Posted By : Threeland Travel / Travel Guide
A city trip to Hanoi allows you to experience luscious food, unique art performances and some of Southeast Asia's most fascinating sights. Thanks to the rich cultural heritage and turbulent history of this vibrant city, which alone has 2.6 million inhabitants in its center, there are many interesting attractions to visit and activities to do.
1. When is the perfect time to visit Hanoi?
In Hanoi and the surrounding area there are two seasons to be observed, winter and summer. The cool but usually dry winters last from November to April, although it can be quite cold from January to March. May to October is summer time, when the weather is hot and humid, with June to August often being the most challenging months. Hence, it is recommended to visit Hanoi during March-April or October-November period. In case you make a winter trip in Hanoi, remember to bring extra warm clothes.
2.Transportation to Hanoi
- Airplane: Hanoi is home to the biggest airport in Northern Vietnam – Noi Bai International Airport. There are numerous daily flights to and from Hanoi, both internationally and domestically.
- Train: Inside the city of Hanoi lie several train stations, yet the largest and central one is Ga Ha Noi on Le Duan Street. You can travel down to Hanoi from the further Northern parts or up from the Middle and Southern part with the Reunification Express.
- Bus: There are a number of inter-city bus stations located in different parts of Hanoi, among the biggest are Gia Lam station, My Dinh station and Giap Bat station. These transportation hubs accommodate various buses from many suppliers, which offer direct two-way routes between Hanoi and other cities and provinces.
3. Must-sees in Hanoi
- Hoan Kiem Lake
Hoan Kiem Lake is a popular hangout spot in Hanoi and is located just a short walk from the Old Quarter. Lying peacefully on the lake are the majestic Turtle Tower, Ngoc-Son Temple as well as the bright red The Huc Bridge, which altogether make up the most fascinating site in town.
- Dong Xuan Market: lies right in the heart of Hanoi’s Old Quarter and is known as Hanoi's largest market. The imposing market hall was built at the end of the 19th century by the French. Today, it has numerous stalls selling a wide range of products, from household goods and groceries to clothing and accessories.
- St. Joseph Church
St. Joseph Church is a neo-Gothic church from the 19th century, which was built on the model of Notre Dame in Paris. In order to build this imposing church, the French destroyed the old Bao Thien Pagoda, which had stood there for more than 800 years.
- Water Puppet Theater
This form of puppetry probably goes back to the 11th century. With wooden dolls that are up to a meter in size as performance tools, scenes from Vietnamese life and history are delicately and sophisticatedly illustrated in a pool of water by maximal 8 artisans who hide behind the bamboo curtain. Themes regarding peasants, fishermen and kings, the mythical creatures Phoenix, Quilin, Long and the sacred turtle are among the most preferred.
4. What to see in Hanoi’s surrounding area?
- Halong Bay: is the extraordinary natural beauty of Vietnam. Take a junk through the bay, enjoy a drink and admire the sunset while the mysterious karst rock formations slowly pass by as well as observe and approach the local fishermen and their floating houses.
- Tam Coc – Bich Dong complex in Ninh Binh: is also named as the “Halong bay on land” thanks to its splendid landscape with Karst mountains and romantic water bodies. Tourists can go by boat, cycle or climb up the mountains to fully discover and experience the magical nature here.
5. Special tours in Hanoi
Threeland's recommendation for tours style in Hanoi:
- OUR PICK: Two full days in Hanoi, staying at the Old Quarter, then departing for two or three-day trip in Halong Bay for sea cruising, and one or two-day tour to Ninh Binh for sightseeing, biking, hiking, or river boat trips.
- Cultural tours: inclusive of most astonishing museums, temples and lakes of Vietnam.
- Vespa tour, food tour, walking tour in the inner city.
- Biking tours or touring with cyclos through the best streets and around the lakes of Hanoi.
- Shopping tours in various local markets as well as huge and modern shopping malls in Hanoi.
- M.I.C.E tous, theme tours, educational tours, charity tours and meditation tours.
- Golf tour at many golf courses within 2-hour driving from Hanoi.