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Hanoi Travel Guide

About

Tranquility envelops Vietnam’s capital city, which is located in between rivers and lakes. One of the must-visit attractions is the Red River. Besides its peaceful water bodies, there are many fascinating sights and sites you can find in Hanoi. Hanoi is also well-known for its well-preserved French colonial architecture, and prominent historic sites, such as the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, are nestled within the city. You can also find the famous Bun Cha Huong Lien restaurant that Obama and Anthony Bourdain dined at in Hanoi. But here’s the better deal. Bia Hoi, Hanoi’s favourite beer and also dubbed as the cheapest beer in the WORLD, goes as cheap as VND 5,000!

Local Custom & Slang

Table Manners in Vietnam

  • We’re sure you wouldn’t want to embarrass yourself when eating at such a famous restaurant like Bun Cha Huong Lien.

  • When eating, hold the bowl close to your face. When drinking soup, hold the spoon in your left hand. Most importantly, never put chopsticks standing straight up in your rice bowl as this is seen as praying to the dead. Always, always place it flat on the table or on top of the bowl.

How to get a waiter’s attention

  • Excuse me (to waitress): Chi oi
  • Excuse me (to waiter): Anh oi

Leave the PDA in the hotel

  • The beautiful rivers and lakes may be the perfect dating spots. But note that PDA, the abbreviation for Public Display of Affection, should not be displayed openly in public as it is generally frowned upon in Hanoi, or should we say, Vietnam as a whole.

Dog meat is a cultural food in Hanoi

  • This may be offensive to some people, but to the people of Hanoi, dog meat is… food.

  • However, the government has plans to totally ban dog meat from the city centre by 2021.

How to address people in Vietnam

  • Anh (ah-n): to address an older man
  • Chi (chee): to address an older woman
  • Em (ehm): to address anyone younger than you

Trip Essentials

  • Weather
  • Currency
  • Visa
  • Electricity
  • The best months to visit Hanoi are during March to April and September to November. Temperatures during these periods range from 18°C to 30°C. (Tip: If you visit Hanoi early in the year, you will experience drier days.)

  • The dry season in Hanoi stretches from November to April.

  • The rainy season, also known as winter season in Hanoi, usually lasts from May to October.

Transportation

By Cyclo

  • Cyclos are essentially trishaws with a maximum passenger capacity of two people. Cyclos are a representation of a common mode of transportation during the French colonial era.

  • The average cost of each ride may cost you around 100,00 VND to 150,000 VND.

  • Tip: If you’re in a hurry to get somewhere, travelling by Cyclo should be your last option because it is difficult to swerve in and out of lanes on such a bulky vehicle.

By Motorbike Taxis (Xe Om)

  • If you have a tight schedule to follow, Motorbike Taxis may be the best option. The motorbike makes it easy to swerve through the heavy traffic in Hanoi, but the only downside is that there can only be one passenger. Also, Xe Om drivers are known to know the roads of Hanoi like the back of their hands.

  • Motorbike Taxis are also one of the cheapest modes of transport in Hanoi. The average for a trip should cost from 10,000 VND to 15,000 VND.

  • Tip: Xe Om is pronounced as “say ohm”.

By Taxi

  • If you are travelling long distances within Hanoi, we recommend you take a taxi as it is safer and more comfortable.

  • The base fare of 10,000 VND to 15,000 VND will most likely cover you for the first two kilometres, and subsequent kilometres average between 4,000 VND and 8,000 VND.

  • Local Operator: Hanoi Taxi, Taxi CP, Mai Linh Taxi

  • Other Operators: Grab

By Bus

  • Buses in Hanoi will bring you to must-visit attractions at an average price between 5,000 VND and 10,000 VND.

  • Buses in Hanoi are easy to identify as they have red, white and yellow stripes on them. Hop on one and purchase your tickets from the bus captain! Note that only cash is accepted.

  • Local Operator: Transerco

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