What’s There

Hanoi is an amazing city in Vietnam that has managed to build itself into a metropolis, and still preserve their culture. There are endless things to see and do here from ancient Buddhist temples like the Perfume Pagoda that was built into a mountain range, experiencing traditional water puppetry at the Thang Long Puppet theater, or wandering through the streets while snacking on local cuisine. Street food is taken very seriously here and you can find all sorts of delicacies like different meats on a stick, Pho, sticky rice, and the Ốc Len Xào Dừa (aka sea snails in coconut milk). And of course, you have to check out the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, which is the symbol of Hanoi!

Who’s There

The people in Hanoi will always smile at strangers. And they will find tourists very interesting, so don’t be surprised if there are a few stares. Learning a few Vietnamese phrases will go a long way with locals, which is good because they’ll be more willing to help you if you get lost! Given that Vietnam is a more conservative country, you’re going to want to dress the part if you visit some of the little villages on the outskirts of Hanoi. In the city, it’s laxer. But definitely avoid short shorts or anything too revealing. Lightweight skirts, jeans, and a scarf or shawl for your shoulders are recommended. The climate can be humid and tropical, with a rainy season in the fall. So packing shoes that can get wet is definitely a smart move.

Getting There

Travellers from all around the globe can easily get flights to Hanoi. You can fly to Hanoi via Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Bangkok, Moscow, Doha or Taiwan. Noi Bai International Airport is the largest airport in Vietnam and is the main airport serving Hanoi. The airport is located 45 kilometres from the city center. The bus is the cheapest way to get to Hanoi from the airport, but also the most crowded and the one that takes the most time. The yellow-and-orange bus follows a route from the airport, down through Hoan Kiem Lake and Hanoi Old Quarter, and terminating at the Hanoi Central Railway Station. Alternatively, you can use a cab to transport to your hotel. A number of Vietnamese and international airlines operate from Hanoi Noi Bai Airport, including Vietnam Airlines, Pacific Airlines, AirAsia, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Airlines, Thai Airways, Lao Airlines and Tiger Airways.