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.


There are numerous villages surrounding Hanoi that specialise in a variety of cottage industries. Visiting these villages can make for a rewarding day trip, though you will need a good guide to make the journey worthwhile. BatTrang is known as the 'ceramie village'. Here artisans mass-produce ceramic vases and other pieces in their kilns It's hot, sweaty work, but the results are superb and very reasonably priced compared with the boutiques in town. There are masses of ceramic shops but poke around down the lanes and behind the shops to find the kilns. Bat Trang is 13km southeast of Hanoi. Public bus 47 runs here from Long Bien bus station . So is known for its delicate noodles. The village even produces the flour from which the noodles are made. The flour is made from yams and cassava (manioc) rather than wheat So is in Ha Tay province, about 25km south-west of Hanoi. Van Phuc specialises in silk. Silk cloth is produced here on looms and lots of visitors like to buy or order tailor-made clothes. Many of the fine silk items you see on sale in Hanoi's Pho Hang Gai originate here. There's a small daily fruit-and-vegetabie market here in the morning, and a pretty village pagoda with a lily pond. Van Phuc is 8km southwest of Hanoi in Ha 'lay province. City bus 1 runs here from Long Bien bus station. Dong Ky was known as tin' 'firecracker village' until 1995, when the Vietnamese government banned firecrackers. With that industry now extinguished, the village survives by producing beautiful traditional furniture inlaid with mother-of-pearl. You can have handcrafted furniture custom-made here and exported directly to your door. Dong Ky is 15km northeast of Hanoi. LeMat 7km northeast of central Hanoi, is a snake village. The locals raise snakes for upmarket restaurants in Hanoi as well as spicing up medicinal spirits. Fresh snake cuisine and snake elixir is available at this village, and for around US$10 you can try a set course consisting of snake meat prepared in around 10 different ways. On the 23rd day of the third lunar month is the colourful Ie Mat Festival, featuring 'snake dances' and other activities. Other handicraft villages in the region produce conical hats, delicate wooden bird cages. and herbs.