Posted 27 September 2022

Top reasons to plan a vacation in Vietnam’s Hanoi right now

Hanoi has been termed as a peaceful and vibrant capital of Vietnam by tourists and visitors. Nestled on the banks of the Red River, Hanoi is a city full of life, be it day or night. Tourists can witness a blend of different cultures, including French, Chinese and Russian.

Being a multicultural city, Hanoi is home to historical museums, ancient pagodas and colonial buildings. Some of the major tourist attractions reside in the Old Quarter and French Quarter of Hanoi.

Here are the best reasons to plan a visit the city:

Cultural museums and monuments

  • The Thang Long Imperial Citadel: The structure is significant to Hanoi both culturally and historically. The Thang Long Imperial Citadel is home to a collection of pottery, ceramics and bronze coins. Some of them date back to the 6th At the Thang Long Imperial Citadel, tourists will also find ancient roads, wells, ponds and old palaces.
  • The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology: The museum showcases artefacts, tribal art and other items important to traditional Vietnamese lifestyle and culture. The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology houses a library, a research centre and an auditorium that exhibits more than 15,000 artefacts. Some of the artefacts include pipes, knives and baskets.
  • The Hanoi Opera House: If you want to witness the essence of French architecture, this Hanoi Opera House is the perfect place for you. The Gothic architecture of the Hanoi Opera House is a treat to watch. The exterior of this Opera House is splendid. Built in 1911, the Hanoi Opera House has a capacity of accommodating nearly 600 people.
  • The Temple of Literature: The Temple of Literature is an ancient temple of Hanoi. It showcases mythical and historical stories of the city. The temple is divided into five courtyards. This Temple of Literature is the perfect example of traditional Vietnamese architecture. The temple’s bell is seen as good luck and is rung only on fortunate occasions. The temple also has a turtle as a foundation, which is considered good luck.

Home to traditional handicraft villages

Hanoi will give you a glimpse of its authentic culture with its traditional villages. Witness craftsmanship at these villages. Tourists can also shop in the villages and take back souvenirs with them. If you are looking to explore the culture of Hanoi, visit these traditional villages.

  • Bat Trang Ceramics Village: Located around 10 km from the city centre, this traditional village is pottery and ceramic village in Hanoi. Established in the 14thcentury, this traditional village is home to local artisans who make beautiful ceramic artwork by using a blend of modern and traditional techniques. Tourists can experience making this porcelain in front of them and purchase it too. It is one of the finest places to buy pottery and ceramics in Vietnam.
    Bat Trang Ceramics Village is significant to the history of Asian ceramic industry. The village has now opened several ceramic stores that sell vases, cups, bowls and plates.
  • Van Phuc Silk Village: This is a world-famous village renowned for its traditional silk weaving techniques. Also, Van Phuc Silk Village attracts tourists from all over the world and is one of the most visited handicraft villages in the country.
    Located on the banks of river Nhue, Van Phuc Silk Village is 8 km from the Hanoi centre. The special characteristics of the silk in this village are that it is smooth, elegant and light in weight. This special Van Silk makes the wearers warm in winter and cool in summer.

Appetising and irresistible Vietnamese cuisine

Tourists love Hanoi’s street food more than eating inside a restaurant. Most of the beloved dishes of Vietnamese cuisine have beef in it. However, there are plenty of options for vegetarians too.

  • Pho: Pho is one of the famous and most loved dishes of Vietnamese cuisine. It is a noodle recipe made with rice noodles, boiled with chicken, or beef in chicken stock. It is then garnished with drops of lemon juice and chilli. One can easily get Pho around Hanoi in every restaurant or food stall. Fresh herbs like basil and coriander are also used to garnish the dish.
  • Com Tam: Com Tam is an authentic rice dish made using broken rice. Along with the heap of rice, a piece of caramelised grilled pork is paired with a fried egg and laid along the rice to make Com Tam. The dish is then decorated with a mixture of fish sauce, chilli and sugar. At some places, the dish is also garnished with green onion oil. Pickles are also served with the dish.
  • Bon Bo Hue: This authentic Vietnamese dish is a trademark of Hue, a city in the country. Bon Bo Hue looks equally beautiful and delicious. The main ingredients of this dish are beef, vegetables and lemongrass. Beef bones are boiled with lemongrass for hours for a juicy red broth. It is a Vietnamese soup made with beef. Bo in Vietnam means beef. The soup also contains boiled vegetables. It is then topped with basil leaves and lemon.
  • Cao Lau: Cao Lau is a dish native to a city in Vietnam, Hoi An. One can witness Chinese, Vietnamese, and Japanese influences in the dish. It is a noodle dish with chops of Chinese barbecued pork garnished over it. The noodles, similar to Japanese noodles, are then dipped in a spicy broth with fresh herbs in them.
    It is believed that the authentic Cao Lau dish is prepared from the water found in Ba Le well, which is a 1000-year-old well.
  • Bun Cha: This is an authentic dish from Vietnamese cuisine. The main ingredients of this dish are fresh noodles, fish sauce, barbecued pork and vegetables like carrot and papaya. One can make the dish at home by dipping noodles in a hot broth.
    At some of the places in Hanoi, the dish may also be known as Obama noodles as the former President of the United States of America ate this noodle dish when he visited Vietnam in 2016.
  • Bánh mì: The Bánh mì dish is highly influenced by French colonialism. It is a traditional Franco-Vietnamese baguette and is a perfect example of the fusion of Franco-Vietnamese food. The dish is a blend of flavours from the two countries. Bánh mì can be both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. The baguette is filled with egg, meat or vegetables (as preferred by the customer).

Affordable shopping options

As Vietnam is one of the cheaper and comparatively affordable countries in Southeast Asia, the country sees the influx of a large number of tourists every year. Shopping in the country is economical too, especially in Hanoi. Being the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi has better shopping options than other parts of the country.

Hanoi is renowned for its ceramics, silk products, traditional Vietnamese attire, and items made from bamboo. The markets and places where tourists can buy things from are Hanoi Weekend Night Market, Dong Xuan Market, and Lotte Center Hanoi. The items are cheaper than any other place in Hanoi.

Other than these items, the things that tourists can bring back home from Hanoi are handbags, fabrics, printed t-shirts, handicrafts, watches and sunglasses.

Travel Tips for Hanoi

  • One of the items that visitors should keep in mind while travelling to Hanoi is the knee trouser or skirt if you want to visit temples or pagodas in the city.
  • Avoid the meat that you are not used to. Be careful of what you are eating in Hanoi. Keep diarrhoea or food poisoning medicines with you for safety reasons.
  • People in Hanoi generally wear wooden hats to keep themselves safe from the UV rays. Always keep a hat with yourself while visiting tourist attractions.
  • If you want to point towards something in Hanoi, use your pinky finger or little finger. Avoid using your index finger for pointing towards something as it is considered rude.
  • While touring in Hanoi, you will need taxis every time. To hail a taxi, flap your hand like a bird’s wing.

How to reach Hanoi?

  • By air: Noi Bai International Airport serves Hanoi as the city’s only international airport. Located 30 km away from the Hanoi city centre, both domestic and international flights operate from Noi Bai International Airport.
    Other than some of the major airlines operating from and to Hanoi, IndiGo offers direct flights to Hanoi from Kolkata in India. IndiGo flight route also connects Hanoi with some of the other major cities of India and across the world.
  • By rail: The railway system in Hanoi has a relaxed approach for getting around Hanoi. The Hanoi railway system is managed and operated by Vietnam Railways.
  • By road: Buses are another mode of transportation available in Hanoi. Tourists can reserve their seats by booking in advance. Cycles, bikes or scooters are available for tourists to explore Hanoi conveniently.
    For shorter distances, prefer riding a Cyclo. Cyclo is the name for bicycle rickshaws in Hanoi.

Weather & best season to visit Hanoi

  • The best and ideal time to visit Hanoi is from September to November and then from March to April. The weather is enjoyable during these months and you can go sightseeing easily.
  • Summer months are from April to June. Temperatures in these months are between 28 to 35℃, which can be a little uncomfortable for sightseeing.
  • The weather is hot and humid from July to September. Chances of rainfall are high in these months.
  • Winter months like December, January and February are the coldest with temperatures going below 10°C. Tourists normally avoid winter and monsoon seasons.

Conclusion

Apart from the cultural and historical attractions, Hanoi is also famous for its paddy fields, hills, and lush green forests.

A major reason why tourists prefer Vietnam or Hanoi is that it is cheaper and more affordable than other Southeast Asian nations. Hanoi is also loved by tourists for its vivacious nightlife and delectable Vietnamese cuisine. Hence, there are multiple reasons to visit this city!

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