Ha Noi

History - Orientation - Information - Dangers Annoyances - Sights - Activities - Walking Tour - Courses - Ha Noi For Childern - Tour - Festivals Events - Sleeping - Eating - Drinking - Entertainment - Shopping - Getting There Away - Getting Around - Around Ha Noi - Ho Chi Minh Trail Museum - Perfume Pagoda - Handicraft Villages - Thay Tay Phuong Pagoadas - Ba Vi National Park - Co Loa Citadel - Tam Dao Hill Station.


Hanoi has fewer direct international flights than HCMC, hut with a change of aircraft in Hong Kong or Bangkok you can get to almost anywhere. For further information about international nights.

Vietnam Airlines ( 25 Pho Trang Thi; 7am-6.30pm Mon-Fci, 8-11.30am & 1.30-5pm Sat, Sun & holidays) links Hanoi to destinations throughout Vietnam. Popular routes include Hanoi to Danang, Dien Bien Phu, HCMC, Hue and Nha Trang, all served daily.
Pacific Airlines ( 193 D Ba Trieu) has daily nights to Danang and HCMC
Bus & Minibus
Hanoi has several main long-distance bus stations and each one serves a particular area. They are fairly well organised, with ticket offices, fixed prices and printed schedules. You should consider buying tickets the day before you plan to travel on the longer-distance routes to ensure a seat. In central Hanoi, Kim Ma bus station ( cnr Pho Nguyen Thai Hoc & Pho Giang Vo) has buses to the northwestern part of Vietnam, including Hoa Binh (25,000d, two hours) and Dien Bien Phu (120.000d, 16 hours). Gia Lam bus station ( tell: 8271569, D Ngoc Lam) is the place for buses to points northeast of Hanoi, These include Halong Bay (40,000d, 31/2 hours), Haiphong (35,000d, two hours), and Lang Son (50,000d, three hours) and Lao Cai (53,000d, nine hours), both near the Chinese border. The bus station is 2km northeast of the centre - cross the Song Hong (Red River) to get there. Cyclos can't cross the bridge, so take a taxi (around 30,000d) or motorbike. More convenient is the Loung Yen bus station in the southeast of town, serving the same places, plus Cao Bang (80,000d, eight hours) and Ha Giang (76,000d, seven hours). Giap Bat bus station (tell: 8641467; D Gia Phong) serves points south of Hanoi, including Ninh Binh (28,000d, two hours) and Hue (80,000d, 12 hours). It is 7km south of the Hanoi train station, My Dinh bus station ( tell: 768 5549. D Pham Hung) is another option in the west of town, which serves a range of destinations, including Halong City, Lang Son, Cao Bang, Ha Giang and Dien Bien Phu. Tourist-style minibuses can be booked through most hotels and cafes. Popular destinations include Halong Bay and Sapa. Many open-ticket tours through Vietnam start or finish in Hanoi - for more details.
Car & Motorcycle
To hire a car with a driver, contact a hotel, travellers cafe or travel agency. The main roads in the northeast arc generally OK, but in parts of the northwest they can be dire in the wet season and only suitable for a 4WD. The average cost for a six-day trip in a Russian jeep is about US$300 per person, including the jeep, a driver and petrol. These old jeeps fit only two passengers and are pretty uncomfortable: they're dusty and hot, or damp and cold, depending on the weather-For a smarter Japanese air-con 4WD, double the rate. The price usually includes the driver's expenses, and it's a good idea to clarify this. If you plan to tour the north by bike, there are several good outfits that can arrange guides and rentals and help with itinerary planning. Check out p49I for more details. The 125cc Russian-made Minsk is the best overall bike for touring the north – you’ll need this kind of power for the mountainous regions, and all mechanics know how to fix them. Quality of rental motorbikes can be extremely variable, so try to find a reputable dealer, espe-ciaily if you're planning long trips. For the most reliable Minsk rental in town, make for Cuong's Motorbike Adventure (tell:9261534; 1Pho LuongNgocQuyen).Cuong rents out bikes for US$5 a day, including a full range of spares and a repair manual. For more on the mighty Minsk, check out the official website of the Minsk Club . Its motto is 'In Minsk We Trust' and the site is full of useful information on the motorbike and the mountains to explore
The main Hanoi train station (GaHangCo.Tell: 825 3949; 120 Ð Ie Duan;ticket office 7.30am-1230pm & 1.30-7.30pm) is at the western end of Pho Tran Hung Dao; trains from here go to destinations south. Foreigners can buy tickets for southbound trains at counter 2, where the staff speak English. It's often best to buy tickets at least one day before departure to ensure a seat or sleeper. To the right of the main entrance of she train station is a separate ticket office for northbound trains to Lao Cai (for Sapa) and China. Tickets to China must be bought from counter 13. However, the place where you purchase the ticket is not necessarily where the train departs. Just behind the main 'A Station' on Ð Le Duan is Tran Quy Cap station (B Station; Pho Tran Quy Cap; tell: 825 2628) and all northbound trains leave from there. To make things even more complicated, some northbound (Lao Cai and Lang Son included) and eastbound (Haiphong) trains depart from Gia Lam on the eastern side of the Song Hong (Red River), and LongBien ( tell: 8268280) on the western (city) side of the river. Be sure to ask just where you need to go to catch your train Tickets can be bought at the main station until about two hours before departure; if it's any closer to the departure time, go to the relevant station and buy tickets there. Check with Vietnam Rail for current timetables. For more information on trains