7 Ideas for the Trump-Kim Itinerary in Hanoi

By: City Pass Guide

• Cyclo ride in Hanoi’s Old Quarter

• Local Lunch on the sidewalks of Vietnam’s Capital

• Truc Bach Lake and the McCain Memorial in Hanoi

• Seaplane tour of Halong Bay

• 18 Holes in the Countryside at BRG Kings Island Golf Resort

• Morning Stroll around Hanoi’s Temple of Literature

• Shopping in Hanoi for the First Ladies

There’s a hint of anticipation in Hanoi’s spring air these days, as the city gets set to welcome President Donald Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un on February 27 and 28. And while diplomatic discussions are expected to take centre stage, Vietnam’s captivating capital may just steal the show.

Two days isn’t a lot of time to encounter multi-layered Hanoi (especially when you have questions of world peace to tackle) but that’s where deft travel planning comes in. These handpicked activities won’t just round out the Trump-Kim summit itinerary (and provide great photo opps) — any of them could help cement the partnership between the two leaders.

trump-kim to HanoiImage source: hafoodtours.com

Cyclo ride in Hanoi’s Old Quarter

No visit to Hanoi — not even one between two world leaders — is complete without a look inside the capital’s amazing Old Quarter. Why not via an eye-opening cyclo ride through the 36 craft streets, so President Trump and Chairman Kim can witness Vietnamese industry on the ground level? As a bonus, the leisurely pace means security details can easily keep up.

trump-kim to HanoiImage source: Vietnam Tourism Board

Local Lunch on the sidewalks of Vietnam’s Capital

What is Hanoi, if not a fabulous foodie destination? Barack Obama acknowledged this with his historic visit to a bun cha eatery with celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain. For the Trump-Kim menu, we suggest a delicious spread of banh cuon: a light, textured dish of soft rice noodles and pork meatloaf slices, sprinkled with crispy shallots and served with mint and a mild fish sauce.

trump-kim to HanoiImage source: Vietnam Tourism Board

Truc Bach Lake and the McCain Memorial

Truc Bach Lake is a place where Chairman Kim and President Trump can readily contemplate the cost of war and the value of peace. This picturesque body of water is where John McCain's plane was shot down in 1967, before he was imprisoned in Hoa Lo. Today, a sculpture marks the spot on tree-lined Thanh Nien street separating West Lake and Truc Bach Lake.

trump-kim to HanoiImage source: hanoifreecitytours.com

Seaplane tour of Halong Bay

When it’s time for a break from the meeting room, Halong Bay’s striking seascape is just 45 minutes away by seaplane. Hai Au Aviation's scenic spins over azure waters and jungle-clad limestone karsts is an ideal way for busy heads of states to unwind. On the way back, why not briefly touch down for a…

trump-kim to HanoiImage source: geekyexplorer.com

Round of Golf in the Countryside

A classic course in easy distance from the capital, BRG Kings Island Golf Resort was designed by champion American golfer Jack Nicklaus. A nice local touch: the clubhouse is shaped like a non la conical hat, and access to the fairways is via a short boat ride. President Trump can have his pick of the Mountain View, Lakeside, or Kings Course — each enveloped by soothing greenery.

trump-kim to HanoiImage source: i.ytimg.com

Morning Stroll around the Temple of Literature

There are few visitors who don’t come away suitably impressed by Hanoi’s ancient Temple of Literature, or Van Mieu. Together, President Trump and Chairman Kim can tour the compound’s photogenic gardens, courtyards, and worship houses, some of which date back to 1070 and honour Chu Van An, a self-made scholar who contributed heavily to Vietnam’s education system.

trump-kim to HanoiImage source: Vietnam Tourism Board

Shopping for the First Ladies

Even the leader of a nation is wise to return home bearing gifts. Vietnam’s long tradition of quality lacquerware finds a modern interpretation at Hanoia House. Each piece requires a minimum of 100 days to craft. Here, President Trump and Chairman Kim can pick up stunning lacquerware jewelry and homeware found only in Vietnam.

trump-kim to HanoiImage source: Vietnam Tourism Board

* Credit and thanks to https://vietnam.travel/ for contributing this article.

Banner Image source: vox.com

Halloween in Hanoi 2014: Ready for a walking dead live experience?

By: Thoai Chau

Halloween Festival 2014 in West Lake Water Park

Traffic safety with Halloween twist is the main theme of the Festival which is taking place on October 31 in West Lake Water Park. Paricipate in a costume parade, enjoy the exhibition of old motorbikes and cars collection and challenge ghost-themed attractions. There will also be music performances and a Halloween fashion show. The party kicks off at 8pm and rocks to 10pm. The event's purpose is to raise youth's awareness about the danger of illegal bike racing, which causes lethal accidents.

Ticket: VND 80,000++

For more information, please visit: West Lake Water Park

First photos of Halloween Festival 2014 on October 18, 2014 in press conference and parade (Source: West Lake Water Park):

Halloween ra quân

Halloween west lake park

Halloween west lake park

Bar Déjà Vu, Sheraton Hanoi

One of the craziest parties of the Year – Halloween party at Bar Déjà Vu, Sheraton Hanoi on 31st October from 9.00pm to 2.00am. Creative décor and costumes, fun activities, the spin music from the DJs will bring you the impressive night that you never forget.

Price: VND150,000/ticket (including 01 glass of wine or soft drink)

For more information: K5 Nghi Tam, 11 Xuan Dieu, Tay Ho D, Vietnam. Tel: +84 24 3719 9000

Or Fanpage: https://www.facebook.com/bardejavuhanoi

halloween bar deja vu

Mövenpick Hotel Hanoi Halloween Event

Halloween menu: no tricks + just treats. This October, the culinary team is ready to surprise you with a variety of enticing and frightfully fun treats, from Bloody Eyes, Blood Orange salad to Dead Woman meatloaf and the Dark Side. A special welcome drink Scarytini is offered to whoever comes with Halloween costumes. Our dedicated kids room are ready for your children to enjoy a number of Halloween-themed activities with new friends.

movenpick hanoi hotel

The “Halloween menu: no tricks just treats” is priced at VND 530,000++ for adult. Children between the ages of 6 and 12 dine for half price, while those under the age of 6 are free of entry.

Available only on October, 31st at the Mangosteen Restaurant located on the 2nd floor of the Mövenpick Hotel Hanoi.

For more information or reservation, please call +84 243 822 2800 ext: 6201 or email at: anh.nguyen@moevenpick.com.

Add: 83A Ly Thuong Kiet Str., Hoan Kiem Dist.,Hanoi. Tel: 04 3822 2800

Happy Halloween in Hanoi Club Hotel

Hanoi Club Hotel is going to organize a Halloween Party consisting of Halloween Buffet, games and Haunted House from 6:00 PM on October 31, 2014. You will get the chance to win prizes for best dress contest.

Price: VND350,000++/kid under 12 years ols. VND 450,000++/adult. Tickets are available at the Front Desk.

For information or booking, please call 38238115/ 38293829.

Add: 76 Yen Phu, Tay Ho.

Hanoi Club Hotel

Hanoi Rock City: Hanoi Masquerade Ball Party

Special treatments for Halloween are an eclectic selection of live music, DJs, and a fantastic fun night with "trick or treat" decoration, mysterious masks and sexy twisted visuals.

Bring your mask or let the party's wizards 'magicize' your face.

Only one night on October 31, 2014

Hanoi Rock City, 27/52 To Ngoc Van, Tay Ho, Hanoi.

Ticket: VND100K. Free entry before 9PM.

Further Information, visit here or https://www.facebook.com/events/282959018581905/

hanoi city masquerade ball party

RockStore Hanoi: Halloween Horror Party #2

Step by step to the Hell in this occation, you can see the palace of Lucifer right here in Rockstore. Prepare your creepy costume and join others in the scariest costumed party in town with music from Dj Size-O and Dj Alarm, a diverse party rocker. Alarm brings an intoxicating mix of Hip-Hop & Funk grooves all the way to Twerk, Trap & House bangers.

Reservation: 01.653.336.087

RockStore Hanoi 61 Ma May Street Hanoi

Further information, visit here or https://www.facebook.com/events/933204690027205/

More photos from Horror Party #1 (By: Rockstore Hanoi)

Rockstore Hanoi

rockstore hanoi party

Emel Mathlouthi to Thrill Hanoian and Saigonese

By: Quang Mai

Hanoian and Saigonese will be thrilled with joy this weekend since Emel Mathlouthi, a Tunisian - French star and Arabian music symbol, is coming to HCMC and Hanoi setting in her global tour. Her unique voice, an authentic Tunisian sound in harmony with Arabic and Latin American music, will lure audiences with folk music, psychedelic rock and Arabian songs at IDECAF (HCMC) on Sept 6th and L' Espace (Hanoi) on Sept 8th.

Violinist Zied Zouari, percussionist Imed Alibi and Emmanuel Trouvé who plays electronic musical instruments, will join the event.

Ticket Price:


L' Espace

IDECAF: 31 Thai Van Lung St., Dist.1, HCMC

VND 100,000/pax

L'Espace: 24 Trang Tien St., Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi

VND 120,000/pax

Personal Brief:

Born in 1982, Mathlouthi made her first steps into music at the age of 8. Since then, she has immersed herself in classical, Arabic and Latin American music through her father’s records. Her music is a successful mix of Arabian and Middle Eastern music.

She has performed all around the world and has become famous for her concerts inspired by Arabian music.

In 2006, Mathlouthi left a deep impression in the first edition of the Price RMC Middle East competition, where she ended as a finalist in Amman, the capital of Jordan.


Golf in the North of Vietnam

By: Simon Stanley

Within 2 hours Drive of Hanoi

There are a variety of golf courses to choose from in the northern area of the country. They are all semi-private clubs, with membership and well designed and worth playing. Weekends tend to be busy with members and their guests playing, but mid-week, especially early in the week, there are often special deals making for good value for money golf.

Within 2 hours drive of Hanoi, there are plenty of options.

Chi Linh Star Golf and Country ClubChi Linh Star Golf and Country Club is about one hour’s drive from Hanoi, on the way to Halong Bay and with 36 holes covering 324 hectares, it is truly a golf club of international standards.  This facility is set on a magnificent valley nestling beside a large lake and surrounded by a huge area of rolling forest hills.  Both 18 hole courses are well maintained and well worth playing.  The club first opened in late 2003 and has hosted many international tournaments.  The golf shop is well equipped, rental clubs and shoes are available and the club house offers an excellent international cuisine.  www.chilinhstargolf.com.vn

Kings Island Golf Club is another 36 hole facility, and arguably the most scenic golf course in the north of Vietnam.  It is only 36 kilometers from the centre of Kings Island Golf ClubHanoi and it takes less than an hour to reach the club.  The lakeside course completed 18 holes in 1997, so it is very well established.  The mountain course was completed in 2004.  There are many promotions on offer; therefore you should check the website to see what is on offer.  Kings Island is one of the few courses in Vietnam offering night golf.

Both courses suit players of all handicap ranges and they are amongst the most popular in Vietnam. The facility features a clubhouse with an excellent restaurant serving a wide range of cuisines. There is also a bar, which is a great place to relax at after your round. In addition to golf, the club also offers other activities including sailing and fishing on Dong Mo Lake and swimming in the club’s Olympic-sized swimming pool.  www.kingsislandgolf.com

Van Tri Golf ClubOn the way to the airport is Van Tri Golf Club, a Peter Rousseau design and always in great condition.  However, this is a private members club and it is only possible to play if you are signed in by a member.  If the opportunity to play arises, then take up the offer.  You will not be disappointed.  Be warned that even at member guest prices, fees are higher than most other golf clubs in the area.  www.vaantrigolf.com.vn

The golf course nearest to the airport is Phoenix Golf Course, offering 54 holes of golf.  Here you will envisage vistas of Halong Bay proportions.  Ron Fream of GolfplanQuite unique and it will be unlike any other golf course you have played. The courses are named Phoenix, Dragon and Master.  Phoenix is a links style of course, whilst the other two are more mountainous.  The most spectacular and the best is the Dragon course.

Ron Fream of Golfplan has designed some spectacular holes that you will talk about time and time again.  The clubhouse is huge and spectacular, however, it has a reputation for poor service and the facility falls short due to lack of maintenance.  You may want to consider returning to Hanoi for your “19th hole” and discussion about the golf.  www.hanoigolf.co.kr

hanoi golfOnly 20 minutes drive from the airport is Hanoi Golf Club, an 18 hole facility, opened in 2006.  It is a Japanese orientated club and well worth a visit.  The prices are very reasonable and you will be made very welcome here. 

On the front nine, the fairways are wide and lots of space between fairways.  The back nine is more undulating and challenging. The greens are large and also undulating.  The clubhouse is situated right in the middle of the course, offering a panoramic view of the whole facility.  www.hanoigolfclub.vn

In the same area is Dalai Star Golf and Country, owned by the same company as Chi Linh Star.  This picturesque course is set amongst the beautiful Ngoc Than Mountains and is one of the best settings in the north of Vietnam. Opened in 2010 this course has quickly established itself as one of the best in the north. 

Each hole has been carefully designed alongside the huge lake that is the feature of the course.  It is suitable for players of all handicap range, has a fully equipped clubhouse and rental clubs and shoes are available.  www.dailaistargolf.com.vn

A little distance further out than Phoenix and Hanoi GC is Heron Lake Golf Course and Resort.  It is designed by Pacific Coast Design, the same as Kings Island and Black Mountain in Thailand. The club was designed to create a unique golfing experience in a peaceful setting in harmony with its natural surroundings. Heron Lake Golf Course and Resort

The course, approximately 55 km from Hanoi and covering some 90 hectares, blends well with the lake which is the main feature of the entire complex. An abundance of palm and evergreen trees provide a picturesque setting to entice any golf enthusiast to challenge their physical and mental abilities.

You will also see sightings of native heron birds, hence the name of the club.  The clubhouse is well designed, very relaxing and also features an excellent international restaurant and a spa.  www.heronlakegolf.com

Tam DaoIf you are looking for a challenging golf course with spectacular views, the Tam Dao Golf Resort is the place for you to visit.  It is a journey of just under two hours from Hanoi, with the last part of the journey helped by the views of Tam Dao Mountain, which towers over the golf course

A word of warning – this is a very popular club, especially at weekends and prior booking is a must.  Designed by IMG, you will use every club in the bag on this well maintained golf course.  The clubhouse is well equipped, the staff very experienced and friendly and all in all, a great place to visit.  www.tamdaogolf.com

The latest golf course to open in the area is Sky Lake Resort and Golf Club, only 45 minutes from Hanoi.  Currently 18 holes, and soon to be 36, this Korean sky lakeorientated facility and aimed to be the best in Vietnam.  At 7,625 yards, the Lake course is the longest in Vietnam and offers a great challenge to all golfers.  There are grand lakes and mountain scenery to keep you interested all the time.

The impressive clubhouse is situated in the middle of the courses and offers everything imaginable, including a modern spa.    There will also be a luxurious five star hotel with 390 rooms, plus pool and lake villas.  The whole project will be completed by 2014, bringing a high-standard golfing experience and luxurious lifestyle for golfers and tourists.  Well worth a visit. www.skylakegolfclub.com


Hanoi has typical North Vietnam climate, with a cold and dry winter (when temperatures can drop to as low as 6°C – 7°C) and a hot and extremely humid summer (temperatures can climb up to a maximum of 35°C). Spring is characterized with light drizzles while the summers bring heavy rain.  Golf is available all the year round and you will need to bring warm clothes if you play in December and January.  The spring and autumn time are perfect for golf.

Getting there

As you would expect from the capitol of Vietnam, there is a first class international and domestic airport only 40 minutes from the city centre and a good choice of hotels.  It is recommended to book golf courses before you arrive.  All major hotels can book tee times and companies such as Golf Asian specialize in recommending and booking golf clubs – www.golfasian.com -

Holes-in-One for BRG Group

By: Simon Stanley

Holes-in-One for BRG Group

By Simon Tinkler

The golf industry in Vietnam has grown very quickly over the last 15 years, with over 30 golf courses now in operation. The current economic conditions have caused a slowdown and some golf courses are suffering as a result.


One group that has ridden the storm well and continues to make considerable inroads into the Vietnam golf industry is the BRG Group. Based in Hanoi and under the leadership of Chairwoman Madam Nguyen Thi Nga, the company will soon open its third golf course in the north of Vietnam.


Its first development is the well known Kings Island Golf Club, one of the first in Vietnam. With 36 holes, it is an extremely well designed and very popular golf course. Further down the coastline in Hai Phong is the second development, the Do Son Seaside Golf Resort, an 18-hole golf complex with an exceptional golf course and rated amongst the best in Vietnam.

King Island Golf Course
King Island Golf Course


Now the BRG Group has joined with the legendary Jack Nicklaus to construct the Legend Hill Golf Resort near Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport. This signature course will be unique in South East Asia because it features 18 holes and 36 greens, giving a multitude of varied tees to varied greens. Due to open in the near future, this golf course will very quickly be on the “must play” list of courses in Vietnam. I for one cannot wait to visit and play a round.

Madame Nga and Mr. Jack Nicklaus
Madame Nga and Mr. Jack Nicklaus


One area of golf that is often overlooked in Vietnam is junior golf, and here the BRG Group has taken the initiative by sponsoring the BRG Junior Golf Tour 2014. The first round has already been held at Do Son Seaside Resort and 30 juniors made the trip from Hanoi. Further rounds will be held in the Hanoi area and the champion will be the boy or girl with the most points over a minimum of six rounds.


It is encouraging to report a success story such as this about companies who have made a success in the Vietnamese golf industry. Golf will continue to flourish with developments such as the ones from the BRG Group.


In addition to the golf courses, the BRG Group has Hilton Hotels, one of the largest commercial banks in Vietnam, Honda dealerships and many other interests. The philosophy is very straightforward: each project must be sustainable and most importantly, must employ local labour. Of course, there is the need for professionals from outside of Vietnam to help with the running of the golf clubs and each person will pass on valuable knowledge to the Vietnamese. Do not expect to see ego-projecting buildings from this company – all developments are made for the business of golf and for community living.


The entrepreneurial Madam Nga also looks to the impact these projects have on Vietnam’s image. Her desire is that each development is seen from outside of the country as a sustainable and viable project, showcasing Vietnam as a place to invest for the future.

What to do Over the Weekend in Hanoi

By: City Pass Guide

Looking for something to do in Hanoi over the weekend, but worried about the rainy season dampening your day? Don't fret! There is much to see and do in Hanoi at any time of the year. Very much the cultural and artistic capital of the country, we have recommendations to keep you busy when the rains come. No matter what you favourite pastimes are, there will be something that takes your fancy. Whether you are into health, culture, shopping or eating and drinking, check out the best places to be this weekend.

Spa Treatments

Why not relax in the comfort of a spa? Pamper yourself in the type of venue that Asia does best. Le Spa Du Metropole at 15 Ngo Quyen - this is one of the best venues in the city for relaxing and forgetting about your cares. The spa has an extensive list of treatments and enjoys stunning facilities. This is the perfect place to chill out and spoil yourself. Alternatively, visit the Amadora Wellness and Spa at 250 Ba Trieu, in the heart of the city. This exquisitely furnished spa employs a combination of Champa art and modern Western themes to create a truly exotic location. Built over five floors, it includes 14 spa rooms just for skin care, two hair treatment rooms and a water based treatment pool. The highly trained staff at both of these venues offer many different types of treatments.

Le Spa Du Metropole

Dining out in Hanoi

If dining out is more your style, check out Don's - A Chef's Bistro on 16/27 Xuan Dieu, in Tay Ho District. Montreal-born chef Don Berger has created an impressive menu covering a range of specialities, from an oyster bar to fusion dishes of a sophisticated nature. An impressive wine cellar and cigar collection will complete your experience. For lovers of French dining, La Badiane at 10 Nam Ngu is a chic restaurant in the Old Quarter. The Australian beef tenderloin here commands the highest reputation in the city. The venue is a beautifully designed space in which to enjoy your meal.

La Badiane Restaurant

Culture and History

Culture lovers can catch a performance at the impressive 600-seat Hanoi Opera House. This French built colonial classic building is the spiritual home to the Hanoi Opera and the Hanoi Philharmonic Orchestra. The largest theatre in the country, it is a superb venue in which to watch a concert.

Of historical significance to the story of Hanoi, the “Hanoi Hilton” was the name given to the notorious Hoa Lo Prison by American POWs during the war. Built by the French in 1896 to house Vietnamese political prisoners, it once housed more than 2,000 of them in horribly cold, damp conditions. A small section of the jail remains today and is open to the public.

Hanoi Opera House


Of course like any other capital city, Hanoi has plenty for shopaholics. Vietnam is famous for its silks and you have to go a long way to find better than at Tan My Design, “the first shop on Silk Street”. Their second shop is a much larger affair and one of the best places in the country to find quality homeware, high-end clothing, art and more. Another superb local craft is quilt making, and Mekong+ is one of the leading players in the country. Incorporating Mekong Quilts and Mekong Creations, this highly ethical company enriches the lives of 340 female employees, with all profits sent back to the Mekong Villages from where the quilts originate. For high quality jewellery, check out Huong’s Jewellery where the owner Ngo Thi Thu Huong has been creating her delicate works since she was 18 years old. She now employs over a dozen craftsmen and women, working with imported silver and locally sourced precious stones, plus Phu Quoc’s famous pearls.

Tan My Design

As you can see, there is always plenty to keep you occupied in Hanoi when the weather turns bad.

Header photo by David McKelvey

  Thank you for Signing Up
Please correct the marked field(s) below.