Hanoi Travel Guide

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Hanoi Travel Guide

Hanoi Local History

Hanoi has an extremely bleak and bloody history, however, although it's leadership remains in the hands of hard-line communists, privatisation and capitalism are making sturdy inroads into the city.

Hanoi Attractions

Top Attractions

Fine Arts Museum - Vietnam's incredible artistic heritage can be found here. From 9th century stone sculpture to a number of Buddhist statues, including one with 1000 eyes and arms, nationalist propaganda and a fine collection of ultramodern paintings and sculptures.

Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum - Surrounded by guards in snow white uniforms lies the embalmed body of Ho Chi Minh. Visited by pilgrims from South Vietnam to students from foreign countries, great respect and admiration is still shown for this leader who is seen as the liberator of the people from colonialism.

Van Mieu - Founded in 1070 by Emperor Ly Thanh Tong, Vietnam's first university is a quiet retreat from the hordes on the streets. The buildings are a rare example of traditional Vietnamese architecture and here you will find an interesting introduction to Confucianism.

The Old Quarter - Bustling for more than 1000 years, the 36 streets which make up this area are some of the most lively and unusual places to visit. It is a shoppers paradise, with streets named for the products traditionally sold here.

Festa Truly splendiforous spam dishes. Not to be missed!!! I love this place!!!
submitted by Pane, 12/03/08

What a feast! We can only recommend this place. It was suggested by our hotel so we were a bit sceptic but it turned out to be a great experience. Antipasto like in Italy, a meal in itself, superb pizza, thin but soft ,great steak and grilled vegetables from the bbq, very good service and friendly owners. Seems to be a favourite among Japanese and Italians with adopted Vietnamese kids, at least this was the crowd when we visited it. We finished our meal with a bottle of wine on the rooftop-terrace with a great view. We returned on the next day for breakfast and it was also very good .One last note: the cleanest bathroom we found in Vietnam, a life-saver!
submitted by Holger Menzdorf, 10/03/08

Festa A lovely Italian restaurant very close to the Cathedral with the best pizza I ever had, an incredible lunch buffet for 6 $, a great BBQ on the rooftop and a lively, warm and friendly staff. Huge portions and not overpriced as most of the restaurants in the area. A lot of young people and many resident expats in this place. Good music and a real Italian chef/owner always ready to tell some very interesting story.
submitted by Rudy Robson, 09/02/08

Pane e Vino A lovely Italian restaurant,not to miss. Very close to the Opera, with an enormous selection of Italian Wines, impessive menu and very friendly and relaxed atmosphere,in true italian style. Pasta, pizza, lasagna, all the Italian favorites and something more. Try their incredible Friday evening buffet at Us $7 including drink, unforgettable.
submitted by Guenther Krug, 14/09/06

Hanoi Shopping

Khai Silk 96 Hang Gai St. This shop, with branches in various hotel lobbies, is famous for its silk clothing ranging from shirts to scarves, dresses and suits.

Tan My 109 Hang Gai St. Exquisite embroidery work on children's clothes and bedding is what you will find at this amazing shop.

KAF Traditional Sculptures and Art Accessories 31 B Ba Trieu St. Specializing in wood, stone and brass lacquer reproduction sculptures of religious icons is what this shop is famous for. Enjoy your browsing, before you buy.

Hanoi Activities

Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre - For an enchanting night out, you and the children, will be transported into a world of otherworldly characters, from daily life in the countryside to ancient tales of this amazing country.

Ho Tay Lake Water Park - For a fun time with the kids, this water park is worth trying out. It has twelve large and small slides, including group rides. Don't be too concerned about the murky water. The staff assure customers that it is filtered and chlorinated often.

Hanoi Parks & Gardens

Apocalypse Now - Both tacky and tatty, Vietnamese and foreigners dance and sweat until the early morning hours, after having been thrown out of the bars at closing time.

Green Ho Guom - Overlooking Hoan Kiem Lake, the Vietnamese singers start at around 9pm to entertain the mostly foreign crowd.

Club Q - Extremely popular with the locals and foreigners, this small nightclub will keep you entertained for hours, just watching the people on parade.

Hanoi Restaurants and Bars

The staple cuisine is plain white rice dressed with vegetables, fish, meat, spices and sauces. Spring rolls, noodles, steamed rice dumplings are popular snacks and soups include eel and shredded chicken. .

Fruit is abundant and some of the more unusual ones include green dragon fruit, pomelo, three-seed cherry and water apple. Vietnamese coffee is said to be one of the best in the world.

Hanoi Restaurants

Cha Ca La Vong - For a riotous night out on the town, this place is a definite must. The interior is a bit tacky and they only serve one dish, but that's all part of the fun. Cha Ca is monkfish fried at a high heat in peanut oil with dill, turmeric, rice noodles and peanuts and its simply delicious. You cook it yourself, with the help of the staff, over a charcoal stove and it is then eaten with one of the hot (be careful) sauces, accompanied by beer or cooldrink.

Seasons of Hanoi - For a wonderful candlelit dinner with restored colonial native furniture this restaurant is the perfect place to dine. From spring rolls and tempura soft shell crabs, to eel and lemongrass, fried chicken in panda leaves and so much more, you won't be disappointed.

Le Cafe des Arts de Hanoi - Pop in to this bistro after a stroll around Lake Hoan Kiem for some excellent food. Try the toasted bread and cheese sauteed in egg or their chicken and vegetables in mayonnaise sauce. The good house wine can be served by the glass and the set menus have something for everyone.

Hanoi Bars & Clubs

Apocalypse Now - Both tacky and tatty, Vietnamese and foreigners dance and sweat until the early morning hours, after having been thrown out of the bars at closing time.

Green Ho Guom - Overlooking Hoan Kiem Lake, the Vietnamese singers start at around 9pm to entertain the mostly foreign crowd.

Club Q - Extremely popular with the locals and foreigners, this small nightclub will keep you entertained for hours, just watching the people on parade.

Hanoi children's activities

Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre - For an enchanting night out, you and the children, will be transported into a world of otherworldly characters, from daily life in the countryside to ancient tales of this amazing country.

Ho Tay Lake Water Park - For a fun time with the kids, this water park is worth trying out. It has twelve large and small slides, including group rides. Don't be too concerned about the murky water. The staff assure customers that it is filtered and chlorinated often.

Useful Hanoi Links

Vietnam travel magazine
An online magazine offers Vietnam travel stories, news, and guides.

Vietnam travel guide
Vietnam travel information with facts on climate, visa, health, passport, currency and customs requirements.

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