Hanoi is one of the most popular destination for tourists in Vietnam. We recommend travelers to stay at least two nights to have enough time to visit its numerous attractions and landmarks.
A city between the rivers, built on lowland, Hanoi has many scenic lakes and it is sometimes called "city of lakes". Among them, the most famous are Hoan Kiem Lake, West Lake, Halais Lake (Hồ Thiền Quang in Vietnamese) and Bay Mau Lake.
Hoan Kiem Lake, also known as Sword Lake, is the historical and cultural center of Hanoi, and is linked to the legend of the magic sword. Many of Hanoi's best hotels are located in that area. West Lake (Hồ Tây) is a popular place for people to spend time. It is the largest lake in Hanoi and there are many temples in the area. There are small boats for hire and a floating restaurant.
Hanoi has a treasure trove of French architecture. Look for buildings in the trademark yellow ochre color, well maintained colonial houses often repurposed as clothing boutiques or government buildings.
Mixed in with the recent past are ancient pagodas and temples, classic Vietnamese monuments to the nation’s history. Carvings at the Temple of Literature show that little of the nation’s past are available in books. Here it is set in stone, preserved for generations to come.
In one form or another, Hanoi has been a capital city for around 1000 years. With its many museums, pagodas, the jumbled maze of narrow streets of the Old Quarter and legendary Hoan Kiem Lake, the city is a history buff’s delight.