A complicated city torn between old and new, and an inimitable mix of ancient culture, colonial charm and modern-day luxury, Hanoi must be the first destination on your Northern list.

Hanoi is located in Northern with 30 district and lies on the right bank of the Red River. This is the capital of Vietnam and the second largest city with around 8 million people, about 1,760 km north from Ho Chi Minh city with 3,329 km2 square.

The city is the typical climate of northern Vietnam, with 4 seasons:

–       Spring is from February to April

–       Summer from May until August: hot and humid weather with abundant rainfall.

–       Autumn from September to October: decrease in temperature and precipitation.

–       Winter from November to January: dry and cool.

Hanoi is a ancient and peaceful city which is very compact with almost interesting places for tourist are close to each other. I’m pretty sure that anyone who has visited Hanoi will tell you that it may be the most beautiful city in Vietnam and even in Asia. You can very easy to visit all on your foot or by cyclo. Or if you have more time and brave, you might consider renting a bicycle or motorbike.

Hanoi, where to go?

For the first morning in Hanoi, you should start the trip with Ho Chi Minh mausoleum. It just open only in the morning, from 7:30 to 10:30 in the Summer and from 8:00 to 11:00 in the Winter, often large crowds. Was built on the edge of Ba Dinh Square, this is where Ho Chi Minh delivered the Declaration of Independence of the Republic of Viet Nam to half a million of his countrymen in 1945. Not only for tourist, this is the place that almost Vietnamese must visit when they go to Hanoi, to express their admiration and gratitude towards for the common father/uncle of Vietnamese. Entrance fee 10.000 vnd, and you chould check before you go because the mausoleum might be closed occasionally for maintenance.

The One Pillar Pagoda is about 50 meters away. The original was built by Emperor Ly Thai To. The shrine sits atop a single massive pedestal that’s why it has the name one pillar. Some people say that it looks like a big lotus out of the water, one symbol of the capital.

Temple of Literature and Quoc Tu Giam are ancient school of Thang Long and the first university in Vietnam.  The temple still retains its very first original shape even though having gone through lots of restoration work. You should definitely add to your visiting list in Hanoi. Coming here, you might see many Vietnamese students visiting the places as a ritual for good luck before they enter an important exam such as the entrance exam into college.

Hoan Kiem lake is the heart of Hanoi. The lake attracts tourists and locals looking to get away from the noise and frenetic pace of the city with its peaceful and quiet.  And then in the middle of the lake, Ngoc Son Temple is sitting on a small island. A hundreds of people take their daily exercise on the footpath that circles the lake but evening is full of young people eating street food around and take their selfie.

Discover 36 ancient quarter on your foot, walking street to street, you will enjoy the local life here with the old-style narrow streets and houses, the colorful souvenir shops, and of course the most tasty traditional foods. The cyclo is also another experience.

Hanoi has a variety of options for entertainment: modern and traditional theaters, cinemas, karaoke bars, dance clubs, bowling alleys, …A popular traditional form of entertainment is Water puppetry, which is shown, for example, at the Thăng Long Water Puppet Theatre.

Shopping in Hanoi:

  • Old quarter: located at north of hoan kiem lake, with clothing, textiles, accessories, souvenirs, crafts
  • Hanoi night market: Hang Dao street with clothing, textiles and accessories
  • Dong Xuan market: Dong Xuan street with almost everything
  • Trang Tien plaza: Hai Ba Trungg street with top clothing brands international
  • Vincom City Towers shopping center: 191 Ba Trieu street, a mall luxury
  • Parkson shopping center: 198 Tay Son street, a mall luxury
  • Savico Megamall: Nguyen Van Linh street, the largest of Vietnam shopping centre

What you  must eat in Hanoi:

With the rich culinary traditions, Hanoi has a lost of famous dishes. There are some foods you must try in Hanoi:

  • Pho (noodle soup): appearing anywhere from street vendors, with beef or chicken.
  • Bun Cha Ha Noi: is served with grilled fatty pork over a plate of white rice noodle and herbs with a side dish of dipping sauce.
  • Banh cuon: steamed crepe from rice flour and water, inside stuffing contains ground pork, wood-ear and seasoning.
  • Bun Thang: harmonious blend of color- the yellow of sliced egg; the white of bun; the off-white of chicken and the green of onions and herbs.
  • Cha ca La Vong: grilled fish served with bún, peanut, green onions, dills and shrimp paste. The fish is carefully chosen so that there are not too many bones and fishy smells.

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