, everything here is something to buy and sell, and shops along the endless stretch of road. At first glance it may seem that this is a shopping Paradise, where tourists can buy for next to nothing a lot cheap useful things and Souvenirs. However, in reality it is not so, and in the heart of Hanoi has a lot of features that are worth to know.

World famous travel guide Lonely Planet does not recommend to do shopping in Hanoi and other major cities of the country. This is partly true, and the peculiarity of the capital are very high prices on all the products that can attract the attention of tourists.

However, not all bad, and with the ability to communicate can be a good idea to bring down the price and to buy manufactured goods at prices lower than in Russia. Bargain here it is accepted with a smile and not aggressive. Sometimes the desire to agree to your proposed price occurs from sellers only after you supposedly lost the desire to buy, and you leave this store.

Low fixed prices you can find in supermarkets and large shopping centers. Keep in mind that even in stores with price tags in hotels, travel agencies can haggle, with the exception, perhaps, only a network of supermarkets and food stores.

Read more about Chopin and rates in Hanoi here...

How to get to Hanoi

Самолет в аэропорту Ханоя The plane in Hanoi airport

To get to Hanoi from Russia and other countries by plane, including transfers. From neighbouring Laos and China has bus, in addition with China Hanoi connected by rail, and theoretically it can be reached via Beijing from Moscow. From other cities and resorts in Vietnam cheapest way to get to Hanoi by bus, a bit more expensive on the train, and, of course, by plane. Here are the basic directions and kinds of transport:

  • Sapa from Hanoi. In the mountain town of Sapa and back can be reached by local or tourist bus (5-6 hours), or train with a transfer to the bus in the town of Lao Cai (8-10 hours).
  • the island of cat BA from Hanoi. Best reached by tour bus (4-6 hours) which included at once and the ferry and bus to cat BA town town from the Marina. Can also be reached by train + bus + ferry, but this is not the optimal route.
  • Halong. Can be reached by local or tourist bus, but the best buy excursions travel agencies on the streets of Hanoi.
  • Hue, Da Nang, Nha Trang, Ho Chi Minh City. By train or plane. There are also bus routes, but beyond Danang to go very far and long.
  • Vientiane (Laos). There are daily bus without changing the bus, it is better to use it than their own to reach the border and there take. Driving 24 hours. There is also the option to get through Sapa, making a stop there for a few days.
  • Hoi an ancient town. In Hoi an from Hanoi can be reached by direct bus or by train to Danang and then by taxi or local bus.

Read more about all the ways to get to Hanoi by yourself here.... See also, as the cheapest way to get from the airport to the city.

Transport Hanoi, than to move on

Городской автобус в Ханое City bus

In Hanoi there is a developed network of city buses, but the subway is, unfortunately, no. You can also travel by taxi, special tourist buses and electric vehicles, and even rickshaws. However, it should be borne in mind that tourist transport here is very expensive, especially if you do not haggle.

You can also rent a Bicycle, motorbike or car, but traffic in the city is very chaotic, almost no one follows the rules. Therefore, we would extremely recommend to move behind the wheel yourself.

In most cases in order to explore the city and its main attractions, enough to walk around the old town (tourist area near the lake of the returned sword), and several remote sites reached by taxi or city buses.

Read more about transport and all ways to move around Hanoi here...

Safety in Hanoi

The capital is quite safe in terms of crime and criminals in the usual concept, however, the peculiarity of doing business here is that tourists are everywhere and constantly trying to cheat for money. This happens through a seemingly innocent fraud, but as a result of inexperienced tourists have all much to pay. To avoid this easily enough, just need to be careful and all services possible to book in advance: not to succumb to offers from strangers on the street to buy something or book; always to find out prices in advance of purchase; instead of finding hotels on the spot it is better to book in advance via the Internet instead of street taxis to use the application Grab to order, etc.

There are cases of pickpocketing or thefts of things from hotels. Here to help ordinary measures of predostorozhnosti: don't wear a backpack on your back in crowded places; cash and valuables in his pockets hide away; put valuables in the hotel safe.

A serious danger facing exactly every tourist in Hanoi – traffic. Local drivers have absolutely no respect for pedestrians: never miss at pedestrian crossings, disperse their signal on the sidewalks, parked on footpaths. Watch when walking is necessary in both, and in the evening it is better to wear reflective stickers.

Helpful information

  • Where to choose a hotel. If you haven't decided on the location for hotel in Hanoi, then without hesitation head to the tourist district to the North of the lake of the Returned sword. There you will find any hotel for value and comfort. Cm. the best area in Hanoi for tourists...
  • Currency exchange, where to change. To change the currency in Hanoi is the most advantageous on the streets of Hang Bac (the tourist district) and Ha Trung (West lake). They need to go to a jewelry store and ask do they change the currency, as signs nowhere. It is better to bypass the jewelry jobs and compare the rates. For example, in one day in different jewelry offered courses 23 200 23 400 per US dollar. Usually Sammy best rates in stores, where accumulates a lot of local and Chinese, and they are actively buying gold and jewelry, loud haggling. At the same time be very careful in terms of money, not to be deceived.
  • Taxi in Hanoi over the counter very cheap. To tour within the old quarter you can even for 20 000 VND (59.01 RUB). But the taxi drivers on the street usually refuse to carry passengers by the meter, so it is better to book a car through the Grab app (similar to Uber). Uber in Vietnam was not working.
  • The safety of pedestrians. Walking the streets of Hanoi is dangerous for transport, especially in the evening. Better use reflective stickers on clothing or shoes.

Reviews about Hanoi

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Comments / recent posts on the topic on the forum
admin 27 March, 2016

1. currency actually change at any time, best to do it in jewelry stores on the street, Hang Bac, tested personal experience, see
2. Really, especially if you arrive in the morning. If in doubt, you can order in advance on the website sinhcafe, but I wouldn't worry
3. Interesting question :-). In fact, the original passport is not required everywhere and take, sometimes the cost of a photocopy (although the law should be the original registration). I think this is a question the Agency resolved, so don't worry, just stock up on a photocopy. In General, why pay for two day just so the hotel, it is easier to be discharged, to book a room in two days, and leave things at them. So repeatedly done.
4. No problem. If at the minimum, to get from the airport on 17-m the bus (about 0.3$); on the cheap guestlist for two is$ 15; the tour is$ 50 for two. Plus eat, drink a beer and 15$ for two. A total of 80.3$, it is 1792560.99 at today's exchange rate, and if as wrote above, will not be for two more days the guest to take. Well, the upper limit is infinity ;) . While there, in Vietnam at all desire a lot of money to spend does not work, this is not Russia :lol: ...
Costanzia 28 March, 2016
Oh, and what is there to buy profitable?
And that delicious recommend to eat? ...
Victor 29 March, 2016

Thank you very much for your detailed reply!
I forgot to ask one more question about Hanoi Sunday: do local agencies on Sunday - is it possible to buy a tour to Halong Bay that day. But, judging by Your response - you can. Right? ...
admin March 29, 2016
Why, forgot, question 2. Really, there is always work. ...
Victor 5 April 2016

Yes, sorry for the carelessness.
Thank you again! ...
egorbrel May 8, 2016

3. I advise you to take a picture of the passport that was not just xero-, and the electronic copy, which you can show from your phone\tablet.
If You are leaving from Hanoi, why pay to stay in another hotel?
4. We toured the Bay of Ha long 3 days\2 nights (01-02-03 may 3016). The first night on the ship, the second in a Bungalow on a small island in the Bay, where they themselves arrived on Cat BA and spent the night there too. Cost as much as a week in a very decent hotel in Hoi an.
Here Hoane met guys who from Hanoi came to the Cat BA and got a personal tour for the day. Them with Cat BA in the morning and took the evening brought. Paid three times less than we drove across the Bay so as not to overlap with other groups. In addition there was a personal guide and a kayak. In my opinion (after the fact) the night on the ship is absolutely a waste of time, and besides, you can have a front row seat to a very loud karaoke concert. ...
Natalia From 28 December, 2018
Good day!
25 Jan arrive in Hanoi for the first time crossed the Vietnamese border (Visa for Russians is not needed), 2 days in Hanoi. Thence with 27 to February 4 fly to Singapore. Arrival from Singapore 4.02 about 18 hours to fly to Moscow on 5 February at 10.45 am.
Question: to 4 Feb to stay at a hotel in the city will have to do the Vietnamese visa? I do not want. And if you live near the airport also need a Visa? Does most of the transit Lounge where there are sleeping places? No idea how to survive 16 hours of transplantation. What are some ideas that may prompt experts visited Vietnam. We were there for the first time. Thank you. ...
admin December 28, 2018

If you go beyond the international zone at the airport, the visa will have to do no matter next to the airport, or far away. Generally the Hanoi airport is quite comfortable, and you can even sleep on the benches in the ordinary waiting area, there are no handrails. But 16 hours to be there, it's certainly a gesture. In principle, there is the Internet and there are places to charge, you can surf the Internet or work. Biznesses is, here - ...
Greengirl90 28 November, 2019
Tell me , interested in the factory selling hair for Extensions ! There are in Hanoi..? Maybe someone knows where do they look ? ...
admin November 29, 2019

And what does the travel forum? ...