Visit Hanoi – Cyclo Tour
Take a cyclo tour when you visit Hanoi. Have someone pedal you through the streets to see the sights. Visit the Old Quarter, the Ngoc Son Temple & Red Bridge on Hoan Kiem Lake, the Temple of Literature and the Ho Chi Minh complex all in one day. The most exciting part will be that you are sitting feet first in heavy traffic. If you arrive in Hanoi by train, you can start your visit with a self guided walking tour or cyclo tour right from the train station.
Visit Hanoi – Ho Chi Minh Complex
The Ho Chi Minh complex includes the Ho Chi Minh Museum, the Presidential Palace and Ho Chi Minh’s House. Ho Chi Minh felt the palace was too elaborate and preferred a more common lifestyle in his own house beside the Palace. Ho Chi Minh’s body lies in state for viewing in the Ho Chi Minh Museum. This is a very popular pilgrimage site, which can have very long line ups.
Visit Hanoi – Old Quarter
The Old Quarter has sections where you can buy silk, jewelry and works made by blacksmiths. Here you will find the Ngoc Son Pagoda on a small island on Hoan Kiem Lake (Lake of the Restored Sword). The Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre is on the shore of the lake by the temple. See St Joseph’s Cathedral and the Temple of Literature, which is a Confucian temple established in 1070. The grounds include the Imperial Academy, established in 1076 as the first university in Hanoi.
Just north of Hoan Kiem Lake, the Old Quarter also includes Bach Ma temple, Dong Xuan Market and Long Bein Bridge. Dong Xuan Market is also called Cho Dong Xuan. The Vietnam Women’s Museum and Hoa Lo Prison are very close to the Hanoi Train Station in the Old Quarter.
Visit Hanoi – Other Sights
- Tran Quoc Pagoda is a short distance north of the Ho Chi Minh Complex.
- Drive along the Hanoi Ceramic Road, which is a mural 2.5 miles long commemorating the Millennial Anniversary of Hanoi.
- The French Quarter is south of the Old Quarter. Water is handed pumped to reservoirs on roof tops to supply some apartment buildings with running water.
Savor the Tastes of Hanoi
- Vietnamese Cooking Class at Hanoi’s Cooking Centre
- Water Puppet Show with Buffet Dinner
- Eat inexpensive local meals whereever Vietnamese seniors congregate. Enjoy pho, which is noodle soup, noodle dishes such as bun doc mung and bun dau or how about chicken feet? Try a Hanoi Street Food Walking Tour.
Visit Hanoi – Hotels
Things to See and Do near Hanoi
- The Perfume Pagoda of Chua Huong is in Huong Son (Perfume Mountain), which is about an hour southwest of Hanoi.
Get to Hanoi
Visitors can get to Hanoi through Noi Bai International Airport (HAN). The airport is about 25 minutes north of the city. Hanoi doesn’t have a subway system, so taxi is the best option from the airport. You can also take a shuttle bus from the airport. Scooters are the most common form of transportation in Hanoi. Bicycles and cyclos are also popular. Motorbike taxis operate in the city.
Hanoi is connected to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) by the Reunification “Express” Train which leaves from the Hanoi train station. Tours of Vietnam often fly in to Hanoi, bus to Halong Bay and then head south by rail to the other cities in Vietnam.
Hanoi weather almost always has high humidity. Summers are hot. From June – August expect average highs of 85 F (29 C) and average lows of 79 F (26 C). Hanoi weather in winter is comfortable, but sometimes cool. In January and February average highs are 68 F (20 C) and lows are 57 F (14 C). Rainfall is highest in the summer months . The month of August can see more than 12 inches (300 mm) of rain. March or November are good choices to Visit Hanoi and have good weather.
Visit Hanoi – Background
Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam. The French had a strong influence on Hanoi’s architecture and culture, which is why it is sometimes called the Paris of the East. Hanoi is famous for serving top quality meals. Expect smog, throngs of people and an endless sea of scooters. Scooters are the most common means of transportation in Hanoi. You won’t find many buses or any subways. There aren’t even a lot of vehicles that are taxis.
Night markets regularly appear in the evening and are removed again later that the same night. Night clubs can be open air venues with plastic chairs, music and liquor.