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Nhat Tan Bridge

Nhat Tan Bridge

Temple of Literature

Temple of Literature

Sapa

Sapa

Halong Bay

Halong Bay

Son Doong Cave

Son Doong Cave

Japanese Covered Bridge

Japanese Covered Bridge

Hoi An Ancient Town

Hoi An Ancient Town

Nha Trang Beach

Nha Trang Beach

Practical information

About Hanoi

Hanoi is the capital city of more than 1,000 year history. The city was formerly called “Thang Long” which means the “Ascending Dragon”. Hanoi is widely reputable for its special beauty which is the harmonious combination of traditional and modern features.

Climate & weather

The season of September is marked by the hustling and bustling of the busiest cities. During this time, the temperature in Hanoi ranges from about 22 to 25 degree Celsius. During the nighttime, the temperature falls by 18 degree Celsius. It can drop by 15 degree Celsius in the early morning and at night time. Long sleeved clothes should be essential in your belongings.

Currency Exchange service

The currency of Vietnam is the Dong. All goods and services can and should be paid for in Dong. Exceptions are made at hotels. Shops and restaurants in the bigger cities will also accept US dollars, but you should be aware of the fact that usually a lower exchange rate will be used. It is therefore advisable to change a certain amount of Vietnamese Dong to cover your day-to-day expenses.

Traveler’s cheques must be denominated in US dollars. You can change them to Dong or to US dollars. Vietnam is still very much a cash economy.

Visa, Mastercard and – with exceptions – American Express are accepted in virtually every hotel in major cities throughout the country, as well as in upmarket restaurants, especially in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Hanoi’s food

One of Hanoi’s outstanding attractions is its cuisine which is so diversified and tasteful.   Phở (Noodle Soup) is best enjoyed among foreigners when visiting Hanoi. This dish was “invented” in the early 20th century. Some are served with chicken and some with beef. Each type of meat entails a variety of sub-dish, using from beef tenderloin to beef brisket, chicken wing to chicken thigh. Phở can be found anywhere from street vendors to high – end restaurants. Chả cá Lã Vọng  is another amazing dish of Hanoi food. It is exquisitely grilled fish served with bún, peanut, green onions, dills and shrimp paste. The fish is carefully chosen so that there are not too many bones and fishy smells. Another one that should not be missed is Xôi Xéo. It is sticky rice topped with ground de-hulled mung bean and fried onion. Sometimes it can be served with eggs or steamed chicken breast on request. The serving is really filling and it is good for any time of the day but most Vietnamese have it for breakfast or lunch.

Places to shop in Hanoi

Actually, it is very easy and convenient to buy necessities in Hanoi where you can find grocery stores almost everywhere.

Many visitors love going shopping in the Old Quarter which consists of 36 old streets. In the past, the names of streets were decided according to the kind of goods they made or exchange on those streets. This place has been long time famous for specialized craft streets. There is a huge range of goods sold right there from early morning to midnight, for example: embroidery, silver products, silk, festival flags, religious objects, clothing, wedding and herbal medicinal products, etc. All the streets are so colorful and ideal for visitors to buy souvenirs, gifts for friends and families.

Hanoi is also a modern city with a fast-growing pace. There are many convenient shopping malls located in each district of the city. Vincom Mega Mall Royal City – the largest underground commercial center in Asia and Keangnam Landmark Tower – a supertall skyscraper residences and office towers are stunning places to visit and shop. Other fantastic shopping addresses are Lotte Centre, Trang Tien Plaze, Parkson, Hang Da Plaza, etc.

Places of interest in Hanoi

As the favorite city for travelling in Vietnam, Hanoi has numerous well-known attractions such as One Pillar Pagoda (built in 1049), the Temple of Literature (constructed in 1070 – the first University of Vietnam and the symbol of Hanoi), Hanoi Citadel, Hanoi Opera House, President Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, etc.

This charming city is also the city of lakes. There are tens of lakes in both the city centre and the outskirts namely Hoan Kiem Lake (Sword Lake), West Lake, Bay Mau Lake and Truc Bach Lake, etc. You can further visit Ngoc Son Pagoda, The Huc Bridge when exploring Hoan Kiem Lake, taste kinds of food and join interesting on  – the – water activities while visiting West Lake, etc.

Furthermore, the city has numerous long-lasting professional handicraft villages like Bat Trang pottery village, Ngu Xa bronze casting village, Van Phuc silk village, etc. Visitors are excited at the fine arts inside each product and they feel really interested in the ways these handicrafts are made. Visitors are free to take photos and even craft products with local villagers if they desire to do.

Entertainment

Foreigner visitors like watching water puppet show in Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre. Water puppetry is a tradition that dates back as far as the 11th century when it originated in the villages of the Red River Delta area of northern Vietnam. Today’s Vietnamese water puppetry is a unique variation on the ancient Asian puppet tradition. The puppets appear to be moving over the water, are controlled by talented professionals. Interestingly, you can also catch chance to listen to a very special background music provided by a traditional Vietnamese including vocals, drums, wooden bells, cymbals, horns and bamboo flutes.

Another way to entertain in Hanoi is to experience Ca trù Thăng Long (ceremonial singing). Ca tru first appeared in the 11th century and was performed at royal receptions and religious rituals. The style combines poetry and music and uses a variety of traditional melodic forms. The performance is a way to vividly preserve this unique traditional folk genre, which is a part of Vietnam cultural heritage. Ca Tru performances take place 8pm – 9pm Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 87 Ma May Street, Hanoi Old Quarter.

Hospitals within Hanoi

In case of any health problems, you can go to any hospital to have medical check – up. Some reputable ones are International SOS Clinic (No 1 Dang Thai Mai, Tay Ho District), Family Medical Practice (Van Phuc Compound, 298 Kim Ma Street, Ba Dinh District), French Hospital (No 1 Phuong Mai, Dong Da District), Viet Duc Hospital (No 40 Trang Thi Street, Hoan Kiem District). There is no need worrying about Ebola disease in Hanoi. No Ebola case has been found and the government as well as medical authorities have been well – prepared to dealing with any disease circumstances.

Taxis in Hanoi

Hanoi’s taxis have meters. Working meters cost about VND10,000 (~30p) to VND15,000 (~50p) for the first two kilometers, then about VND8,000 (~25p) per succeeding kilometer. From one of the hotels listed in the service booking form to NUCE campus (the event’s venue), it costs from VND15,000 to VND50,000.

Some taxis will try to impose a flat rate for the trip instead of relying on the meter if they notice the passengers are foreigners or people from other provinces. Even when the meter is used, some of the taxis will have defective meters that run faster than it should do.

Therefore, if hailing a taxi in Hanoi, you should look for one of these reputable taxis, instead of just any taxi that passes your way. You can also call the number of the taxi company to get a taxi sent to your location. Ask the reception of your hotel to call a taxi for you. The taxis in the below list are fine to use.

Hanoi Taxi Tel: +84 4 3853 5353

Mai Linh Taxi Tel: +84 4 3861 6161

Taxi CP Tel: +84 4 3826 2626

The language gap is a problem when getting around in Hanoi, as taxi drivers don’t usually speak good English. So don’t try to tell the driver where you want to go; show him a paper or card that has the address in writing. Grab a handful cards at your hotel front desk and use them for your trips.

Taxi drivers in Hanoi are also reluctant to give back change. If this is a big deal for you, bring smaller notes to pay the exact change.

We had delegates of our previous events who left expensive mobile phone on the taxi. It was problematic as we needed to report to the taxi company centre, for them to call the taxi driver back. You might be asked to pay for the arising trip of the taxi driver. Hence, last but not least, please make sure that you take all your belongings with you when you get out of the taxi.

Organisers

                  

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