ALL-IN-ONE TRAVEL GUIDE FOR YOUR HANOI VACATION
As it has been the capital of Vietnam for a centuries, Hanoi is an ancient city with captivating historic landscapes and hospitable citizens. It offers tourists heaps of exciting activities and memorable experiences on their Hanoi vacation. Because of its ideal geographical location and tender beauty, Hanoi attracts more than one million visitors each year.
Hanoi is located in the Red River Delta, a peaceful and culturally significant area where the Vietnamese agriculture civilization began a thousand years ago. If you are thinking to have a vacation in the tropical South-East Asia region, Hanoi would be the first keyword to pop up on your searching toolbar.
Flight tickets for your Hanoi vacation
Since airfare plays a crucial part of a trip’s cost, finding a cheap for flights deal may help you to reduce the price for your journey to Hanoi.
One way to find cheap airfares is to get email notification from different airline websites; they will inform you when a destination is on sale. Vietnam Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Qantas Airways or American Airlines are some premium airlines operating to Hanoi, but you can purchase the ticket with a reasonable price when the fare is on promotion. Vietjet Air and AirAsia are some cheaper alternatives.
Keeping your flight time flexible is another way to get good airfare deals. If your schedule is not restricted, it is more comfortable to choose any day flying to Hanoi with low ticket fares. Usually, the price will be lower in from July to October, when the city is less crowded than at any time of the year. Luckily, there will be some direct flights to Hanoi in this period when not available at other time (e.g., New Zealand Air). Also, booking a trip on weekdays is offten cheaper than during the weekend.
In comparison with other cities in South-East Asia, Hanoi has many high-quality accommodations starting at reasonable prices. Premium private rooms cost from 1,200,000 VND to 4,700,000 VND per person (50-200 USD). Free wifi is common in Hanoi; and most offer breakfast and lunch on request. Pool and gym are also available in select hotels and apartments. Tour booking and vehicle rental are also provided in the service, as long as you arrange with reception.
Depending on the purpose of your trip, you should also consider the location to stay in Hanoi. For example, if you love to wander around the Old Quarter, somewhere close to this area will be ideal enough to have short walks around all those ancient corners. The booking could be easily made on Booking.com, Agoda.com, or especially Airbnb – you may find an excellent place to stay with a great view to this ancient city with outstanding services but remains with reasonable price.
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The best time to visit Hanoi is Spring (from February to April) and Autumn (September to November) when the atmosphere is calm and pleasant. The temperature will vary around 15°C to 24°C, which gives visitors comfort and chills to enjoy Hanoi’s landscape and cuisine fully.
Apart from Spring and Autumn, Hanoi weather in Summer can be uncomfortable with high heat, and dense tropical rains. Winter can be cold, but no snow and long-lasting rain.
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Now it comes to the exciting part: where to visit in Hanoi. If you love wandering around and observing old architectural buildings covered by moss and vines, the Old Quarter will be the must-see destination in this lovely city. They have been standing there for a thousand years as a central trading area of Hanoi, which each street name is called initially based on what they mainly sold at that time.
Sightseeing in Hanoi
Meanwhile, the Guom Lake in Hanoi is more suitable for outgoing people who would love to join the crowd and enjoy what the local people are doing: singing, taking photographs, doing exercises, eating junk food, etc. The Guom Lake walking street hour is from 7 pm Friday to midnight Sunday, which means more activities will occur in this area. Some main streets will be abandoned from vehicles; they are for pedestrians only.
Discover History of Hanoi
If you are really into Vietnamese history, some historical sites below will get your attention. Van Mieu temple, Vietnam National Museum of Fine Arts, Ho Chi Minh museum and mausoleum, are main archival relics of Hanoi. Visiting those sites and listening to the presentation about each historic place will help you understand more about Hanoi’s life in a different period of history.
Hanoi local food
Nobody could deny how abundant Hanoi’s cuisine is. It has plenty of famous dishes like pho, banh mi, pancake, skewers, fried meatball, etc. and even more to discover on the way through this city. Pho Thin, which is located at 13 Lo Duc, is an excellent place to taste pho. Moreover, La Vong chopped fish is another dish that you must try in the trip to Hanoi, with the original store located at 14 Cha Ca street.
Do you want to taste the “legendary” bun cha that former president Obama and American chef Anthony Bourdain compliment? Then you should visit Huong Lien store located at 24 Le Van Huu, they sell bun cha made from fresh noodles and freshly grilled meat marinated with some special sauces, then dip in mild fish sauce with sliced papaya.
What to drink?
When you come to Hanoi, iced lemon tea is a must try drink as it has become a part of young Hanoi people’s culture in recent years. Sitting on the pavement, drinking cups of iced lemon tea and biting sunflower seeds is a common situation that you will see while traveling around Hanoi. If you want to try traditional Vietnamese coffee made from high quality roasted robusta and phin filter, you may visit Giang cafe (39 Nguyen Huu Huan) or Dinh cafe (13 Dinh Tien Hoang). Otherwise, drinking specialty coffee is one of your routines; you could visit Tranquil (18b Nguyen Bieu), All Day Coffee (37 Quang Trung), Blackbird (5 Chan Cam). Furthermore, if coffee is your favorite topic, you may take a glance at 3rd Wave Roastery at 240 Hang Bong, the baristas know the beans so well, and they could enthusiastically talk about it for hours.