Hanoi HolidaysReference WW40253
Vietnam's small and vibrant capital lies at the heart of the northern Red River Delta and is a city of lakes, leafy boulevards and open parks with a French colonial feel. Hanoi was founded in 1010 and became the centre of government for the Indochina Union under French rule in 1888. In 1954 it became the official capital of independent Vietnam.
Today ancient crumbling buildings dating from the 11th century lie scattered among grand French colonial residences, while shrines and monuments to Vietnam's first president, Ho Chi Minh, sit in the shadow of modern high-rise buildings. The streets of the Old Quarter preserve age-old customs, where trade takes one back half a century and temples, pagodas and monuments reflect the historic character of Vietnam.
Although a city of historical importance, and the social and cultural centre of Vietnam, it is a surprisingly modest and charming place, far slower and less developed than Ho Chi Minh City in the south. Hanoi has retained its appealing sense of the old world, despite the onset of a brisk tourism trade in 1993, absorbing the boom of hotels, travellers' hangouts and Internet cafes, and the gradual infiltration of western-style food and fashions into the once inaccessible city.
Hanoi is fast becoming one of the most enticing and interesting cities in Asia. As a cultural centre, there are traditional water puppet shows, music and dance performances. It is also a good base for excursions to the beautiful Halong Bay, or into the Hoang Lien Mountains inhabited by several hill tribes.
Our selection of hotels in Hanoi
Top 5 Things to do in Hanoi
When to Visit
- Currency The currency used in Hanoi is the Vietnamese Dong.
- Flying time from the UK The average flight time from London to Hanoi is 11h 5min.
- Primary Language The official language of Hanoi is Vietnamese.
- Passport & Visas Until the 30th June 2018, British Nationals do not require a visa for business or tourism stays, up to a maximum of 15 days. Your passport must be valid for a minimum of 6 months by the date you travel.