Just as the Vietnamese people have survived countless wars and strife throughout its long history, so has the city of Hanoi. This river city plays host to numerous relics left behind by various dynasties throughout its thousand-year history in the form of over 600 temples and pagodas, most notably the Temple of Literature and One Pillar Pagoda. Situated at the right bank of the Red River, Hanoi is particularly famous for its scenic lakes where floating restaurants serving delicious Vietnamese cuisine abound. A jaunt to the Old Quarter will find you immersed in various specialized trades such silk and jewelry, as well as a thriving nightlife. Indeed, there's no better symbol of the Vietnamese spirit and resilience than Hanoi itself.
Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam. Its official estimated population is approximately 3,400,000 however after a merger of the Ha Tay province, Vinh Phuc's Me Linh District and the communes of Luong Son district, the population is now in the range of 6,200,000. Hanoi is located on the right bank of the Red River and is located north of Ho Chi Minh City.
Hanoi experiences typical Vietnamese climate being hot and humid summers and cool, dry winters. From May to September Hanoi experiences most of its rainfall. Winter temperatures can drop as low as 6 degrees C and summers can get as hot as 38 degrees C.
Hanoi is the cultural center of Vietnam and it is a chief lure for domestic and international tourists. Every Vietnamese dynasty has left behind its cultural imprint. There are many intriguing cultural and historic monuments. The Red River in particular is a spectacular site. The River is a cradle for early civilization and its banks are crowded with lovely green rice paddies. Hanoi boasts 600 temples and pagodas. The original architecture and street layout of Hanoi can be found in The Old Quarter. The area is famous for small artisans and merchants including many stunning silk shops. Local cuisine and many pubs and bars are located here. The Dong Xuan Market, a night market, offers souvenirs, food and clothing.
The Temple of Literature is the oldest Vietnamese university dating back to 1070. The One Pillar Pagoda is a stunning Buddhist temple It is one of Vietnam 's most iconic temples. The Flag Tower of Hanoi is a major symbol of the city. It is composed of three tiers and a pyramid-shaped tower with a spiral staircase leading to the top inside it.
There are many beautiful lakes in Hanoi and in fact the city is known as "the city of lakes". The most famous are Hoan Kiem Lake, West Lake and Halais Lake . West Lake in particular is a popular tourist attraction. It is the largest lake in Hanoi and there are many beautiful temples in the area. There is a floating restaurant and small boats for hire at a reasonable price.
The National Museum of Vietnamese History showcases Vietnam 's history with a huge display of every historical period. It is housed in a stunning French colonial building. A bleak tourist attraction is The Hao Lo Prison. Known by Vietnamese prisoners as the Hanoi Hilton was used by French Colonists for holding Vietnamese prisoners and later by North Vietnam for prisoners of war during the Vietnam War. Hao Lo translates as fiery furnace and Hell's Hole.
Hanoi offers guided group day trips around the city and to the lakes. Frequently the tours involve a typical Hanoi day beginning with an early breakfast and featuring a yoga class. Cruises, visits to Hanoi 's lush countryside and a chance to mingle with the locals are other attractive options. Hanoi 's impressive museums, national parks, monuments and temples are not to be missed by the visiting tourist. All of these sites provide a memorable and stunning experience in Hanoi, Vietnam.
If you have been complaining of the rather arid and tropical climate of Ho Chi Minh City , come to Hanoi and experience the pleasant change in temperatures. The climate here is so much same as that of any other place in North Vietnam . Moderately hot summer and a rather cool and chilly winter season offers you a lot of respite as a visitor.
The summer months are not really hot, with the months interspersed with a lot of rainfall. The maximum temperature between May and September is not more than 31 degrees Celsius. The temperatures drop to an average of 19 degrees between October and April.
Considered to be the oldest city in Vietnam, the capital of Vietnam offers you more than one reason to visit it. Here are the attractions of Hanoi that you should not miss out on when you are in Hanoi .
Historic Monuments – Being a rather old city, Hanoi offers a lot of historic monuments for the visitors to see. Some of these monuments, especially the pagodas and temples date back to more than 1000 years.
The Old Quarter – If you are in Hanoi , be sure to go to the Old Quarter, located near the Hoan Kiem Lake . At this place, you will find a lot of glimpses of the old Hanoi . The streets, the architecture of buildings – all of them would remind you of Hanoi in olden times!
Night market – The night market in Hanoi is an ideal place for the backpackers. This market offers goods at damn cheap rates, along with exciting Vietnamese cuisine. Pack the dongs in your wallet and get shopping at the Night Market!
Lakes – You will find so many of them in Hanoi . Sometimes, people refer to Hanoi as the city of Lakes . Do not miss going to the Hoan Kiem Lake , Halais Lake , Bay Mau Lake and the West Lake . West Lake specifically is a center of attraction for a lot of visitors here, what with a lot of small boats and eating places this lake has to offer.
Expect to find a lot of karaoke bars, nightclubs, bowling domes, theaters and other forms of entertainment here. The traditional people can visit the Water Puppet Theater. Trust the excitement of watching water puppets in action cannot be matched anywhere.
You would land in the Noi Bai International Airport as a visitor to Vietnam . In fact, this airport is the only source of air travel for all other destinations in North Vietnam . As a visitor, you would be advised to book a taxi on a preset price as, sometimes the cab drivers could charge you exorbitant amounts. Much like any other city in Vietnam , expect the roads of Hanoi to be clogged with Motorbikes.
From Hanoi, you could a train to go to Ho Chi Minh City , as well as to go to Hai Phong. Hanoi, in fact is the only node that connects all northern cities. In a nutshell, Hanoi gives you a classic combination of history with modern life. In Hanoi , you would find a lot of options to keep yourself entertained. Perched on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia, Vietnam's dynamic beauty and rich culture draw millions of visitors every year. With fascinating natural beauty mixed with a diverse culture of old and new, Vietnam has become a popular destination among travelers.
Whether you want to go shopping, sightseeing, or spelunking, Vietnam offers a unique adventure to everyone. From the northern capital city of Hanoi to the southern sister city of Ho Chi Minh City, the streets are jam-packed with mopeds, and crowded markets offer everything from woodcrafts and silk to spices and wine. You can take a leisurely cyclo ride through Saigon's historic districts, have clothes custom-made for you in less than a day, enjoy a boat ride along the Huong River, barter at the Ben Thanh Market, and eat some traditional "Pho Ga" (chicken noodle soup).
Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, is brimming with historical temples, pagodas, and museums. Hanoi's Temple of Literature, founded in the 11th century, is dedicated to the teachings of Confucianism and set in a backdrop of tranquil pools and inscribed stones. One Pillar Pagoda, also constructed in the 11th century, is situated on top of a solitary stone pillar as homage to the lotus flower. Hoan Kiem Lake, in the heart of the city, is a favorite of locals who practice early morning Tai Chi.
The Old Quarter of Hanoi, a distinctive neighborhood made up of 36 streets, represents the original 13th century guilds of craftsmen that flourished here. Each street is known for a particular type of craft. For example, Hang Gai Street houses some of the best silk shops. Hang Be Street offers exquisite bamboo crafts. Hang Bac Street is famous for silverwork and jewelry.
Ho Chi Minh City, still referred to as Saigon by the locals, is Vietnam's largest and most dazzling city. Known as the "Paris of Asia", Ho Chi Minh City glorifies its French Colonial influence with tree-lined streets that surround elegant parks, cafes, and bakeries. In another part of the city, you will find "Cho Lon" which is Ho Chi Minh's Chinatown. Cho Lon, home to the Binh Tay Market, is bulging with a remarkable variety of goods for sale. The Binh Tay Food Court affords many opportunities to sample and savor many local specialties.
Other popular destinations in Ho Chi Minh City include ancient pagodas, museums, and gardens. The Jade Emperor Pagoda, the Giac Lam Pagoda, and the Nghia An Hoi Quan Pagoda are not to be missed. The Binh Quoi Tourist Village features lush gardens and a famous tri-level floating restaurant that serves traditional southern Vietnamese cuisine.
Outside of the busy cities, you will feel like you stepped backwards in time. Along the southern Mekong delta, floating markets housed on old paddleboats sell local vegetables and fruit in abundance. Scores of bright green rice paddies stretch beyond the horizon in every direction, dotted with farmers in customary conical hats. Life outside of the cities remains very traditional and unchanged by modern conveniences.
Vietnam's climate makes it a great place to visit year round. With sociable locals, an uncanny landscape of old and new intertwined in a lush background; Vietnam is a country that needs to be experienced.