The charming yet chaotic city of Hanoi has captivated the hearts of many with its history, food and culture.
Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam and has also been a capital of the French Indochina during their occupation in the region. The influence of the Hanoi’s colonial past can be seen with its architecture and design fusion with the touch of the Orient.
Hanoi Old Quarter is the beating heart of the city. You can find various Hanoi attractions dotted around, you will find most of the attractions and landmark in this travel guide.
Halong Bay, Vietnam is one of the popular day trips from Hanoi.
You can find and book various Halong bay cruise from Hanoi. I suggest pre-booking this in advance to get the best deals, read reviews and book the best Halong bay cruise in the market.
Cruising in Halong Bay is definitely worth it! There are other day trips from Hanoi that you can do while you are in Vietnam like a visit to Ninh Bihn, A day trip to Sapa, and the Perfume Pagoda.
Here is the sample travel itinerary to Hanoi to Halong Bay, Vietnam.
Since I’m a dual citizen (British – Filipina), Here are the visa requirements needed to visit Vietnam.
For Philippine passport holders:
Visa is not required for Filipinos for tourism purposes, maximum of 30 days.
For British Passport holders:
As of November 2015, British do not need a visa to visit Vietnam for 15 days.
When I visited Hanoi, we stayed in the Old Quarter so everything was accessible from our hotel.
Holiday Emerald Hotel
Address: 24 Hang Manh Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi, Vietnam
It was formerly known as Holiday Gold Hotel.
For a cheaper alternative, just a few metres away from the Holiday Emerald Hotel is the budget-friendly hotel in Hanoi.
Golden Land Hotel
Address: 31 Hang Manh Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi, Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
Ho Chi Minh Museum
One Pillar Pagoda
Holiday Emerald Hotel
Quan Thanh Temple
Vietnam Military House Museum
Hanoi Evening Market
Hoan Kiem Lake
Water Puppet Show
Evening departure from Manila to Hanoi.
Airport transfer from Hanoi Airport. Pre-arranged with the hotel prior to arrival.
Late check-in at the hotel.
After breakfast at the hotel, we visited a few known landmarks in Hanoi.
- Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
- Ho Chi Minh Museum
- Quan Thanh Temple
- One Pillar Pagoda
- Vietnam Military Museum
We had lunch and tried Hanoi’s popular food – Buncha.
We head back to the hotel to get some rest, then went out again in the evening to visit the Night market in the Old Quarter.
Ha Long Bay Tour: We pre-arranged the Halong Bay cruise in our hotel’s reception the day before we go on the tour. I suggest booking this tour advance.
8 AM Hotel Pick Up
4-hour drive to Ha Long Bay from Hanoi.
12 Noon – Arrival in Ha Long Bay, abroad our boat and enjoyed our free lunch while cruising.
More cruising around Halong Bay, we visited Thien Cung Cave and a fishing village.
4 PM – Head back to Hanoi
8 PM – Arrival in Hanoi
Our last day in Hanoi.
Our flight is not until midnight, so we spent the day roaming around the Old Quarter.
Lunch in Quan An Ngon.
Visited Hoan Kiem Lake
Watched the Water Puppet Show.
We head back to the hotel to sort our stuff ready for departure, then we went out for a quick bite and drinks.
10 PM Head to the Hanoi Airport.
Arrival back in Manila early morning of the following day.
Our trip to Hanoi was a memorable one. Though there was a little misfortune on our way over due to the old visa on arrival policy and the scams, overall, that didn’t stop us to enjoy the beauty of Vietnam.