HANOI TRAVEL GUIDE - EVERYTHING YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE VISITING THIS OLD CITY

HA NOI

OVERVIEW

Hanoi city- the capital of Vietnam, is located on the banks of the romantic Red River and is one of the ancient capitals in the world with a history of more than 1000 years. It is also famous for unique tourist attractions such as: Old Quarter 36 streets, Hoan Kiem lake, Thang Long Citadel, etc., and a wide variety of cuisine: pho, bun cha, bread,... ... Read more

I - Why is Hanoi Vietnam so attractive?

Along with the economic development, this still retains its own traditional beauty.

hanoi

A peaceful morning in Hanoi (Source: Acoupleofdestinations)

To be more specific, we would like to point out 3 core reasons why the place is always worth a visit:
- This is a capital of a thousand years of civilization in Vietnam. With a long history and diverse cultural traditions, it is the political center of the country, as well as the most attractive tourist destination. The land also possesses various historical relics such as: Hoang Thanh Thang Long Citadel, One Pillar Pagoda, Temple of Literature, Old Quarter...
- The local life is always bustling, offering a variety of entertainment since this city is a key economic region and is well invested in all fields, from transport, infrastructure, hospitals, schools, services, etc. There are also various forms of entertainment such as: amusement park, walking street, night market...
- This city is ranked as the world's top safe destinations. Here visitors can always experience things without concerns since Vietnam's politics is relatively stable and mostly there are no encounters or protests.

II - Top 9 interesting facts about Hanoi in Vietnam

1 - History of Hanoi

hanoi city vietnam

Thang Long Imperial City - one of the best symbols of Hanoi (Source: Nguoikesu)

This city is known as the city of thousand years of civilization and has been also the capital of Vietnam through many dynasties, specifically as follows:
Ly Dynasty (1010 - 1225)

In 1010, Ly Cong Uan (King Ly Thai To 907 - 1028) moved the capital from the ancient capital of Hoa Lu - Ninh Binh to Dai La citadel (Thang Long - 2 old names of this city). The name “Thang Long” means “flying dragon” while the statue of King Ly Thai To on Dinh Tien Hoang Street - opposite of Hoan Kiem Lake - is cast in monolithic bronze (the statue is 6.8m high, the statue is 3.3m high) depicting the image of King Ly Thai To with his right hand holding " Edict on the Transfer of the Capital” and left hand pointing at Thang Long. This period also left outstanding architectural works such as one pillar pagoda, Quoc Tu Giam Temple, etc.
Tran Dynasty (1225 - 1400)

King Tran Thai Tong ascended the throne in 1226. He continued to base the capital in Thang Long since he realized that this was “a land of outstanding people”. At the time, Hanoi city was expanded and divided into 61 wards, serving as the residence for people and aiming to stimulate and develop economic trade.
Le Dynasty (1427 - 1527)

After defeating the Minh invaders, King Le changed the name Dong Quan (given to Thang Long by the Minh dynasty after they managed to invade the land) to the present-day Dong Kinh. In this period, this city was associated with the legend of Hoan Kiem Lake, the god of Kim Quy, etc., which marked the appearance of Turtle Tower, Hoan Kiem Lake, etc.
Nguyen Dynasty (1802 - 1945)

On March 15, 1874, the Nguyen officially signed a treaty allowing the French to reside and place consulates in Hanoi, Quy Nhon, and Hai Phong. The event marked Vietnam as a French colony in general for more than half a century. During this time, a lot of famous historical works such as Flagpole, Long Bien bridge, etc., were born.
Warring era (1945 - 1975)

During the fight for the independence of the country, this was many times the target of the enemy where the most intense battle was "Hanoi 12 days and nights", occurring in 1972. On April 30, 1975 when the country was completely liberated, Hanoi Vietnam city stepped into the work of economic construction, restoration and development. The constructions are still preserved to this day such as Hoa Lo Prison.
Unified era (1976 -1985)

Vietnam in general and its capital in particular basically managed to recover the facilities that were damaged during the war. The most prominent of all are stamps from 1976 - 1985 in the subsidy period. There are many cultural features still preserved to this day such as the living space, furniture, daily items, etc., and presented in the system of "Cong Cafe" or Subsidy period coffee shops,...
Renovated era (since 1986)

In 1986, Vietnam officially entered the renovation period with many turning points in economic development and diplomacy. Also in this period, the famous architectural work Uncle Ho's Mausoleum was built.
The present time: Today, the city has become the political and economic center of Vietnam. Various construction works of regional stature have also been built, forming a new face for the capital, including: National Assembly House, Keangnam Building, Lotte Center Building,...

2 - Hanoi meaning and the old names

The name of the capital has been changed many times. However, we only list the official and recorded names in history books, specifically as follows:

 

Name

Period

Meaning

Long Đỗ

866 - ?

Dragon’s belly button

Đại La

767 - 866, 866 - 1010

 

Thăng Long

1010 - 1397

Flying dragon

Đông Đô

1397 - 1407

Eastern capital (different from Tay Do in Thanh Hoa)

Đông Quan

1408 - 1427

Eastern gate

Đông Kinh

1427 - 1787

Eastern capital 

Hà Nội

1831 - now

Inside the river (Red River)

3 - Food diversity

hanoi city

(Source: Vietsnack)

Experiencing a Hanoi trip also impresses you with its diverse and unique cuisine. These are dishes that  bring the taste and culture of local people and you definitely must try: Pho, shrimp cake, bread, egg coffee, bun cha, etc. This city has its own specialties or activities in each season.

4 - The place with the longest ceramic road in the world

travel to hanoi

The impressive ceramic road (Source: Kenh14)

The ceramic road along the Red River was first built in 2007 and completed in 2010 to commemorate the Great Ceremony of Thang Long. The road has a total length of about 3.85 km, running through Hai Ba Trung, Hoan Kiem, Ba Dinh, and Tay Ho districts and is recognized by the Guinness World Organization as the longest ceramic road in the world. The whole picture is made by hand from ceramic pieces, with themes such as 54 ethnic architecture, children's paintings, Vietnamese culture through the dynasties, etc.

5 - The influence of French architecture in Hanoi city

Over the past 60 years of French colonization, this city still retains many architectural works built by the French colonialists. Therefore, there is a strong interference between French and Eastern architecture. Some of the famous architectural works can be mentioned are:
- Long Bien Bridge - a historical witness built by the French to serve the purpose of goods circulation.
- Opera House: This famous work was started construction by the French colonialists in 1901 and completed in 1911.

6 - Rustic houses

This city also impresses visitors with its super-small, super-long houses in unique shapes. The unique designs are also the highlight to help attract visitors.

7 - Dog meat - a popular dish

This city is also famous for dog meat. However, over time, the food is gradually being restricted since people are more aware of the government's call to protect animals.

8 - Street culture in Hanoi Vietnam

hanoi history

(Source: Kenh14)

Like many other cities in the world, the city is also known for the simple street culture. The early morning flower hawkers or the afternoon bread carts will make the visitors more mesmerized with this land.

9 - A quiet on Tet holiday

70% of the population living in this city are immigrants, so on the Tet Lunar New Year, it suddenly becomes unusually quiet. This is also a special feature and those who come here will be able to enjoy a rare and peaceful atmosphere during this time.
All the ups and downs of the capital are recorded not only by left heritages, but also the memories of Hanoians. Legends, old stories and special features of the heart of Vietnam were told and preserved by the Hanoi citizens, generation to generation. As a result, if you have a chance to visit Vietnam, you should wander around Hanoi City at least once to learn the way that all human life is here, and feel the eternal soul of this city.

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Airport: Noi Bai international airport
Timezone: UTC+7
Population: 8,039 million
Area: 3.324,92 km2
Map: Search Google Map

Time: 07:28 PM
Hanoi attractions
Source:
Quan Le

HA NOI “HANOI ATTRACTIONS”

Best places to visit in Hanoi include historical - cultural sites, famous tourist spots and many sightseeing attractions. The list below will show you some information and a travel guide for the first time of coming.  ...Read more
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hoan kiem lake
Source:
Steven Lasry

HA NOI “HOAN KIEM LAKE”

Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi is one of the iconic places that you cannot miss when visiting the capital of Vietnam. The lake (also known as Guom Lake - Sword Lake) is not only a cultural and historical symbol but also a popular destination for domestic and foreign tourists when traveling to Hanoi. This place is for people not only to go for a walk, but also to get a chance to explore the cinematography and poetry culture of Vietnam ...Read more
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ho chi minh museum
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Internet

HA NOI “HO CHI MINH MUSEUM”

Ho Chi Minh Museum in Hanoi is one of Vietnam's largest museums, storing approximately 120,000 artifacts and documents related to President Ho Chi Minh's life and career. The museum was built in 1973 and opened on May 19, 1990 - the 100th anniversary of President Ho Chi Minh's birth. ...Read more
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Presidential Palace Hanoi
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Ondrej Zvacek

HA NOI “HANOI PRESIDENTIAL PALACE”

The Hanoi Presidential Palace, where the president of Vietnam lives and works, is well-known for its unique French architecture. ...Read more
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bridges in hanoi
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Dzung S

HA NOI “BRIDGES IN HANOI”

If Da Nang is a city of poetic bridges, Hanoi has bridges that demonstrate a period of epic and majestic history. For more details, we invite you to learn about the bridges in Hanoi through the article below. ...Read more
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Hanoi Old Quarter
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Long Bun

HA NOI “HANOI OLD QUARTER”

Nowadays, the Hanoi Old Quarter area is considered the “heart and soul” of the whole city. It has built up its own reputation as the busiest and most developed destination in Hanoi, where you can both enjoy excellent tourist services and learn a number of interesting stories about Vietnam’s history and culture from the old-time up to present ...Read more
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ho chi minh mausoleum
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Vnexpress

HA NOI “HO CHI MINH MAUSOLEUM”

Among the best attractions in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (Uncle Ho’s Mausoleum) is a must-visit attraction to know more about Vietnam’s greatest leader. Follow us to get more information about this attractive tourist site in Hanoi. ...Read more
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Dong Xuan Market in Hanoi
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Wikipedia

HA NOI “DONG XUAN MARKET”

Dong Xuan Market in Hanoi is now more than 120 years old. It is not only a busy trade but also a cultural symbol of Hanoi. ...Read more
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Saint Joseph cathedral Hanoi
Source:
Vnexpress

HA NOI “SAINT JOSEPH CATHEDRAL”

Widely known as the most famous one among seven major churches in Hanoi, St Joseph cathedral's ancient and majestic beauty is preserved until today. In order to experience a fulfilling visit, travelers should learn some basic information about the Cathedral over the past century before getting there. ...Read more
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Hanoi Opera House title

HA NOI “HANOI OPERA HOUSE”

It can be said that Hanoi Opera House is the subconscious place of many Hanoi people, which has unique architecture, exquisite performances and, most importantly, it is a familiar destination for many international tourists. ...Read more
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long bien bridge
Source:
Patricia Chourio

HA NOI “LONG BIEN BRIDGE ”

Long Bien Bridge Vietnam (Paul Doumer Bridge) with unique architecture and long standing history is one of the most outstanding tourist spots in Hanoi. Converting iron and steel blocks into emotional objects, the bridge also has its history passed down through generations. ...Read more
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Ngoc Son temple title
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Shutterstock

HA NOI “NGOC SON TEMPLE”

Ngoc Son Temple Vietnam, known as Temple of The Jade Mountain, is the cultural highlight and a must-visit attraction of Hanoi. ...Read more
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Tran Quoc pagoda
Source:
Vilandtravel

HA NOI “TRAN QUOC PAGODA”

Tran Quoc Pagoda, built in 544-548 under King Ly Nam De reign (6th century), is currently one of the oldest pagodas in Vietnam. It was formerly named An Quoc and later to the reign of King Le Huy Tong (1681 - 1705) was renamed to Tran Quoc as present. ...Read more
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water parks in hanoi
Source:
Jeremiah Lawrence

HA NOI “HANOI WATER PARKS”

The top favorable water parks in Hanoi are West lake water park, Thien Duong Bao Son water park, Vinpearl Land water park (Royal City), Water fun park… Visiting Hanoi water parks to release the heat and enjoy fun moments are one of the best things to do in Hanoi for families with kids. ...Read more
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temple of literature in hanoi
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Long lee

HA NOI “TEMPLE OF LITERATURE”

The Temple of Literature in Hanoi - known as Van Mieu, is a must-see attraction in Vietnam. This place has a unique architecture and especially cultural meaning in Vietnam history which is known as the first university in Vietnam ...Read more
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vietnam museum of ethnology
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Internet

HA NOI “VIETNAM MUSEUM OF ETHNOLOGY”

The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology in Hanoi is a place to collect, preserve, display and honor the typical national culture, customs and traditions of 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam and cultural practices across Southeast Asian. ...Read more
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ta hien street
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Explore Hanoi

HA NOI “TA HIEN STREET”

Ta Hien Street is located in Hang Buom Ward, Hoan Kiem District, about 400m from Hoan Kiem Lake. This street is crowded with tourists and especially when street pubs and bars open in the evening. ...Read more
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hoa lo prison in hanoi

HA NOI “HOA LO PRISON”

Hoa Lo prison, as known as Hanoi Hilton, was designed and constructed to keep 500 prisoners, after that, to increase the capacity of keeping space, it was expanded gradually. And especially, this prison would imprison up to 2000 persons in the period of war from 1950 to 1953. Nowadays, this is one of the most impressive attractions in Hanoi that welcomes hundreds of tourists every year. ...Read more
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West Lake Hanoi title
Source:
Hieu Tran

HA NOI “WEST LAKE HANOI”

West Lake (also known as Ho Tay – Tay Ho) is one of the most beautiful and famous landmarks in Hanoi capital. Having a serene and tranquil beauty, it can also be considered as an iconic place in the ancient Hanoi paintings which associated with many ups and downs of history, save many memories of the people. This fascinating and exotic charm lake would definitely be a proper choice for those who are tired of the hustle and bustle of modern life. ...Read more
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hanoi one pillar pagoda
Source:
Nickjhon

HA NOI “ONE PILLAR PAGODA”

Hanoi is famous for many unique architectural works including the One Pillar Pagoda (Chua Mot Cot Vietnam) - a sacred temple that is thousands of years old and also carries cultural and historical imprints of the nation. Visitors to the capital are amazed by this impressive masterpiece of the ancients. ...Read more
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Ba Vi National Park title
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Vnexpress

HA NOI “BA VI NATIONAL PARK”

Ba Vi National Park is located in Ba Vi district, 55km to the west of Hanoi city center. The lush, green forest of the national park satisfies every nature-holics. ...Read more
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royal city hanoi
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Internet

HA NOI “ROYAL CITY HANOI”

The investor of the Royal City Hanoi is Vincom Joint Stock Company - Vingroup Group, with a total investment of VND 10,000 billion. The construction started in January 2010 and completed in November 2013. This Urban Area is planned on an area of up to 120,945 m2. ...Read more
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Market in Hanoi
Source:
Vietnamtravel

HA NOI “HANOI MARKETS”

One interesting experience which you must try when visiting Hanoi is exploring the best markets in Hanoi Vietnam. Each market has its own particular goods, atmosphere, and purchasing methods and is an ideal place where you can enjoy tasty street food with startlingly cheap prices and to learn about Hanoian’s culture. ...Read more
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Hanoi train street

HA NOI “HANOI TRAIN STREET”

Train street in Hanoi is a symbol of culture existing from French colonial times until now. A hot attraction for visiting and experiencing life on the sides of the street, some famous addresses are Phung Hung train street or Le Duan train street. For more information, you can take a look at the post below. ...Read more
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duong lam ancient village
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Internet

HA NOI “DUONG LAM ANCIENT VILLAGE”

Duong Lam Ancient Village Hanoi, located on the right bank of the Red River, has a history dating back more than 1200 years. The most typical features of the village are the mossy houses, laterite stone walls, village well, old banyan trees, communal courtyards, a wharf on the river and ancient temples... ...Read more
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bat trang pottery village
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Internet

HA NOI “BAT TRANG POTTERY VILLAGE”

Bat Trang Pottery Village, a more than 1000-year-old traditional craft village, is an interesting attraction to visit in Hanoi's suburbs. ...Read more
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Beaches near Hanoi title photo
Source:
Vu Duc

HA NOI “BEACHES NEAR HANOI”

If you are looking at some Hanoi beaches or best beaches near Hanoi Vietnam, here are some great choices for you. The top beaches for a some-day or one day trip from Hanoi are Sam Son, Do Son, Tuan Chau, Bai Chay, Cat Ba, Hai Thinh and Quat Lam beach. ...Read more
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quan thanh temple
Source:
Tripadvisor

HA NOI “QUAN THANH TEMPLE”

Quan Thanh Temple, formerly known as Tran Vu Temple, is situated at the end of Thanh Nien Street, Quan Thanh Ward, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi city. This is popular as one of “Thang Long Tu Tran or Thang Long Four Sacred Temples”, which means the four most sacred temples guarding 4 directions of Hanoi. Let’s find out about this ancient temple protecting the North of Thang Long citadel. ...Read more
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