City Stay Hanoi

Mar 2, 2018


Thanks to Phil Hoffmann Travel.

Why Go

Stately and elegant, with wide tree-lined boulevards, green city parks and tranquil lakes - Hanoi is Vietnam’s graceful capital, known affectionately as the ‘City of Lakes’. Scenic Hoan Kiem Lake is Hanoi’s most popular lake and the city’s social centre, offering peaceful refuge from the chaotic streets. The lake’s surrounding parks are populated by joggers and locals practicing Tai Chi at dawn, while later in the day you’ll find street vendors, old men playing chess and canoodling couples.

When to Go

Spring, from February to April, is the best time to visit Hanoi, with pleasant temperatures and fragrant flowers in bloom, though intermittent rainfall can be expected. Summer can be hot and unpleasant with pesky mosquitos making their presence felt in the heavy rainfall and oppressive humidity. Autumn is charming and one of the most beautiful times to visit Hanoi while winter is considered cold by Southeast Asian standards, with temperatures averaging 17 degrees.   

Where to Shop

Famed for bustling markets and delightful narrow shop houses, you can’t go past Hanoi’s Old Quarter. In a centuries-old tradition, here you’ll find streets dedicated to specific trades such as Silver Street or Drum Street. Buy ready-to-wear fashion or get something tailor-made on Silk Street. For a bit of everything, visit Dong Xuan Market or the Hanoi Weekend Night Market.

Explore & Do

Visit the busy final resting place of Vietnam’s revered leader, ‘Uncle Ho’, at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum - an important place of pilgrimage for many Vietnamese, and explore the surrounding pedestrianised area of botanical gardens, pagodas, monuments and memorials. Attend an evening performance by the famous water puppets on the Hoan Kiem Lake or cross the iconic, scarlet-painted Huc Bridge to see the Ngoc Son Temple. Visit the 1,000-year-old Temple of Literature or the nearby One Pillar Pagoda.

Eat & Drink

Distinct and unforgettable, Vietnamese cuisine is a careful balance of sweet, salty, hot and sour flavours with plenty of fresh herbs. Visit Quan An Ngon for tasty, authentic food so good, you’ll find as many locals there as you do tourists. KOTO is a training centre where disadvantaged youth learn a hospitality trade. Standing for Know One, Teach One, KOTO Restaurant is a charming venue where the students deliver fantastic food with exceptional service.

Events & Festivals

The Co Loa Festival celebrates King An Duong Vuong. Held from the 6th to the 16th day of the first lunar month, it begins with an incense ceremony of remembrance on the 5th day, and prayers for peace and prosperity. The festival includes human chess, wrestling, cock fighting, rope climbing and crossbow shooting before concluding with a grand farewell ceremony at the Upper Temple.