HANOI, THE THOUSAND-YEAR-OLD CAPITAL OF VIETNAM
Hanoi is certainly one of the most exciting capitals in Southeast Asia. An astonishing city that offers a multitude of activities capable of satisfying every desire for discovery. History, culture, gastronomy, architecture, on foot, by bike or Vespa, during the day or in the evening, compose as you wish your stay in the thousand-year-old capital of Vietnam.
The Old Quarter known as the 36 Corporations, the soul of Hanoi.
Located north of Hoan Kiem Lake, between the Red River and the old citadel, Hanoi's 36 street and corporation district is the authentic heart of the Vietnamese capital. Centuries old, it is the oldest commercial district in the city and is distinguished by its inimitable atmosphere and effervescent nature. You will enjoy wandering in the streets and alleys of the old city on foot to discover its lively commercial life, numerous markets, shops, bars and restaurants, its temples and pagodas, and its famous street cuisine. A fascinating district which, at every hour of the day, reveals a different face in the evening a very warm festive spirit.
Hanoi's street cuisine
The Old Quarter of Hanoi is undeniably a bastion of street food. Almost every part of the sidewalk is dedicated to street food. It’s truly a culinary and cultural experience that will awaken all your senses. Don't hesitate to explore the lively streets and alleys of the Old Quarter and stop at a street food stall to enjoy a Vietnamese speciality.
The Bia Hoi, an institution in Hanoi
The bia hoi is the local microbrewery that can be found on almost every street corner, serving a fresh draught beer that is both light and most importantly, cheap. Don't miss the opportunity to visit a bia hoi to immerse yourself in the local culture and discover a unique atmosphere. Also know that bia hoi establishments often serves simple yet tasty food.
A city of museums
Hanoi is definitely one of the most interesting cultural destinations in Southeast Asia. The Vietnamese capital is home to no less than a dozen museums that are definitely worth a visit, including:
A city dotted with lakes
More than 70 lakes have been listed in Hanoi. The most famous one is certainly the romantic Hoan Kiem Lake, guardian of the centuries-old legend of the returned sword, a true nerve centre of the capital and a very pleasant spot to stroll around. The largest is the West Lake, which is a very nice place to cycle around. Opposite the West Lake, the Lac Truc Bach and its café terraces is a peaceful oasis where it is advisable to take a break. The most atypical is the Huu Tiêp lake where the carcass of a B-52 bombardier shot down during the Vietnam war remains.
Hanoi and its eclectic architecture
The rich history of the Vietnamese capital left an exceptional architectural heritage. Old pagodas and ageless temples with traditional Vietnamese architecture coexist with churches, old colonial buildings and vestiges of the French presence such as the opera house or the rusty Long Bien bridge, while the tube houses of the old quarter share the urban space with bold, modern constructions. Truly an exciting city to discover where tradition and modernity mix and flow in a subtle embrace.
The countryside and the craft villages around Hanoi
Leave the hustle and bustle of the Vietnamese capital for a half or whole day to discover the beautiful countryside, carpeted with rice paddies where the ancestral traditions of the Red River Delta remain. A multitude of craft villages surrounds Hanoi where you can discover craft skills perpetuated from generation to generation: silk weaving, lacquer, bamboo weaving, pottery, ceramics, prints, conical hat making, etc