Whether you are taking a backpack or sticking to a suitcase, here are 40 tips you need to read before travelling Asia.
As Vietnam’s beautiful and energetic capital, Hanoi offers visitors an insight into Vietnam’s history of revolution and war alongside ancient pagodas, scenic lakes and an abundance of street side restaurants.
Scattered with temples, museums and lakes, there is an array of things to see and do in Hanoi. The city is a popular stopover for those looking to take a boat trip to see one of the natural wonders of the world; Halong Bay. Read about our wonderful Halong Bay Cruise.
Hostel/Budget rates – Dorm beds can be found from as little at $1.50 USD with private rooms available from $10.
Midrange Hotel rates – $20 – $40 for basic but private ensuite rooms.
Luxury Hotel rates – $50+ for that little something extra.
Transport – Bikes can be rented for $3 a day, buses cost 3000 VND ($0.13USD) and taxis start at 20000 VND for first 2 Km, then an additional 15000 VND for every kilometre after that.
Average cost of food – Vietnam offers excellent street food, with meals average 15,000 – 40,000 VND, for sit down meals you are looking more at 60,000 – 90,000 VND and 100,000+ VND for meals at themed or fancy restaurants.
Where to stay
Hostel/Budget – Green Street Hotel offers a convenient location near the sights of the Capital, with dorm beds starting at $3USD and private rooms starting at $14USD.
Midrange – Hanoi Central Hotel is another popular hotel for those looking for a great base with top ratings, private rooms start at $22USD. Hanoi Chic Boutique hotel offers spacious and stylish rooms, just a short walk from the Dong Xuan market, with rooms starting at $30USD.
Top End – Sunline Hotel is a modern, 4 star hotel with top ratings, just a few yards from many Hanoi attractions. Each room includes a balcony and starts at $50USD. At the edge of Hoan Kiem Lake, it is worth spending a night or two at Apricot Hotel; a neo-classical, luxurious hotel with rooftop pool – ideal for those humid afternoons, rooms start at $140 USD.
How to get there
Fly – There are a few direct international flights to Ho Chi Minh City, with most people using Ho Chi Minh City, Singapore, Hong Kong or Bangkok as a stop over. Once at the Hanoi Noi Bai International airport, you can take the public bus 17 from outside the arrivals hall to Long Bien Bus station on the edge of the Old Quarter. This can take up to 90 minutes. Airport Taxis cost around $20 USD from the airport to hotel, at the terminal look out for the official taxi drivers wearing bright yellow jackets. Vietnam Airlines offer a minibus from airport to Hanoi’s city centre and vice versa, leaving every half hour costing $3 USD. Jetstar also offer an airport bus from 206 Tran Quang Khai.
Bus – There are several private companies offering day and sleeper buses between Hanoi and various other cities of Vietnam and South East Asia. You should always book these through your hotel or directly from the bus terminal to make sure you are not over charged.
Train – Trains across the south coast of Vietnam can be found, offering both hard and soft seats and sleepers and all start and end at Hanoi Train Station. These trains can connect you to Hue, Da Nang, Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh City. An array of private trains are also available to and from Sapa (Lao Cai). Trains to China and Hong Kong are also available from Tran Quy Cap Station, to be booked in advance; please note Chinese Visas can not be applied for on arrival, they must be done in advance of arrival.
Some choose to cycle around Hanoi to avoid the traffic, but be careful of these roads; very little regards for road safety is given in Vietnam. Hanoi has an extensive public bus system that is worth checking out, whilst the eco-friendly electric train gets your around the Old Quarter and Hoan Kiem Lake without the traffic and pollution. Taxi’s are a popular choice, with most using the meter and flag fall costing around 20000d ($0.90USD) taking you between 1 – 2km then 15000d ($0.70USD) for every km after that; take a reliable company taxi such as: Taxi CP, Taxi Hanoi or Mai Linh Taxi.