VIETNAM TRAVEL

 

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.

ORIENTATION

Hanoi sprawls along the banks of Song Hung (Red River), which is spanned by two bridges the Long Bien Bridge (now used only by nonmotorised vehicles and pedestrians) and, 600m to the south, the newer Chuong Duong Bridge. The elegant heart of Hanoi is centered on the Hoan Kiem Lake. Just north of this Sake is the Old Quarter (known to the French as the Cite Indigene), which is characterized by narrow streets with names that change every one or two blocks. Most visitors prefer to base themselves in this part of town thanks to tin-incredible energy of the area. Along the western periphery of the Old Quarter is the ancient Hanoi Citadel, which was originally constructed by Emperor Gia Long. Unfortunately, the citadel is now a military base and also the residence of high-ranking officers and their families -in other words, closed 10 the public. Most of the an- cient buildings were tragically destroyed by French troops in 1894, and US bombing during the American War took care of the rest There arc persistent rum ours that this area will soon be opened up to development, but the military remain a powerful force in Vietnam, more than three decades after the war Further west is Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum Most of the foreign embassies, which are housed in classical architectural masterpieces from the French-colonial era, are found in this neighbourhood and posh joint-venture hotels have also sprung up here. Ho Tay (West Lake), Hanoi's largest lake, is north of Ho Chi Minh s Mausoleum and is emerging as a new front or, the drinking and dining scenes. Taxis, an airport minibus and local buses link Hanoi's Noi Bai International Airport with the city centre. From bus and train stations, there are metered taxis, xe om (motorbike taxis) or cyclos to terry you to your destination
Maps
Hanoi city maps come in every size and seal'.'. Some are freebies subsidized by advertising and others precise works of cartography. Leading maps include detailed ones at a scale of 1:10.000 or 1:17.500. Covit produces a couple o! hand-drawn 3D maps o! Hanoi including a detailed Old Town map, which make nice souvenirs. These maps are available at leading bookshops in Hanoi. There is also an excellent bus map available Xe buyt Ha Noi (5000d) is an essential corn pan ion for anyone planning to get about on the improved bus network and is easy to use