Hanoi 2022 – Everything You Need To Know
Vietnam’s capital city, Hanoi, with a population of around 4.7 million people, is known for its rich culture and centuries-old architecture. Its influence of French, Chinese, and Southeast Asian cultures can be felt throughout this beautiful city.
And let’s not forget the motorbikes.. with over 3 million motorbikes in the city.
Some common nicknames for Hanoi are Paris of the East, or City of Lakes or City For Peace.
Within Hanoi, it’s a must to stay in the Old Quarter as the atmosphere is incredible, with stylish boutiques, art galleries, and more coffee shops than you can count. Accommodation ranges from budget backpacking to luxury 5* resorts, Hanoi caters for all budget ranges.
If you’re wondering why all buildings are narrow but tall, Tube houses as they are called, its down to property taxes being based on a property’s width which was a rule introduced by the French in the early 1900’s.
It is a good idea to walk down the pedestrian paths on Long Bien Bridge, where you’ll find street food carts and plenty of noodle shops. You should also visit the Opera House, which is located nearby the bridge of the stunning Hoan Kiem Lake and visit the railway coffee shops, although you may need to check in advanced if the railway street is open as its frequently closed down by the local government.
Our top items of just some of the things to do and see in Hanoi are:
- Stay in the Old Quarter
- Walk around Hoan Kiem Lake
- Visit the Imperial Citadel
- Take a trip / cruise in Ha long Bay
- take a short drive to Ninh Binh – the Ha long Bay on land
- Pray at Ngoc Son Temple on Hoan Kiem Lake
- Try Banh Mi
- Visit Ba Dinh Square
- Watch the water puppetry at Thanh Long Theatre
- Explore Long Bien Food Market
- Visit Mai Chau Mountains
- Experience a three wheel Cyclo Trip around the Old Quarter
If you want to experience the culture of Hanoi, it is important to experience its food and coffee. The city’s cuisine is a great way to explore the city’s culture. If you are a vegetarian, you can sample many traditional Vietnamese cuisines. There are many different types of Vietnamese food and many restaurants around the city. You can even try local favourites like egg coffee in one of the endless list of coffee shops.
There are also numerous markets that cater to tourists.
While public transportation isn’t particularly good in the city centre, it is possible to rent a motorbike and explore the city. You can also find a few motorbike taxis that offer excellent service. While this might be a bit more expensive, there’s still a lot to do in this district. If you’re looking for a place to stay in the Old Quarter, you’ll be glad you did. The French Quarter is a great place to spend a weekend.
A visit to the Temple of Literature which stands 15 meters high and is one of the most beautiful sights in the city is worth the time. The temple was built in the 16th century by Emperor Lý Thánh Tông and is dedicated to the philosopher and religious leader Confucius. It is the first national university in Vietnam, and its courtyards are great places to imagine scholars from centuries past carrying scrolls and holding important discussions. You can even pray for luck for your exam by placing a coin in a lucky jar and rubbing your palms.
Most of the locals consider themselves Buddhist, but not all of them are and there are several pagodas, which we recommend.
The high humidity makes it difficult to get out of the city, which can be a drawback if you want to get some great photos. December to February brings cold winds from China and high humidity from February to April, creating fine mist. April brings much better weather through to August, but the monsoon season peaks in August and lasts until late September early October.
For those who are visiting Asia for the first time, North Vietnam and Hanoi in particular is like an attack on all of your senses, it opens up your sense of adventure which is like a drug, the wonderful aroma, the flavours of the food, the sights of high rise buildings with layers of shops and cafes, the friendliness of the people saying hello, trying to cross streets for the first time amongst the endless rows of motorbikes.. its amazing and we’re sure you’ll love it too.
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