Travel Planning
Travel Planning

Hanoi at a Glance

Hanoi has been home to city dwellers for nearly one thousand years. Today the city retains its French colonial boulevards mixed in with modern and traditional construction. 

Hanoi's old quarters are a nice place to start your trip. Mingle with locals doing their shopping in market stalls. Jump out of the way as motor scooters take the narrow alleys at breakneck speed. Smell the scent of Vietnamese pho broth swirling beef, cinnamon and star anise into the air.

Even as the city retains its old quarter, it builds outward and visitors can enjoy new museums, restaurants, shopping malls and sports complexes. The newer areas of Hanoi are great places to enjoy international and multicultural cuisine, or to find hidden historical sites tucked safely in-between new developments. 


What to Expect
High Season
July - August, November - March
Low Season
April - June, September - October
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Language: Vietnamese
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      Getting There
      Major Airports
      • Major Airport Noi Bai International Airport

      Passport / Visa Requirements

      Tourists to Vietnam need a visa, which is valid for up to thirty days. The paperwork and requirements are often difficult to sort out so it is best to do this ahead of time. Contact a Vietnamese embassy or consulate in your home country to start the process. American citizens can learn about the application process at the U.S State Department website

      Getting Around
      Public Transportation
      • Bus Kim Ma Bus Station
      • Railroad Hanoi Train Station
      • Bus Gia Lam Bus Station
      Need to Know

      Severe Weather Monsoon winds bring rain to the country basically year round. July - November is typhoon season and a good time to avoid due to the violence and unpredictability of these storms. 

      Safety Concerns Beggars, scam artists and pickpockets will be persistent. This doesn't have to ruin your trip if you use a few precautions. Keep money, passports and valuables touching the skin with a money belt. Leave some petty cash handy for small purchases. Don't leave your bags unattended and hang onto them while at restaurants and in museums. Keep food and drink close to you to avoid it being drugged by thieves. Hanoi is the capital of hotel and taxi scams. Stick with your plans and be insistent if taxi drivers or hotel staff want you to switch hotels. 

      Health Concerns Ask around about beach safety and rip-tides when you head to the beach. Jelly fish and other stinging sea-creatures are also a good thing to ask about. Travelers to Vietnam may want to speak with their doctors about health concerns and vaccinations. While in Vietnam, avoid drinking un-purified water. Bringing your own water filter can reduce the hassle of purchasing bottled water.