Hanoi a thousand year old city
Imagine a city where the exotic chic of Old Asia blends with the dynamic face of new Asia. Where the medieval and modern co-exist. A city with a blend of Parisian grace and Asian pace, an architectural museum piece evolving in harmony with its history, rather than bulldozing through like many of the region’s capitals. Hanoi is where imagination becomes reality.
A mass of motorbikes swarms through the tangled web of streets that is the Old Quarter, a cauldron of commerce for almost 1000 years and still the best place to check the pulse of this resurgent city. Hawkers in conical hats ply their wares, locals sip coffee and Bia hoi (beer) watching life (and plenty of tourists) pass them by. Witness synchronised t’ai chi at dawn on the shores of Hoan Kiem Lake while goateed grandfathers tug at their wisps over the next chess move. See the bold and beautiful dine at designer restaurants and cut the latest moves on the dance floor. Hanoi has it all: the ancient history, a colonial legacy and a modern outlook. There is no better place to untangle the paradox that is modern Vietnam.
The grand old dame of Asia, Hanoi lay in a deep slumber after Vietnam’s partition in 1954 until the effects of economic reforms kicked in four decades later. The city survived American bombs and Russian planners to emerge relatively unscathed in the early 1990s as an example of a French-conceived colonial city. Huge mansions line grand boulevards, and lakes and parks dot the city, providing a romantic backdrop to the nonstop soundtrack. There are still moments of Paris, as the smell of baguettes and café au lait permeates street corners.
Known by many names down the centuries, Thang Long (City of the Soaring Dragon) is the most evocative, and let there be no doubt that this dragon is on the up once more.
Hanoi travel guide includes delicious food, museums and religious sites. Hanoi is the capital city of Vietnam and it is an important political center. It is situated on the banks of the Red River. In this vibrant city there is a fusion between traditional values and modern development. Visitors can enjoy traditional Vietnamese culture while enjoying the luxury of modern amenities.
Vietnamese cuisine has many different dishes to sample and some of these dishes originated in Hanoi. In Hanoi you can enjoy traditional food in restaurants or road side stalls. Fresh ingredients are normally used which are brought from the market every morning. Rice noodle soup served with beef or chicken is a popular dish.
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The closet international airport is Noi Bai Airport which is located 40 km from Hanoi. There is a highway from the airport into the city, making it easily accessible. It is possible to travel by taxi from the airport to Hanoi. Use a metered taxi or bargain for a fare before starting your journey. Beware of taxis with meters that are rigged to charge a higher price. Shuttle buses from the airport are anther option. Many trains depart from Hanoi to other areas of Vietnam. Within the city taxis, motorbike taxis, buses and bicycles are popular means of transport. Traffic in the city is intense and visitors should exercise caution while traveling around the city.
Hanoi has an abundance of attractions from museums to tranquil gardens. Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum and Ho Chi Minh Museum are worth a visit to understand more about the history of the city. Military museums include the Army Museum and Air Force Museum. The Fine Art Museum displays some beautiful Vietnamese paintings. Religious sites include the One Pillar Pagoda and various temples. Hoan Kiem Lake is located in the city center and is a good place to go to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. If you are looking for entertainment, go to the Thang Long Puppet Puppet Theater.
Shopping in Hanoi is an exciting activity that offers you a glimpse into local culture. Full of color and charm the local markets are a must see during a visit to Hanoi. At the markets there is a variety of goods for sale including fresh food, souvenirs and crafts. Hang Da Market, Cho Hom Market and Dong Xuan Market are all situated in Hanoi.