Travel and Local Information Guide
Hanoi is a perfect foil for the seething mass of humanity that is Ho Chi Minh City. With a population of four million and a more genteel style than its southern counterpart, Hanoi is the cultural capital of Vietnam and its heart and soul.
It’s known as one of the most ancient capitals in the world. With a 1,000-year history and many well-preserved buildings along with lush and verdant parks as well as a handful of well-appointed museums, it will quite simply keep you busy for days on end. Some of the attractive features of this French-colonial city are its many lakes, delectable cuisine, handicrafts and its unique multi-cultural society developed from Chinese, French and Russian. Hanoi definitely has so much to offer.
SIM Cards and Dialing Prefixes
Pre-paid SIM cards are available everywhere with MobiFone, Viettel and Vinaphone as the most popular brands. To buy a cell phone, visit the big national phone store, Gioi Di Dong on Thai Ha St.
To call another city from Hanoi, dial the city code and phone number (dial phone number directly if calling within Hanoi). To call Hanoi from outside Vietnam, dial 00, followed by +84, the country code, then (0) 4, Hanoi area code and the number. To make an international call from Hanoi, first dial the access code 001.
Important Phone Numbers
Police 113 Fire 114 Ambulance 115 Hanoi French Hospital 3574 1111 Hong Ngoc Hospital 3927 5568 Family Medical Practice Clinic 3843 0748 Tourism Information 3943 7072 International Telephone Service Enquiries 143 Hanoi Airport Taxi 3873 3333 Noi Bai Airport Flight Information 3826 8522 or 3827 1513 Phone Number Enquiries 116 and 1088
Getting Around Hanoi - Local Transport Options
Almost all of Hanoi’s famous attractions are located close to each other so visitors can get around on foot. However, don’t miss an opportunity to ride on an iconic cyclo (or rickshaw). It’s fairly inexpensive, costing a few dollars for an hour-long ride. There is only one problem; although the cyclo was designed for two passengers, many Caucasians find it difficult to fit two in one vehicle.
Taxis and motorbike taxis are easy to find within the city and it’s best to settle the price before starting out. It might be a wise idea to hand down the exact fare to the driver to avoid any unpleasant ending. Prices vary by distance but it should not be more than a few dollars per trip as Hanoi is compact. Renting a bicycle or motorbike is also another option but the traffic here might be too much for a non-local to cope with.
There are two city bus services departing from the bus stop located outside the Noi Bai International Airport's arrivals terminal from 05:00 to 22:00. The trip costs will take about an hour. The number 07 bus takes you to Kim Ma Bus Station and the number 17 goes to Long Bien Bus Station. Airport taxis charge a fixed price to travel in to town (including toll fees). The ride takes about 40 minutes and it is advised that you always use an official taxi, i.e. one with the driver’s photo and license number displayed. Taxis are located right in front of the Arrivals exit gate.
The airport minibuses cost less and leave from right outside the same gate however you may have to wait until the bus is full before it departs.
Voltage is 220 Volts, 50Hz (or 50 cycles per second). Plugs are either the two flat-pin or the two round-pin type.