Did you know that Hanoi is one of the oldest Capital cities in the world? It was the Capital of Vietnam until 1802, when it shifted to Hue. However, in 1902 Hanoi again became the Capital when the French named it the French Indochina; after this, it became the Capital of North Vietnam when the French were defeated in 1954. This city is home to the second-largest International Airport in Vietnam, which makes travelling to and from the Capital city easier than in other places in Vietnam.
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Things to Know before you go to Hanoi
How to get to Hanoi
Scoot, Singapore Airlines, Bamboo Airways and Vietnam Airlines all fly to Hanoi direct from Singapore in approximately 3.5 hours. Transport: In under an hour, you can get from Noi Bai International Airport to downtown Hanoi (or the french Quarter).
The best time to visit Hanoi is from April to November when it is less rain, and the weather is a little cooler and less humid.
Tipping is one of those places that are mandatory, but they appreciate it significantly if they have helped or assisted. If the service is good, you should tip; this includes servers, guides, drivers, hotel staff etc., and anyone in the customer service industry. Try not to tip with coins, small denomination dong notes, or filthy and ripped notes; this could be considered disrespectful.
While Vietnamese is the country’s official language, 110 officially recognized dialects are spoken around the country.
At the time of posting this article, 17465.57 Vietnamese dongs = 1 Singapore dollar
Most countries will need a visa to to enter Vietnam, so it might be worth checking weeks before your arrival date; you can click here to review. Some countries can get a tourist visa on arrival but again, check with a reputable company or your embassy before you go.
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Five reasons to Stay in the Old Quarter Hanoi
1 Great location for significant landmarks
Hanoi’s Old Quarter is a great location to be in the hustle and bustle of Hanoi city. In walking distance to many of this city’s landmarks, including the night markets, the Ngoc Son Temple, Old City Gate and Hoan Kiem Lake. Walking a little further, you can also reach the Hanoi Opera House and the French Quarter.
Recommendation: If it is too hot to walk the streets or you find the roads too busy to navigate, then enjoy a pedicab tour of all the significant locations in the Old Quarter.
2 The Rich History
The old Quarter of Hanoi is dated back to the 11th century after the Independence of China. The district has always been the hub of this city, as it was once a busy marketplace specializing in arts and crafts, attracting many skilled craftspeople. In addition, the many migrants brought different religious beliefs now recognized throughout the area.
Recommendation: Chua Ba Da is a Buddist Temple built in 1056, open from 8 am to 9 pm daily.
There is no better place to shop in Hanoi every weekend in the Old Quarter; the night markets here are the busiest in the Capital city. With roads blocked for motor transport, this place has rows and rows ranging from arts and crafts to clothes and toys. Remember to bring cash and your bartering skills. There are also many little boutiques around this area if bargaining and night markets aren’t your thing.
Recommendation: Looking for something to bring back from your time in Hanoi? Head over to Collective Memory, where you can find something unique you won’t find at the markets.
4 Street Food
There isn’t anywhere better to be than in the middle of the chaos in the Old Quarter, with many food vendors offering Vietnamese delicacies, tiny stalls with delicious dishes and many other types of restaurants around every corner. This part of Hanoi has everything from Vietnamese noodles to French bakeries. If you need more confidence to do it on your own, book here for a guided street food tour.
Recommendation: Hanoi Food Culture restaurant and cooking class is a great little restaurant that doubles as a cooking school. The Food is delicious, the stay is very friendly, and the restaurant is beautifully decorated.
5 The atmosphere
Head to the Old Quarter during the day, and you will find it busy, but head there during the evening (especially on the weekend or during a public holiday), and it comes to life, with buskers and entertainment all through the city centre. You are also within walking distance of the French Quarter. You will be swept up in the hustle and bustle of this significant part of Hanoi.
Recommendation: If you would rather see something a little more traditional, head over to watch one of the water puppet shows founded in the Red River Delta thousands of years ago.
Accommodation in the Old Quarter Hanoi
Hotel Emerald Waters Hanoi
Hotel Emerald Waters Classy is an affordable boutique hotel; the rooms are comfortable, and breakfast is included; centrally located within walking distance to Ngoc Son Temple, Old City Gate and Hoan Kiem Lake. It has a rooftop pool and bar area, accessed day and night, with a buffet breakfast included in the room price.
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. This post has given you the information you need. If you have any recommendations, tips or advice, I would love for you to share them in the comment section below!
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