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December 4, 2015

Things to do and See in Hanoi Vietnam

Visited Hanoi in November 2015

Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam and the country's second largest city after ho chi minh city.
Picture on the right of the street outside my hotel.

Airport and Immigration: I had an E-Visa which was bought online, the cost was around $20, At the airport there only 2 others at the E-Visa line. I was in and out of the airport in 10 minutes. 

Once outside I got a cab to my hotel in the old part of town for $15. There is an ATM at the airport, Cab drivers will accept US dollars or Vietnamese Dong

Currency: At the time of writing this post December 2015, 100,000 Vietnamese Dong is equal to US$ 4.44

One can get a decent meal at a street side restaurant with a beer for 100,000 Vietnamese Dong

Hotel: Hanoi is cheap, got a room in the center of Old Quarters of Hanoi, close to plenty of eating places and tourist sites. Old Quarters has a real feel of Vietnam with narrow streets and old houses, though a lot is changing with small hotels and tour operator building businesses. One does see a lot of tourists there.

Weather: November is hot, dress and pack accordingly

Things to do and See in Hanoi Vietnam:

Cathedral of St. Joseph

 Cathedral of St. Joseph HanoiI used a motorbike driver from the street corner next to my hotel, to take me to the cathedral and back, I am used to riding motorcycles in the streets of India, both as a passenger and driver, word of caution to someone who has no experience riding 2 wheeler in Asia, best to have your hotel arrange 4 wheel transportation.

The Church was closed when I went, not much to write about, its in the old Quarters.

The next day, I rented a Cab to take me to see the city.

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

This is a must visit site in Hanoi, dress modestly and get there early as it closes at 10:30 AM. I was a last person they let in at 10:30. Cameras are not allowed inside, leave them at the reception and pick them on the way out.

Give yourself a good hour to see the Mausoleum and the other attractions in the complex, there are beautiful gardens, small lake, old pagoda type buildings and a museum.

Picture above of 2 Vietnamese Army Veterans in line ahead of me to pay their respect to Ho Chi Minh, click on the picture to enlarge. In 1945 Ho Chi Minh declares the independence of Vietnam from France and was the first President of Vietnam.

Temple of Literature

This is a Temple of Confucius in Hanoi, popular with locals. Students go there for graduation and I happen to be there on the graduation day. 

Historical info can be found on the Temples Wiki page

Give your self a good hour to see the place.

Temple of Literature

Graduation Picture

Temple of Literature Hanoi

Next Stop Hoa Lo Prison

Hoa Lo Prison

Info and history on the Prison can be found on the wiki page

While in Hanoi, its worth a visit. Prison used by French colonialists, tells all about what happened in Vietnam and the cruel circumstances on how prisoners were treated. I leave you with some pictures I took.

Hoa Lo Prison

Hoa Lo Prison

Hoa Lo Prison

Tran Quoc Temple

The Tran Quoc Pagoda is Buddhist temple in Hanoi, by the shore of West Lake in Hanoi, dress modestly and they do close during lunch for short time. Very peaceful and beautiful temple.

Tran Quoc Temple

Tran Quoc Temple

Outside the temple a lade selling Turtles, I bought one and let it go in the lake, she said it would bring me good luck.

From Hanoi, I did visit Halong Bay, another amazing trip.

Walk the streets of the Old Quarters, try the local eating places, people are nice and friendly and the prices are very resealable. With the growth one sees in Asia,  now might be the best time to visit  Vietnam.

An eating place close to my hotel, I stopped there for some soup.

Scooter and Motorcycles are a common mode of transportation in the city. Above a Girl checking her Cell phone while riding behind a Scooter and a family with a kid on the scooter.

Comments or questions?


  1. I absolutely love reading travel blogging posts - I'm pretty sure I'll never make it to Vietnam in my lifetime, so I sooo enjoyed reading about your visit. Your pictures are beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hanoi sounds like an incredible place. I really enjoyed reading about your travels.


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