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Hanoi Guide

Hoan Kiem (Hanoi City Centre): How to decide...

Hoan Kiem is Hanoi’s commercial centre, where prominent attractions such as Hanoi Opera House, National Museum of Vietnamese History, and Ngoc Son Temple are easily accessible on foot. Set north of Hoan Kiem Lake is Hanoi Old Quarter, which houses charming colonial architecture, art galleries, boutique shops, street markets, and Buddhist temples, while the French Quarter on the south hosts most of Hanoi’s luxury hotels, government offices, embassies, financial institutions and upmarket shopping malls.

Who is it For:

- People looking for cheap hotels and backpacker hostels (Old Quarter)
- People looking for sophisticated five-star hotels (French Quarter)
- People looking for a busy nightlife scene
- Travellers who like to be in the centre of the action

What's Good:

- Authentic Vietnamese food
- Plenty of local handicrafts and souvenir shops
- Restaurants and bars cater to different budgets

What's Not So Good:

- Very busy: the area can get packed street vendors and motorcycles

 
 

Ba Dinh District: How to decide...

Ba Dinh District is where most of Hanoi’s historical monuments can be found, including Temple of Literature, Presidential Palace, One Pillar Pagoda, Hanoi Flag Tower, and Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum. Great for travellers looking to escape the often overcrowded Hoan Kiem Lake area, Ba Dinh District also has mid-range hotels, quaint restaurants, and several neighbourhood bars that overlook the tranquil Hanoi Botanical Gardens.

Who is it For:

- Moderately wealthy travellers
- Anyone who wants to go sightseeing >

What's Good:

- Hanoi’s main cultural and historical monuments are set within this area

What's Not So Good:

- Not many bars and pubs in the area
- Shopping opportunities are scarce

 

Tay Ho (Hanoi West Lake): How to decide...

Tay Ho or Hanoi West Lake caters to travellers looking to enjoy a quiet retreat in Hanoi, housing a collection of mid-range hotels, stylish bistros, and lakeside restaurants. A 25-minute taxi ride from Hanoi’s Hoan Kiem District, Tay Ho also houses ornate Buddhist structures such as Tran Quoc Pagoda and Quan Thanh Temple while the Tay Ho Weekend Market is great for purchasing ethical goods and sampling Vietnamese cuisine.

Who is it For:

- Moderately wealthy travellers
- Travellers who prefer a quiet stay in Hanoi
- People who like a wide range of restaurants

What's Good:

- Buddhist pagodas and temples
- Lakeside cafes and international restaurants
- Tay Ho Weekend Market offers ethical goods and Vietnamese cuisine

What's Not So Good:

- Not many choices in terms of accommodation
- Nightlife is limited

 
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