Fly To Hanoi, Vietnam
Hanoi – the capital of Vietnam – has managed to remain intact after decades of war, and nowadays it’s a bustling modern day city of the Far East. Hanoi is worthy of a place on any travellers bucket list due to its impressive buildings, interesting sights, and eventful history.
Hanoi also acts as a gateway for a growing number of travellers looking to visit some famous sights in neighbouring areas. The most popular and arguably the most impressive of these is Halong Bay, which is made up of 100’s of small limestone islands and is a must see for any visitor to the country.
Although present day Hanoi is a safe and up and coming destination, there is no denying its unsettled history and many museums and monuments dedicated to the communist cause attest to this. Though the bias of many of these museums and exhibits is questionable, they make for some interesting photo opportunities. French colonial architecture combined with South East Asian urban sprawl makes Hanoi the perfect city for visitors to get lost in.
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Visa Requirements & SA Embassy Details
- South Africans require a Visa to visit Vietnam which can be purchased on arrival, as well as a valid passport with six months remaining in it.
- The South African Embassy to Vietnam is in Hanoi: 3rdFloor, Central Building, 31 Hai Ba Trung Street, PO Box 102, Hanoi, Vietnam. Phone: +84-4-936-2000.
See and do
Not surprisingly the majority of Hanoi’s museums are centred on the Vietnam War which was the country’s darkest hour. TThe Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum should be the first stop on any history buffs itinerary. It displays an embalmed Ho Chi Minh and the Mausoleum is free to visit.
The Army Museum on Dien Bien Phu Street does what it says on the tin offers a comprehensive look at Vietnam’s armed forces during the war against the French and the later war against the Americans. The museum displays a wide range of weaponry and has a T-54 tank parked outside. There is also a separate air force museum in the city which displays a number of Russian built jets and helicopters.
The Temple of Literature is definitely worth a visit, and was founded in 1070. The Temple also became the location of the country’s first university in 1076. The courtyard is a particularly interesting part of the temple as it contains the names of graduates on stone tablets.
Food in Hanoi is cheap and tasty with visitors being able to pick from a range of different restaurants and takeaways. The most famous dishes available are Pho Ga, which is chicken noodle soup, and Pho Bo, which is a beef noodle soup. Do try food from a street vendor as it tastes good and is inexpensive.
The safest and most relaxing way to get around in Hanoi is by Taxi. Taxis are relatively economical provided you use reputable firms with metered cars, and are much safer than other forms of transport. The cheapest way to get from A to B in Hanoi is by taking a ride on the back of a motorcycle. Motorcycle’s may well be a fast and a cheap way of reaching somewhere, but are also the most dangerous in Hanoi’s chaotic traffic.
Noi Bai International Airport – HAN
Food and beverage: Refreshments and snacks are available from a range of caterers inside the terminal.
Currency Exchange: Find money changers in both departures and arrivals.
Lost Luggage: Lost hold luggage should be reported to your individual carrier. Only luggage lost within the terminal should be reported in the airport itself.
Airport Hotels: Avi Airport Hotel is one of the closest to Hanoi Airport.
Car Hire: It is not possible to rent a private car in Vietnam, though it is possible to hire a car with a driver.