Charming Hanoi – culture and old quarters
The bustling streets of Hanoi allow you to experience authentic Vietnam, take a peek at history and sample local food. Read the tips for your holiday in the Rantapallo destination guide!
According to DigoPaul, the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi, is full of interesting sights, traditional culture and old quarters. Hanoi is a hectic metropolis where, despite its military history, one can also find a surprising peace if one wishes.
Authentic Vietnam can be found in the hustle and bustle of the capital
On a first visit, Hanoi requires a little getting used to – in a hectic big city, the flow of motorcycles feels endless and in the hustle and bustle of people, the weaker ones are awful. A deeper look at Hanoi, however, reveals many charming aspects. Vietnamese culture, military history and traditions all become familiar in Hanoi. There are so many attractions that time is probably running out.
Hanoi is a city of stark contrasts, where modern modernity is lived in colonial-style neighborhoods and historic landscapes. The urban Hanoi region is home to nearly four million people, but including the surrounding areas, the figure rises to about seven million.
Of course, it is also worth enjoying in Hanoi. From local cuisine, especially stuffed rice paper rolls and Vietnamese pancakes are to most tastes. Vietnam’s past as a French colony is still reflected in the street scene in the form of French-influenced cafes.
In Hanoi, it is definitely worth trying the delicacies of the local food culture.
Attractions and a relaxed stay
Perhaps the most iconic sight in Hanoi is the Red Bridge over Hoan Kiem Lake, Huc. The lake brings fresh variation to the urban landscape and at the same time serves as a good anchor for tourists navigating Hanoi. Walk along the Huc Bridge to Jade Island, where you will find a temple worth seeing.
Hanoi’s attractions include numerous impressive temples, museums and landmarks, but you can just as well spend a city break enjoying the hustle and bustle of the streets. Among the locals dressed in traditional Vietnamese hats, they feel far away from home. Hanoi’s Old Quarter is a nice area for aimless walks.
A day in Hanoi can also be spent shopping – you can find everything in the city. The traditional way to spend the evening is to watch a Vietnamese puppet show with characters adventuring on the water.
Good to know about Hanoi
Hanoi is an interesting destination for travelers interested in history, culture and Vietnamese society. The city also offers shopping and local food. Hanoi is not an ideal destination for families with children. The traffic is chaotic and traveling with children can be challenging.
Hanoi has a fairly humid climate all year round. The winter months from November to April are dry and cool, while the summer heat is overshadowed by monsoon rains. The best time to visit Hanoi is spring or autumn. Even in the heart of winter, you can experience beautiful and sunny days in the city, but you should also pack a jacket.
Hanoi is a safe holiday destination, however, normal care should be taken for pickpockets and tourist scams.
Finns do not need a visa to travel to Vietnam for less than 15 days.
Excursions to the surrounding area
There are countless guided tours from Hanoi to other destinations in North Vietnam. The most popular places to visit are Halong Bay and Sapa. Almost all inns and hotels offer tours and prices fluctuate radically – however, it is worth remembering that only the simplest conditions can be expected from the cheapest trips.
Halong Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site archipelago of more than 3,000 islands rising from green waters with caves and tunnels. You can either take a day trip to Halong Bay or take a cruise on overnight boats.
Sapa is a village in the mountains of the north, known especially for its mountain tribes. Rice plantations and green mountains near the Chinese border make Sapa a breathtakingly beautiful place to visit, but fast-growing tourism has also brought nasty side effects: Sapa can be congested and expensive. It is worth buying handicrafts and clothes made by ethnic minorities on site – they may be needed, as it can be very cold in Sapa during the winter.