Hanoi Travel Guide
Being the capital city of Vietnam, population of Hanoi is about 5 million people, Hanoi is less hectic and busy than the southern city of Sai Gon, Hanoi is a wonderful place to walk around. If Sai Gon is recognized by busy-ness and vibrancy, Hanoi is defined with lush gardens and peaceful lakes.
Hanoi is composed of districts, some districts are named after a historic site in the area, the central and most attractive district is Hoan Kiem, with the famous Hoan Kiem lake or Restored Sword Lake, the lake is surrounded by a big road which attracts local people and tourists all day. At sunrise people of all ages are seen playing sports, practicing Tai Chi and walking round the area, after sunset young boys and girls stroll about or relax under the trees by the lake.
Close to the lake is the Old Street Quarter famous for its labyrinth of narrow paths, the quarter is inhabited by travel desks, family hotels, restaurants and souvenir shops, this area is considered a must-see for foreign tourists, especially young backpackers.
The old French quarter is located at the other side of the lake, the influence of French architecture is dominant over the city, particularly this area. Most French styled mansions are being used as foreign embassies, restaurants and banks.
The new area of the city can be discovered in the north. Tay Ho district is being built as the new political and business centre with high-rise buildings scattered, the area is also home to many beautiful pagodas and temples.
Although being an old city, Hanoi wakes up very early, with people from suburban districts and nearby provinces coming to city to sell food, fruit, flowers...All activities begin before dawn until dark. Most public agencies open from 8am to 5pm, some shops and restaurants open until 23.00.
There are four seasons in Hanoi and they are quite different, the best time is Autumn, Spring is flowery but rainy, Summer is quite hot and humid, sometimes temperature reaches 42 Celsius degrees. Winter sometimes can be very cold, sometimes 7-8 degrees though there is no snow.