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Hanoi

Hanoi

When to go

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Getting around

Airport information

Things to do

Pho goodness’ sake

Hanoi is at its best in the morning when the streets are relatively free of traffic. Get out and about by 5.30am and head to the heart of the city, Hoan Kiem Lake, to see elderly locals practicing tai chi and laughter yoga. Start the day Vietnamese style with Hanoi’s most famous dish, pho (pronounced “fur”), which is noodles with tender beef brisket in a deep, flavoursome broth.

The wheel Hanoi

The Old Quarter of Hanoi is full of noise, aromas, activity and architectural delights. But that can easily be missed when navigating on foot or in a taxi. So sit back in a cyclo and bask in the sensory overload. Most hotels will assist in booking your tour.

The learning channel

The Temple of Literature (Van Mieu) was built in 1070 to honour Confucius and serve as the country's first university. This complex of serene courtyards, lotus-filled ponds and red-roofed temples makes for a tranquil getaway from the city. Admission is VND5,000.

Taster’s choice

Hanoi is a street-food lover’s dream. Think barbecued meat, fragrant herbs and cool fresh noodles. But be warned, finding Hanoi’s most famous dishes and vendors can be hard, so take a tour with the Hanoi Cooking Centre or someone who knows their way around. For the cheapest beer in the world, look for cool, fresh bia hoi, a light, local brew you can enjoy for about 25 cents. Come sunset, drink at the Intercontinental Hotel’s Sunset Bar on West Lake or find Tadioto to get a taste of Hanoi’s celebrated speakeasy scene.

Tribal pursuit

Vietnam is home to more than 50 fascinating ethnic minority groups and many more subgroups. The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology showcases this heritage. Located just outside of town, it’s a huge space filled with the musical instruments, costumes and domestic products used by Vietnam’s ethnic minorities. The grounds feature a collection of minority houses relocated from all over the country.

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