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The bustling capital of Vietnam is a whole lot more than what u would expect from a country that was subjected to one of the great wars of history of the 1960s and 70s. Rich in culture, art and immense hospitality, Hanoi offers you a complete insight into all the ingredients that makes this beautiful country truly spectacular. From offering some of the greatest museums, fascinating mausoleums, indulgent walks by the lake, overwhelmingly charming winding streets of the Old Quarter and the appetizing aroma of food stalls springing from every street corner, the city of Hanoi is sure to take you on a magical journey to exploring the best of Vietnam.
Begin your journey unravelling the city's cultural highlights that surely offer a captivating journey. One of the best attractions that will offer you a thorough insight into Hanoi's culture and history is the Old Quarter. So take a quick stroll through the narrow alleys of the Old Quarter showcasing the beauty of old architecture that once also predominated the colonial era. This maze of 36 alleys, each named after the products that were once popularly sold along each, are full-of-life with the hustle bustle of everyday commerce ensuring a thrilling journey. Furthermore, Hõ Chí Minh’s Mausoleum is also one of those great attractions that are a must-visit for anyone seeking to learn and explore Vietnam's powering history. The mausoleum showcases one of Vietnam's one-time and great leader's body in a glass sarcophagus that continues to draw huge crowds on a daily basis to pay their respects. A visit to Ho Chi Minh Museum will further provide a thorough insight into the life and achievements of this historic Vietnamese leader. The museum has been designed into the shape of the iconic lotus flower and features exhibits that are sure to leave you inspired and revered. Further historic attractions that shouldn’t be missed out on include the French Quarter, the mighty St Joseph Cathedral, Tran Quoc Pagoda, the thought-provoking Hoa Lo Prison and the legendary Army Museum.
For those looking to explore the entire country of Vietnam, your one visit to the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology will do that for you. Showcasing the lifestyle of the predominant 54 ethnic tribes that reside throughout the country with an extensive collection of their artefacts, tribal crafts and textiles, this museum should definitely make it to the top of the must-visit list. Hanoi's Temple of Literature is housed in an iconic building from the 11th century with stunning gardens that makes up for an insightful and rejuvenating experience. The temple not only offers a peaceful break from the city's noise but also houses a fascinating collection of the literary works of Confucius.
And if all this exploration gets you tired, Hanoi offers you rejuvenating walks along the Hoan Kiem Lake that translates as "Lake of the Restored Sword". Popular opinion has it that this was the legendary sword that was used to repel the Chinese from the Vietnamese lands before it was latched onto by a giant tortoise that disappeared into this lake and hence the name. Hanoi's spas offer another one of those relaxing therapeutic indulgences that are a must for you to experience when in Vietnam.
Hanoi is also the perfect place to appease the taste buds of the food fanatics. Boasting foods that are frequently rated as one of the best of Asian cuisines, Hanoi is sure to guarantee that tasteful bliss that we all crave for when exploring a new destination. Forget the high-end dining experiences, Hanoi boats plenty of street-food stalls offering you some of Vietnam's delicious treats that is sure to take you on an indulgent journey of the taste buds. Late-night bars are also a signature style of this culturally-rich city. Sink into the local brew known as bia hoi, for a refreshing and indulgent experience.
Some of the leading airlines offering low airfares for flights to Hanoi from UK are Vietnam Airlines, Thai Airlines, Lufthansa and Eva Air.
Yes, Vietnam Airlines is the only airline offering direct flights to Hanoi from London as of the latest flight records.
Average flight time from London to Hanoi is 13hours.
Noi Bai International Airport is the main airport serving the capital city of Hanoi and is located at a distance of approximately 28 miles or 45 km from downtown city.
Noi Bai International Airport offers a number of easy and convenient ways of reaching the city from the airport. The airport operates a round-the-clock taxi service that can be hailed easily upon exiting the arrivals lounge of the airport. The fares for travelling to the city are fixed with VND 160,000 or 6.44 British Pound sterling for a Sedan and VND 190,000 or 7.72 pounds for an SUV. Journey time using this mode of transport is approximately 30 minutes.
The airport also operates city buses numbered 7 and 17offering transport to the bus stations in Hanoi city. The airport Bus stop is conveniently located to the right side upon exiting the airport terminal. Buses run every 15-20 minutes from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. the number 7 connects the airport to Kim Ma bus station while Bus number 17 connects to the Long Bien bus station in Hanoi city.
Hanoi Airport's minibuses offer another cheaper and convenient mode of reaching the city from the airport. Minibuses offer transport directly to the destination that you are intending to reach in Hanoi city. The fare charged to your respective destination by the driver should be enquired upon prior to boarding the vehicle. Minibus fares will vary according to your destination.
Many of Hanoi's hotels also offer a pick-up service from the airport provided you have made a prior booking. Fares charged will be slightly more than those being charged by the taxis available at the airport.
A popular mode of getting around the city of Hanoi is via the cyclo or pedicab. This is also one of the cheapest ways of travelling short distances within the city. These are two-seated shaded carts that are operated by a man on a foot-pedal bike riding behind the passenger. Ideal for covering short distances, these cyclos have gained popularity for getting around the city by the locals and the tourists alike. Cyclos or pedicabs can easily be hailed from the streetsor at the tourist attractions as they are plenty roaming around in Hanoi.
Hanoi also operates metered taxis that can either be hailed from the streets or be called upon from your hotels reception desk. This is a better option for travelling longer distances in Hanoi. Some of the main taxi companies being operated in Hanoi are Taxi CP, 52 Taxi, and Taxi Huong Lua.
Motorbike drivers also offer a cheap and convenient transport option in Hanoi. These are abundantly available in the city and can easily be hailed from the streets. Bargaining on the fare prior to getting on the motorbike is a good practice as there is fear of being overcharged.
Public buses in Hanoi offer a cheap and faster mode of getting around. The city operates a number of public buses that travel fixed routes.
Many locals and tourists also prefer to use bicycles for getting around. This is a feasible option given the traffic concerns of the city. Bicycles can be rented from tourist cafes or directly from the hotel.
Accommodation in the city of Hanoi is a lot cheaper than what you would expect from a bustling capital city. Hotels are plenty and offer a price ranges that caters to everyone on the budget scale. Accommodation options range from oriental palaces, villas dating back to the colonial era, and a wide range of hostels and plaza hotels. On the luxury scale, Hanoi offers a range of some of the leading international chain of extravagant hotels and high-end local hotels boasting colonial buildings and classic French styled accommodations. Facilities being offered by this category of hotels feature health and fitness centers, gym, restaurants specializing in local and international cuisines, bars, and indoor and outdoor swimming pools among other facilities.
A number of Budget-friendly and moderately priced accommodations are predominantly located in the Old Quarter. Hotels boast stylish exterior with some specifically designed in either the colonial-inspired architecture or the prevalent Vietnamese. Facilities will include moderately spacious rooms, restaurants serving both Vietnamese and Western cuisine, health and fitness centers etc. the Old Quarter also offers accommodation that is included in the cheap category on the budget scale. These include hotels that are styled in proper Vietnamese décor while others are colonial buildings that have been renovated.