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Chùa Trấn Quốc

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Hanoi - A thousand year old capital

Hanoi is located on the convergence of the Red River and  the Northern delta, hence  a political, economic and cultural hub of Vietnam. For generations, the imperial citadel has always maintained  its romantic essence , as well as  the bustle  of a metropolis, in addition to thousands of intact architectural gems that speak volumes of the nation’s history. The cultural charm of Hanoi is best demonstrated by  the elegant mannerism  of the city dwellers.


Temple of Literature – the Imperial University: It is the first academy of Vietnam, hence  a symbol of lifelong learning. There are  82 stone stelae that hold  honorary titles of doctorate candidates over centuries of imperial examination. Annually, , in preparation for the much-vaunted national examination, candidates come here and pray for stellar results.
Thang Long Imperial Citadel: At the heart of the glamorous capital, this long surviving complex appears ancient and quiet, in the name of Thang Long Imperial Citadel. The citadel was the host of  many powerful dynastic clans over centuries of feudal history, with inner palaces, colossal and solid forts, walls and bastions, notably Doan Gate, the North Gate, Kinh Thien Palace and Hanoi Flagstaff…
Old Quarter: The iconic 36 streets of Hanoi form the Old Quarter encircling Hoan Kiem Lake. Their names  typically start with “Hàng” (Workshop): The Votives, The Silversmith, The Crimson Silk, etc. These streets were originally planned by the French and now are the venues of recreations, cultural shows and sports. Visitors would be overwhelmed by a matrix of homestay units, bars, pubs, lounges, cafés, restaurants and souvenir boutiques.
Ba Vi National Park: Moving to the suburbs, it would be an amazing experience to spend a day in Ba Vi National Park. It’s an ideal getaway given its pure air, moderate weather  and beautiful nature. In November, Mexican sunflowers cover the hills in bright gold, making up a breathtaking picture of nature .
Perfume Pagoda: Perfume Pagoda is one of the most significant and best known complexes of worship. Pilgrims take place in the divine Buddhist dominion and visitors can take part in a variety of outdoor pursuits like rowing, trekking and văn singing…
Dong Hoi is the place to be for avid fans of fresh and nutritious seafood: shrimps, oysters, scallops, clams, rays, greater yellowtails, silver pomfrets or squids… Shrimps and scallops are steamed while fish is  wrapped in foil and grilled. Such simple recipes preserve their irresistibly sweet and original  taste. When it comes to seafood, another treat is  Bombay duck,  sweet and sour Bombay duck hotpot that has been regularly  mentioned in many stories . 
Tourists should not miss out, besides seafood, its local snacks: soupy congee, oyster porridge, filtered rice cakes and  bèo cakes… A bowl of soupy congee combines nutritious, flaky snakehead fish, prawns, minced lean pork, some  spring onions, parsleys and deep fried nem rolls. Nem rolls, colloquially called ram, are made of minced pork,  grated wood  ear (mộc nhĩ), and condiments, then deep fried. The crispy, crunchy taste of nem rolls goes well with mild dipping sauce and sparks  a  mini palate boom on your tongue.

Activities

Hanoi has Hoan Kiem Pedestrian’s Quarter that is open from Friday evening until the end of Sunday. It’s a much loved bubble for street culture, where pedestrians are invited to exciting folk games such as skipping, tug of war and ball kicking..., observe clay tò he figurines kneaded and listen to street music performances and other genres such as the tuồng, chèo, water puppetry, you name it.
On weekends, just stroll around the bazaar from Hang Dao Street to Dong Xuan market and drop in Ta Hien, a famed, bustling youth’s where-to-go just to sip some beer and chat with global pals.
Spend a whole day biking around West Lake, and admire its iconic sunset. Stop by a lakeside cafés or jump aboard a water bicycle to perfect your weekend date. Should you love amusing and adventurous games, Ho Tay Water Park is the place to be with hair raising water typhoon tubes and giant Ferris wheel…

Transportation

Passengers will take a flight to Hanoi and arrive at Noi Bai International Airport, around 30km away from the city center and taking 30 to 40 minutes to commute. Vietnam Airlines’ minibuses are hailed at Terminal 1 and charge VND40,000/ride at a frequency of every 30 to 45 minute. Buses are assigned to Route 07 (Cau Giay – Noi Bai), 17 (Long Bien – Noi Bai), 90 (Kim Ma – Nhat Tan Bridge – Noi Bai), 86 (Hanoi Train Station – Hoan Kiem Lake – Noi Bai) and are taken at Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 for VND9,000/ride, while buses Route 86 charge VND30,000/ride. Taxis can also be hailed at Terminals 1 and 2 for VND250,000/ride.



Useful tips

  • Travel time From September to November, and between March and April

  • Wi-fi 3G/4G

  • Visa Visa exemption for temporary residence of maximum 15 days from the date of entry

  • Contact information

  • Language Vietnamese and English

Flight information

Vietnam Airlines operate a variety of flights to Hanoi at different frequencies and competitive fares to meet both business and leisurely travel demands. Flights arrive at Noi Bai International Airport at a frequency from 1 flight/day from Vinh. Interested passengers should directly search for best ticket fares here.

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