Hanoi – Travel Guide & Things to do in the capital (Vietnam)

Categories: Travel reports, Asia, Vietnam

At around 6 p.m. today we arrived at the airport in Hanoi on time, coming from Beijing. The flight with Vietnam Airlines was nicely quiet and lasted 3 1/2 hours.


The Days
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of our Trip around the World

Visa on Arrival for Vietnam

We had already taken care of the necessary visa for Vietnam at home. You can simply apply for this at the Vietnamese Consulate General in Frankfurt a maximum of six months in advance and pick it up a week later. Cost: 65 euros. Since July 2015, it is possible for German citizens to enter Vietnam for up to 15 days without a visa:

From 01.07.2015, German nationals will be able to enter the country for a maximum of 15 days without a visa. For this purpose, the travel document must be valid for at least another six months. It is recommended to carry a printout of the return ticket in order to present it upon arrival. It should be noted that re-entry without a visa is only possible if 30 days have passed since the last departure from Vietnam. The possibility of visa-free entry (Visa on Arrival) for German nationals is initially limited until 30.06.2017.Auswärtiges Amt
The current entry regulations and security instructions are always available on the website of the Foreign Office.

Our Hanoi Hotel

At the airport, a shuttle service was already waiting for us, which took us to our accommodation in Hanoi’s Old Quarter. For two nights we had booked a room at Hanoi Glance Hotel.

We had booked a night here in a deluxe room. Already the reception in the hotel was very friendly. During the check-in we received a welcome drink as well as fresh fruit. A member of staff then showed us our room that was very modern and clean. There were petals on the bed, there was a personal welcome card as well as a fruit plate and water. A room to feel good. The Wifi worked without any problems. The included breakfast was great. There were continental things, such as bread rolls, baguette, croissant, cheese, ham, but also local delicacies, such as spring rolls, rice, fresh fruit etc. The service is particularly important in the hotel. When we asked a member of staff if he thought there were still tickets for the water puppet theatre in the evening, he immediately sent another employee and got us the tickets. And we weren’t charged any extra for that – really great! Now, unfortunately, another negative point: We had a room on a “Quiet Zone” floor. But when the housekeeping staff talk loudly in the hallway from six o’clock in the morning, that’s not so nice. Therefore, unfortunately, only 4 out of 5 points.

Things to know about Hanoi

– Since the reunification of the country in 1976, Hanoi has been the capital of Vietnam
– It is the second largest city in the country after Ho Chi Minh City with 8 million inhabitants
– The city is located in the north of the country on the delta of the Red River
– Hanoi is connected internationally via Noi Bai International Airport
– Hanoi is the oldest of the existing capitals of Southeast Asia (founding year 1010)
– Hanoi was formerly the administrative center of French Indochina
– To this day, French culture has been preserved partly in the cityscape
– “Ho N’i” means “city within the rivers”
– In Hanoi the houses are high, but very narrow, as the property tax depends on the width of the building
– Hanoi has several lakes: Hoan Kiem Lake, Ho Thien Quang Lake, Truk Bah Lake, Bei Mau Lake and Tu Le Lake
– The Temple of Literature in Hanoi is on the banknote of 100 000 Dong
– Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is located in Hanoi and is the final resting place of the great Vietnamese politician
– There are about 5 million scooters on the road in the city. But Hanoi plans to ban motorcycles in the city centre altogether by 2030

The Roller City of Hanoi

Highlights in the city are among others the countless mopeds and scootersthat dominate the streetscape. Many things are also transported here either by scooter or by hand.

Tourist Attractions & Things to Do in the Old Town

Today we have considered the Tran Quoc Pagoda, which is located on a small peninsula in West Lake, as our first attraction. It is the oldest pagoda in Vietnam and its current name translates as “stabilization of the nation”. In her garden you will find a Boddhi tree. This is an offshoot of the original tree under which the Buddha once found his enlightenment. In subtropical temperatures, we have rattled off other sights, such as the Presidential Palace,the heavily guarded Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the one-column pagoda Chua Mot Cot. Then we were briefly at the Cho-Dong-Xuan market,where there is plenty of junk to buy. Directly in the city center you will also find the St. Joseph Cathedral and the Hoan Kiem Lake with the Turtle Tower and the Huc Bridge.

The Thang-Long Water Puppet Theatre

In the evening we visited a show of the Thang-Long Water Puppet Theatre. The Water Puppet Theatre is an ancient tradition of Vietnam, in which everyday scenes are depicted with music, singing and the water puppets. The show went 50 minutes and you didn’t really understand much because everything was Vietnamese. The entrance fee for the best category is also only 4 euros.

A video from the Water Puppet Theatre

If you would like to see the water puppet theatre, you can take a look here:

The Old Town in the evening

After the visit to the theatre we strolled through the alleys of the old town and ate something in a restaurant. In Hanoi’s Old Quarter, also known as the 36-lane district, there are many small kiosks, snack shops and souvenir shops. Life takes place here on the street. Whether day or night,there is always something going on here and you can discover something at every corner.

A map with all Tourist Attractions in Hanoi

On the following Google MyMaps map we have drawn all interesting photo spots & sights in Hanoi:

Starbucks Global Icon City Mug of Hanoi

We are collecting the Starbucks Mugs from the cities and islands we visit on our travels. Unfortunately, not every city that has a Starbucks store with an own mug. But if the city has an own mug we like to collect them as a souvenir. We only collect city mugs from the "Global Icon Series", which was released in 2008. You can see our complete collection here: Starbucks - Our collection of Mugs from the Global Icon Series

Hanoi has several Starbucks stores and also its own cup 🙂

Hanoi, Starbucks Cup, Global Icon Series, City Mugs, Collection, Vietnam, Travelreport

The Starbucks City Cup of Hanoi