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Hanoi

Hanoi is situated on the right bank of the Red River and at the confluence of the Red River and Suli River, a place in the northwest of the Red River Delta in Vietnam. The city sits in the heartland, boasting the largest river port in the North. It is also a transport hub, with several railways converging here. Hanoi is divided into two parts: the inner city (the urban district) and the outer city (the suburban district). The inner city is divided into three parts: the forbidden city, the imperial city and the capital city. Noi Bai International Airport and Gia Lam Airport are located in the outer city. There is also easy transport by sea, land and air.

The Historical Museum

Located in the downtown area of Hanoi, it is a place for storing and displaying precious historical relics of the Vietnamese nation. The Historical Museum was originally the Far East Antique Institute built by the French colonialists in 1926, and opened in 1932. It became the Vietnam Historical Museum in 1958. In the museum, there is a great collection, including articles from the Neolithic Age, tools and jade strands from the Higashiyama Period, unearthed bronze drums from the Temple Period, relics of the Cham people, stone pillars, pottery ware, and sculptures of the thousand-armed-and-thousand-eyed Bodhisattva.

Address:28A Dien Bien Phu St., Hanoi, Vietnam.

Ba Dinh Square

It is located in the downtown area, as an important place for gatherings and festive activities. At 320 meters in length and nearly 100 meters in width, the square can accommodate up to 100 to 200 thousand people. To the west of the square is Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Complex and to the east lies Ba Dinh Hall. The square is surrounded by green trees and a wall made up of clusters of buildings. On the occasion of Labor Day, National Day and other major holidays, grand gatherings will be held on the square. Due to the large crowds, you may wish to avoid this time of the year for visiting.

Address:Ba Dinh District, Hanoi, Vietnam.

Hoan Kiem Lake

Located in the downtown area, it is known as the number one scenic spot in Hanoi. The lake is 700 meters in length and 200 meters in width. The lake is surrounded by verdant trees on the lakeshore, providing a cover of dense leafy shade. The water is as clear as a mirror, with an average depth of about 1.5 meters. In the middle of the lake is Ngoc Son Temple and the Turtle Tower. The Turtle Tower is on the Turtle Hill to the south of the lake. Green wavelets and reflections of the tower add radiance and beauty.

Address:Ho Hoan Kiem, Hanoi, Vietnam.

In contrast to the capital cities of many economically developed countries, luxurious and spacious shopping malls or world-famous brand outlets are rarely seen in the streets of Hanoi. Instead, specialty shops of different sizes are distributed around the city, allowing every visitor to enjoy shopping to his or her heart's content. The city has become a center of handicrafts and tourist souvenirs made by the most skillful craftsmen throughout Vietnam. These local specialties and souvenirs are priced much lower than in other cities in the country.

Hanoi Old Street

Hanoi's Old Quarter is made up of 36 small commercial streets devoted to different purposes, where you can find many things worth buying.

Address:To the north of Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi's Old Quarter.

Dong Xuan Market

Located only 600 meters to the north of Hoan Kiem Lake, it is a very busy old market in Hanoi's Old Quarter, famous for its attractive prices and quality. There are over 100 stalls selling a variety of snacks, specialty fabrics, handicrafts, etc. Here, you can experience the most authentic Vietnamese street culture.

Address:Dong Xuan, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi, Vietnam.

Bat Trang Porcelains

Bat Trang is nicknamed 'Jingdezhen in Vietnam', Jingdezhen being the porcelain capital of China. It is about half an hour's drive away from the urban district. As an alternative, you can hire a motorcycle to get there. As a reference point for buying other commodities, an ashtray is generally sold for about $1.

Address:About 7 km away from the urban district.

Hanoi is at the center of Vietnam's food culture. When coming to Hanoi, the first thing is, beyond doubt, to taste its delicacies. While roaming the high streets and back lanes in Hanoi, you will have the chance to taste the local snacks, which will give you a better understanding of the abundant gourmet food and strong country characteristics in the locality.

Meat Dumplings

It is a traditional delicacy in Vietnam. Unlike regular dumplings, their meat dumplings are made entirely with meat. At festivals, meat dumplings are made in every household as part of the festive celebrations. The method of cooking is to add various spices into thin pork of superior quality before boiling it in a pot. It is diced or sliced before steaming, and dipped in fish sauce and pepper powder before serving. It tastes delicious, and not greasy.

Fried Spring Rolls

This is the most popular dish among the Vietnamese, with a different cooking method and a distinct taste from the spring rolls in China. The Vietnamese spring rolls feature a wrapper made with glutinous rice, and stuffings including bean sprouts, vermicelli, shredded squid, shelled shrimp, are scallion cut into sections. The rolls are deep fried until they are crisp in taste and yellow in color. The spring roll is then wrapped in iceberg lettuce, and dipped in fish sauce, vinegar, chilli and other condiments before serving. Its texture is crispy and not greasy.

Recommended restaurant:Miss Ly Cafeteria

Address:22 Nguyen Hue Street, Hoi An, Vietnam.

Rice Vermicelli with Beef

Ingredients include yellow beef and rice vermicelli, a little thinner than that found in Guangxi Province, China (the home of rice Vermicelli). The method of cooking is to add various condiments onto a large piece of thin yellow beef before boiling it in a pot, and then cutting it into slices. The rice vermicelli is quick-boiled in boiling water and then beef, beef soup and various condiments are added into it.

Recommended restaurant:Pho 24

Address:135/37/50 Nguyen Huu Canh Street, W22, Binh Thanh Dist, Ho Chi Minh.

Train

Hanoi has multiple train stations, including Hanoi Station, Gia Lam Station, Long Bien Station and Tran Quy Cap Station. Those most frequently used by passengers are Hanoi Station and Gia Lam Station.

Bus

The bus routes almost cover all areas in the city, at a low cost. However, bus transportation is not so convenient for newly-arrived tourists who don't understand the local language and are unfamiliar with the station names.

Taxi

You are likely to be overcharged when taking a taxi. Since there is a wide selection of taxi companies, it is sensible to choose a taxi from a better regulated company. If you require a taxi near Hoan Kiem Lake, it is better to stop one on the road rather than take one parked by the roadside, as these are likely to be unlicensed. The taxi pricing and starting mileage vary with different companies in Hanoi.

Currency: Vietnamese Dong (VND)

Power consumption: 220 V/50 Hz

Area code: 844

Climate

Hanoi has a tropical monsoon climate, with four distinct seasons, and an average annual rainfall of 1676 mm. It has a warm spring, with frequent rain; a hot and rainy summer; a cool and dry fall, with occasional typhoons and flooding; and a cold winter, with temperatures normally between 14℃ and 18℃, occasionally below 10℃, and with a bitter north-easterly wind blowing. The annual minimum temperature is 2.7℃, and the maximum temperature is 42.8℃.

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