Hanoi AttractionsThe bustling nature of this city seamlessly synchronises with its old-world feel. This combination is the reason it is so attractive to backpackers and luxury holidaymakers alike. As if this wasn't enough, its rich history has been steeped in a mythic aura due to its relatively recent introduction to the tourist landscape.
Hanoi is as much a romantically charming city as Ho Chi Minh City is a hive of commercial interest and big-city living. Its lively merchant quarters and bar districts host tourists until first light, where cheap accommodation and drinks make the fun that much more enjoyable. During the day, museums, temples, memorials and the famous Old Quarter of Hanoi provide a myriad of cultural experiences unique to the city.
Within Hanoi's busy streets lie some of Vietnam's most tranquil cloisters and sanctuaries, tucked away from the daily flurry.
If the city lights become too bright, Sapa and Bac Ha are two nearby country getaways that offer an opportunity to experience rural Vietnam. In addition, no trip to Hanoi would be complete without a foray into Halong Bay, often accompanied by a stay at Cat Ba Island. These emerald waters are famous for their adventure activities, set in a bay littered with thousands of small islands and inlets - the product of a giant dragon who stormed through the bay aeons ago, according to legend.
Old QuarterThe ancient meandering streets of the Old Quarter are each named after the crafts and speciality trades traditionally practised by the original artisan's guilds in the 13th century. Each guild was grouped around a temple, or dinh, dedicated to the particular beliefs of the... see full details
Ho Chi Minh’s MausoleumBa Dinh Square was where Ho Chi Minh read out the Declaration of Independence in 1945, and is the site of annual national celebrations today. The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum dominates the site's west side and is where the embalmed body of the... see full details
One Pillar PagodaOne Pillar Pagoda was constructed to celebrate the tale of the heirless Emperor Ly Thai Tong, who dreamt about receiving a son from the Buddhist goddess of mercy and compassion, seated on a lotus flower. He married shortly after and had a son,... see full details
Temple of Literature (Van Mieu)The Temple of Literature is Vietnam's historical seat of learning and is the most sacred place for the disciples of Confucius. It is one of the few remaining buildings from the original city founded by Emperor Ly Thanh Tong in the 11th century and... see full details
Halong BayThe natural wonder of Halong Bay has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Renowned for its spectacular scenery and limestone grottos and caves, the bay is peppered with over 1,600 inlets and tiny islands emerging almost mystically out of the emerald waters of... see full details
Sapa and Bac HaThe old hill station of Sapa sits high on the edge of a plateau surrounded by spectacular scenery and the Hoang Lien Mountains, which boast Vietnam's highest peak, Fan Si Pan. Sapa functions as a market town and a gathering spot for local... see full details
Cat Ba islandFor most, a trip in Halong Bay means at least a night on Cat Ba Island. Many enlist for a package tour of one night on the island and one on a boat, but Cat Ba is worth investing extra time in. This... see full details