Things To Know Before Visiting Hanoi In Vietnam

December 29, 2017 11:53 pm28 commentsViews: 119

Hanoi is a city steeped in history. Previously having a reputation for being unfriendly to foreigners, Hanoi is now welcoming them with open hands – perhaps too open? As with many other Asian cities, one has to always be wary of being taking advantage of by locals.

That being said, Hanoi has much beauty to offer; in the middle of the city is Hoan Kiem Lake, which as you can see, is remarkably pretty, with the town in the background. While it looks like the photo was taken maybe 50 or 60 years ago, it was only taken in 1999. Many people talk of the “colonial charm” that Hanoi retains, as it was in conflict during the modern architecture movement.

You cannot miss taking a day trip to see Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, labeled a natural wonder of the world. And if that’s not enough recommendation, Tomorrow Never Dies, one of the James Bond films was shot there, as well as Indochine. Thrill at the idea that you perhaps stood on the very spot that Pierce Brosnan did!

Many travelers are drawn to the Old Quarter, where they can immerse themselves in the French colonialist influence which is still very prevalent. Shopping is good, but it is recommended to pay with cash, or if you are paying with a credit card, to watch your card at all times.

While Hanoi has alot of charm, there are also things to be aware of as a traveler. However, beware of:

i.) Children selling you chewing gum. Politely refuse them; to buy from them is only encouraging their parent’s exploitation of them
ii.) “Massage” offers
iii.) Local buses that won’t tell you the price till your bag is already on the bus
iv.) Motorcycles on the sidewalk. They’re crazy!


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