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5 Destinations to combine with Halong Bay

posted Aug 17, 2017, 5:05 AM by Long Quoc Tran   [ updated Aug 17, 2017, 5:08 AM ]

Halong Bay was formed by millions of years of geological changes, which created thousands of islands. While you are planning to go to Halong Bay, why don’t you pay a short stay at some nearby destinations? You will have an unforgettable trip in Vietnam – we promise!
Red Dragon and destinations around


SAPA

Sapa is considered the tourist capital of mountainous north area of Vietnam, it is also known as “the Tonkinese Alps” because of its location 1500 meters (4921 feet) above sea level and on the western edge of a high plateau. The special location of Sapa makes it the only place in Vietnam has snow in winter time.  Sapa is famous for both its breathtaking, dramatic scenery and its rich cultural diversity.

Coming to Sapa, you should do some trekking to Ta Van, Cat Cat and learn about the life of ethnic people. The local market is another highlight that you shouldn’t miss, especially love market, which is held on every weekend. The local folks love talking with tourists and unlike other parts of Vietnam, English is used widely in Sapa. The cable car is available now in Sapa to Fansipan mountain, but the traditional trekking route is still one of the challenges for adventure lovers. Besides, O Quy Ho Pass should be written down on your list, it is one of the most spectacular passes and to be the most photographed pass of Vietnam.

  • Distance from Hanoi: 320 kilometers
  • Transportation option: train, car, express bus, motorbike
  • Time of stay: 2-4 days
  • Activities: Trekking, visiting the local market, homestay, visiting H’mong, Dzao village.
  • Recommended tour: Bai Tu Long – Sapa package

MAI CHAU

Mai Chau is a nearby village and is a perfect place for short relaxing and experiencing Vietnam’s village life in a remote setting. Mai Chau is not a good place for trekking but it pleased you with emerald mountains and green terraces. The best time for visiting Mai Chau is in Spring, from February to May, during that time, the plum flowers bloom brightly and strawberries are ready for you to harvest.

  • Distance from Hanoi: 150 kilometers
  • Transportation option: car, express bus, motorbike
  • Time of stay: 2-3 days
  • Activities: Trekking, homestay, biking and visiting Dzao village.

YEN DUC VILLAGE

Yen Duc is a lovely village hidden among green paddy field. While the rice field is not a unique feature of the village, Yen Duc is remembered because of the friendly local. You can feel the warm welcoming as soon as you arrive.

The meaning of visiting this village is to get your hands on daily tasks of local people. You will have chances to do some fishing with bamboo baskets, join in rice making process, broom making, and cooking class.

Your experience will not be fulfilled without “puppet water show” – a traditional and unique form of art which is still fascinated and performed in Vietnam. The show in Yen Duc was performed by local farmers after their day word, and it tells stories, folk tales and legends related to daily life activities: the celebration of the rice harvest, dragon and phoenix dancing, and much more.

  • Distance from Hanoi: 100 kilometers
  • Distance from Halong Bay: 60 kilometers
  • Transportation option: car, express bus, motorbike
  • Time of stay: 2-3 days
  • Activities: Biking, visiting local markets, fishing with bamboo baskets, watching water puppet show and etc.
  • Recommended tour: 3 days 2 nights package: Bai Tu Long bay cruise – Yen Duc village

NINH BINH

Ninh Binh is a lovely destination which is blessed with magnificent landscapes. The city of Ninh Binh may offer little to no interest to the international tourist, but surrounding area has plenty of options for travelers who want to spend a few days discovering the wealth of natural attractions without being annoyed by crowds. The Tam Coc – Bich Dong is known as inland Halong Bay, while Trang An is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Coming to Ninh Binh, you cannot miss Trang An area, just less than 10 km from the city center, this distance is extremely suitable for biking. One interesting figure is that Trang An is home to about 577 plant species including 10 species listed in the Red Book of Vietnam.

  • Distance from Hanoi: 100 kilometers
  • Distance from Halong Bay: 60 kilometers
  • Transportation option: car, express bus, motorbike, train
  • Time of stay: 2-3 days
  • Activities: Biking, visiting Trang An, Phat Diem Cathedral, Galaxy cave
  • Recommended tour: Bai Tu Long bay – Ninh Binh package

HANOI

Hanoi – the heart of Vietnam, through the history of Vietnam, this city has changed, suffered and been rebuilt. But still there is some things old, some things that you only feel while staying in Hanoi.

Hanoi is a charming city mixing of old and new Vietnam culture, of Oriental and French colonial architecture styles. The age-old area – Old Quarter is embraced by skyscrapers of business districts, the French colonial buildings stand next to Buddhist pagodas. The Old Quarter is the ancient commercial streets of Hanoi, each street named after original business hundreds of ears ago.

Many tourist-favorite attractions are within walking distance from Hanoi Old Quarter: Hoan Kiem Lake, Water Puppet Theater, Temple of Literature, Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, Museums and so on. Walking around street can be exhausted sometimes, cyclos are available on every street corner, and they will take you for a city tour or from one attraction to another attraction. Some of the cyclo drivers can speak English, they love to tell you about the city and you might realize how much people here love the city.

  • Time of stay: 2-3 days
  • Activities: Sightseeing, food tour, cycling, walking.

Food on our Red Dragon

posted Aug 1, 2015, 5:51 PM by Long Quoc Tran   [ updated Aug 1, 2015, 5:52 PM ]

Whenever visiting any attraction in any country in the world, most travelers love spending their time exploring and enjoying local cuisines. Halong Bay tourists are probably no exception, and they would definitely be surprised by the exceptional gastronomy of this charming bay. Joining trip with Red Dragon, you will have a chance to enjoy various tasty dishes everyday throughout your trip.
food on Halong bay and bai tu long bay


What kinds of foods you will be served

Normally, there are about 5 to 7 courses each meal. Most of the dishes are frequently made of seafood. Halong Bay is proud for being not only one of New 7 Wonders of Nature of the world, but also one of the most famous destinations for high quality seafood. Thus, the menu on boat is really a dream of every seafood lover. Others courses are for non-seafood eaters with beef teriyaki, pork, beautifully marinated chickenand of course vegetables- all traditional Vietnamese. Our chefs always consider the balance of taste and health through foods.You will know this is totally no ordinary lunch when be served with a delightful cream of pumpkin soup for starter, followed by delicious fried oysters for main course. Then come the fresh seafood and amazing dishes, big juicy prawns, grilled monkfish in a sweet sauce, crispy fresh salad served with sesame seeds and sweet radish dressing, to name a few.

What’s about vegetarian food?

If you have any special diet or any Western foods requirement, our staff will handle it carefully. Especially, if you are looking for a Halong Bay cruise offering vegetarian foods, Red Dragon is simply your perfect choice.
salad food bai tu long bay



Dinning style

Besides, our staffs are well trained with professional serving style. The waiters as well as the waitresses are very happy to prepare an elegant meal for you. Imagine a romantic dinner in a candlelit cave and the tables were prepared with white tablecloths, cutleries, candles, flowers and nice drinks, or a BBQ on a wild beach in the Bay – it is such an unforgettable memory!
dinner bai tu long bay


Our professional chefs create not only high-quality but also extremely aesthetic foods. Every dish is truly an inspirational work of art which is made by skillful hands. You will totally admire them for making such incredible things. How about a lovely boat made from watermelon and pumpkins? How could it be better if your name is written on it? Or a stately dragon made from carrots. Don’t you think he looks amazing?

Red Dragon is so delighted to bring you and your family a time of happiness. To serve our beloved customers better, this summer our new product – the Dragon Legend will be launched. This is a big ship with 24 cabins. Menu on the Dragon Legend is very flexible. You will be able to choose from a la carte meal, a set meal, and buffet. A plenty of Vietnamese traditional foods and international cooking styles appear in luxury restaurant here would satisfy even the pickiest tourist. The foods served on our boat have constantly been highly rated by visitors. Most of them consider the highlight of their trip was foods.

The Red Dragon is listed in the package in the North

posted Jul 7, 2015, 7:29 AM by Long Quoc Tran   [ updated Jul 7, 2015, 7:30 AM ]

Recently, Sapa Travel has promoted a package of 8 days and 7 nights in Northern Area of Vietnam. The travellers will have chances to overnight on our Red Dragon Junk Cruise. Bai Tu Long Bay occupies three quarters of Halong Bay World Heritage site and many islands in Van Don, Cam Pha district. Travelling to Bai Tu Long Bay is off the beaten track and promise to deliver many unique experiences, being far away from touristy sites.

HIGHLIGHTS
Enjoying the water puppet show in Hanoi
Exploring the beautiful nature and challenging yourselves with Fansipan Trek
Cruising off the beaten track to Bai Tu Long Bay
Relaxing on the most luxurious resort in Ninh Binh

OUTLINE
Day 01: Arrival Hanoi
Day 02: Fansipan Trekking up
Day 03: Fansipan Trekking down
Day 04: Biking to Binh Lu, bus to Hanoi
Day 05: Outing to Bai Tu Long Bay, overnight on the sea
Day 06: Kayaking and overnight in Emeralda Ninh Binh
Day 07: Trang An- Hoa Lu- Mua Cave, overnight in Ninh Binh
Day 08: Departure

You can find the full itinerary on the site Travel Sapa http://www.travelsapa.com/north-vietnam-from-mountain-to-sea/ 

The main destinations are Fansipan, Bai Tu Long Bay and Ninh binh

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A River Cruise to Red River and Mai Chau

posted Sep 22, 2014, 1:30 AM by Long Quoc Tran

Luxury river expedition company, Pandaw has announced its new 10-night Halong Bay and the Red River sailing. The itinerary will commence in July 2015 and is bookable by travel agents with immediate effect via pandaw.com and cruiseshalong.com. The sailing will offer Pandaw guests the chance to explore the beautiful limestone islands in the iconic Halong Bay, before travelling to the remote upper Red River. Pandaw is the first river expedition operator to do so.   

Hugh Clayson, Pandaw’s commercial director commented: “The new Halong Bay and the Red River itinerary provides agents with a luxury expedition product like no other. Customers looking for that once in a lifetime experience without compromising on luxury will, for the first time, be able to visit the iconic Halong Bay as well as the remote upper Red River in one 10-day itinerary.”

Pandaw’s newest sailing includes two days of sightseeing in the bustling city of Hanoi before entering the Red River with its emerald green rice paddies and 8th and 11th century Buddhist temples. Unexplored by any other river expedition company, Pandaw’s route into the upper Red River will visit the region close to China’s Yunnan Province where the river narrows. Hiking from a remote river village is on offer for guests keen to make the most of this unique off-the-beaten-track experience.

Pandaw guests will enjoy a ‘yacht-like’ feel onboard the 16-suite Angkor Pandaw as well as five-star luxury service and a crew to passenger ratio of 2:1. All excursions are included in this unique itinerary.

Guests will also visit floating villages, a floating school and limestone caves in Halong Bay before entering the Kinh Thay River, mooring at Yen Duc Village surrounded by historic mountains. On the Duong River, the Angkor Pandaw will visit local villages known for their 11th century folk painting and traditional ceramic production. Guests booking before 31 October 2014 can also benefit from a 10 per cent saving.

Build 2012 in Saigon
Length: 138.61ft / 42.25m
Beam: 28.50ft / 8.70m
Draught: 3ft / 90cm
Berths: 32 pax

UPPER DECK

6 upper deck premium staterooms
Air-conditioned panorama dining room
Spacious, open-air lounge
Observation deck
Lounge bar with complimentary ice cream from sunrise to sunset
24hrs hospitality bar
Fair-trade Shop
Guest relation desk
Library with contemporary and classic literature


MAIN DECK

10 main deck staterooms

Yen Duc - a river stop for Pandaw Cruise

posted Sep 22, 2014, 1:24 AM by Long Quoc Tran

According to the agreement between Yen Duc Village and Pandaw Cruise, the itinerary will commence in July 2015 offering Pandaw guests the chance to explore the beautiful limestone islands in the iconic Halong Bay and Yen Duc village.

Office to book the Pandaw Cruise on Halong Bay and Yen Duc:

Address: 18 lane 32 Chua Ha Street, Hanoi
Email: gm@firstchoice.vn

UPSTREAM CRUISE

Day 1: Noi Bai Airport- Halong Bay
Transfer from Hanoi International Airport to Halong Bay to embark the cruise. Cast off in the late afternoon for an evening sailing to drop anchor in a sheltered bay amidst the amazing island scenery.

Day 2: Halong Bay
Morning sail around in Halong Bay and beyond with its 1,500 dramatic limestone islands and extraordinary rock formations, dating back 20 million years. We will visit by local boat a floating fisherman village, a floating school and limestone caves.

Day 3: The Kinh Thay River
Enter the Kinh Thay River and moor at Yen Duc Village, a beautiful spot set amidst poetic scenery on a charming stretch of rivers with historical mountains coupled with sacred legends and relics related to Ly and Tran dynasty. The village was recognised as a national relic in 1993

Day 4: The Duong River
From Dong Trieu town we continue the expedition towards Hanoi on the Duong River. Here we will explore the Dong Ho village, where we can witness the Dong Ho Vietnamese folk painting, dating back to the 11th century, on paper made from sticky rice & oysters. All colouring is natural as well, from coal for example or burned bamboo leaves. Further down we will visit the Bat Trang ceramic village where traditions of producing ceramic items are passed on from generation to generation.

Day 5: Hanoi
Docked in the bustling city of Hanoi, passengers will visit some highlights of this Asian metropolis, must see’s like the notorious Vietnam war prison known as the Hanoi Hilton, the water puppets show, temple of literature where Confucius did his thinking and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.

Day 6: Further Explorations of Hanoi
Further explorations of Hanoi visiting the Van Phuc Silk Village with personal time to explore the Old French Quarter with its café life and many interesting boutiques.

Day 7: Lower Red River
Sail through day from Hanoi up the Red River to Viet Tri, not the most picturesque of towns but an excellent base for going deeper into Highland Vietnam. Going a shore we visit a timeless Arcadian Vietnam with emerald green rice paddies punctuated by lime stone rock formations. Of particular interest is the Tay village, hardly known, yet with exquisite temples dating from the 8th and 11th century and home to some fine Buddhist statuary carved from jackfruit trees. In the afternoon we a visit to an orphanage in Viet Tri. The kids are encouraged to live together with own responsibilities in manageable family units under a foster parent. The orphanage lies amidst lush gardens.

Day 8: Upper Red River
The Red River flows down from China’s Yunnan province and has for centuries been a key trade route between nations. Between Viet Tri and Hoa Ha the mountains loom large and the river narrows and flows fast. Hoa Ha is a typical riverine village and a pleasant place for a hike ashore.

Day 9: Da River
Enjoy a day sailing downstream admiring the unspoilt beauty of the Da River. We pass the Ba Vi National Park with its rich and diverse tropical and sub tropical flora and fauna before arriving at Hoa Binh

Day 10: Hoa Binh
Hoa Binh was the site of a major battle in 1951 & 1952 with the French and is home to the Muon ethnic group of. We visit a museum and a local village where villagers still wear traditional dresses. The largest power station in South-East Asia was built here buy the Russians between 1979 and 1994 and is still fully operational and subject to security clearance tours can be arranged deep inside the mountain where at one point 1,000 Russian engineers toiled. We will also visit a 400 ton statue of Ho Chi Minh which commands spectacular views over the Hao Binh valley.

Day 11: Mai Chau
Early morning we will take a coach trip to Mai Chau through staggeringly lovely scenery. The sleepy town of Mai Chai is home to the Black Thai & White Thai, an ethnic minority who still live in Tai bamboo stilt houses. In the afternoon we return downstream towards the town of Viet Tri.

Disembarkation and transfers to Sapa and Tonkinese Alps or back to Hanoi International Airport.

ABOUT THE FLEET (HALONG BAY PANDAW)
Build 2012 in Saigon
Length: 138.61ft / 42.25m
Beam: 28.50ft / 8.70m
Draught: 3ft / 90cm
Berths: 32 pax

UPPER DECK

6 upper deck premium staterooms
Air-conditioned panorama dining room
Spacious, open-air lounge
Observation deck
Lounge bar with complimentary ice cream from sunrise to sunset
24hrs hospitality bar
Fair-trade Shop
Guest relation desk
Library with contemporary and classic literature


MAIN DECK PANDAW

10 main deck staterooms


ACCOMMODATION ON THE PANDAW

6 upper deck premium, 10 main deck
170 square feet, finished in teak and brass
Panoramic French window
Kimonos and slippers
Spa-branded amenities
Unlimited mineral water
Free use of mini DVD player on request and selection of DVDs from our library (subject to availability)
Electric mini safe
Imported quality linens with duvet and two kind of pillows
Premium mattresses
Convertible bed configuration
Welcome flower arrangement and welcome gift
Make-up mirror
Multi-configuration plugs
Generous closet space and under-bed storage
Hair dryer
Daily nightly turndown service
24h laundry service
Complimentary evening canapés
Complimentary postcard mailing

DINING & WINING

Local master chef heading an experienced international culinary team
Semi-buffet breakfast, Semi-buffet lunch, and seated theme dinners
Daily lean & light menu options
Complimentary coffee, water, tea, soft drinks, local beer, local spirits, juices
Extensive wine list with premium wines
Series of cultural performances, educational talks, cooking classes, and ship tour
Welcome Drink on arrival
Welcome cocktail
Farewell Reception
Theme- and gala dinners
Spacious, air-conditioned saloon bar with nightly entertainment
Lounge bar with complementary ice cream from sunrise to sunset
24hrs hospitality bar
Onboard bakery with daily freshly baked breads and rolls

PUBLIC SPACES

Guest relation desk
Shop, supporting fair trade
Library with contemporary and classic literature
Wireless internet in all public areas

Why to cruise Bai Tu Long Bay

posted Aug 14, 2014, 7:36 PM by Long Quoc Tran   [ updated Aug 14, 2014, 7:38 PM ]

red dragon cruise
The world heritage site Halong Bay is a well known gem of Vietnam. Despite the fact that the bay should get more publicity it deserves, Halong Bay is already crowded with boats and tourists, especially during peak season (from October to March). This doesn't make the seascape less amazing but somewhat lessen the thrill of the beholders. Imagine when you visit the Sung Sot cave (Cave of Surprises), you may find hundreds of other travellers in the cave and 4 to 5 other groups in the same chamber with yours. The guides begin to tell the mystical legends woven about the cave but it is noisy and you can hear nothing. That's why some prefer to go off the beaten track and choose Bai Tu Long Bay instead.

Bai Tu Long Bay is actually a part of Halong archipelago, it is right in the northeast of Halong Bay. Bai Tu Long Bay is no less beautiful than Halong Bay with hundreds of karst islets rising from emerald water. The only difference is the rock forms are not in diverse and special shapes like in Halong. Currently, there is a handful of boats cruising in Bai Tu Long Bay. 

Bai Tu Long Bay is roughly of the same distance from Hanoi, around 4 hours by car. Do not stop in Bai Chay, but go straight to Hon Gai (over the Bai Chay Bridge). Some local boat operators offer luxury cruises to Bai Tu Long bay are Indochina Junks (including Princess Junk, Prince Junk, Red Dragon Junk and Dragon Pearl Junk); Au Co Cruise and Heritage Line Cruise (including Ginger, Jasmine and Violet boats). Some 3 day cruises offered by Au Co go to both Halong Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay. Particularly, the Indochina Junk offers a 3 day cruise with a special dinner in the cave. You can check price for Halong cruise and Bai Tu Long cruise online at cruiseshalong.com, agoda or BestPricevn

Most of cruises in Bai Tu Long Bay will take you discover a less visited part including Cong Do area, Cong Dam area, Vong Vieng, Cong Dam floating village, Thien Canh Son cave, some small nice beaches for BBQ lunch... Besides Bai Tu Long Bay, there is the bigger area off  Quan Lan island, Ngoc Vung island, Cong Dong and Cong Tay island ( a small number of local people live in these islands). In order to get there, you start  from Cai Rong ( Van Don district) by local wooden boat or speed boat. The tourism infrastructure is still not widely developed there but it gives you a real taste of adventure. 

For more information about Bai Tu Long Bay Cruise, contact the Red Dragon Sales at http://www.reddragoncruise.com

Footnote:
Named and designed after an authentic Chinese Junk, the original Red Dragon junk plied the rivers, seas and harbors of the Far East, from Singapore to northern China. Two Red Dragon boats in our fleet are ready to cruise for your life events in Halong Bay.

Our Red Dragon is complete with five deluxe cabins and 2 decks, designed to resonate with superior class and grandeur. Being larger than Prince and Princess Junk, it is still small enough to get up close to the natural wonders, pocket lagoons and small fishing communities of Bai Tu Long Bay, cruising off the beaten track. The charming Red Dragon Junk is an excellent companion to explore natural beauty and enjoy warm welcome from caring staffs.
 

Travel Responsibly with Red Dragon

posted Apr 26, 2014, 6:07 AM by Long Quoc Tran   [ updated May 5, 2014, 12:28 AM ]

Red Dragon Cruise Company is one of the first companies in Ha Long Bay raise the awareness of responsible tourism. Since 2007, we have operated the program “For a green Ha Long Bay” with aim to support local community and environment.


One of the projects in this program is “collecting rubbish on surface water of Ha Long Bay”, the task is simple but require a patient effort from both Red Dragon Cruise and local people. It is more important to raise awareness of local people to protect their own residence. In this blog post, we intend to update project process and result.

We prepare more than 20 rubbish collecting nets, the rubbish floating on the water will be collected by tour guide, local people and visitors. Each visitor joining trip with Red Dragon Cruise also becomes a responsible tourist.


Red Dragon Cruise have 4 staffs staying on the beach to take care of kayak and Thien Canh Son cave; they also contribute to this project. Every day, they collect rubbish and classify them into organic and inorganic ones then put them in two separated bags and transfer back to the mainland by the boat of Red Dragon Cruise. It is also the daily task for them to row around the swimming area to collect the trash, keep the water clean.







cruising responsibly



The company also has another 2 staffs equipped a bamboo boat, rubbish collecting nets. From 6:00 – 7:30 am and 04:30 – 6:00 pm every day, they are in charge of rowing the bamboo boat around and collecting the rubbish around the anchorage area.



As the result, the project has made significant effect on protecting environment of Ha Long Bay, 90% of rubbish has been collected and transferred to mainland. The floating village and tourist area has been cleared from rubbish, local people has taken responsibility to keep Ha Long Bay green.

Red Dragon Cruise through “For a green Ha Long Bay” will keep our ongoing effort to sustainable tourism, sharing benefits with local community, protect environment and bring the best experience to visitors.

Get to Hanoi

posted Apr 25, 2014, 6:59 AM by Long Quoc Tran   [ updated Apr 26, 2014, 6:12 AM ]

Hanoi sprawls along the Red River (Song Hong), which is spanned by three bridges. The oldest is the 1682m (5500ft) Long Bien Bridge, built in 1902. Though bombed repeatedly by the US, the bridge supported rail and other traffic continuously throughout the war; today it serves pedestrians and non-motorised vehicles only. A few metres south is the newer Chuong Duong Bridge, and north of the city, servicing the airport, is the Thang Long Bridge.
hanoi


Most of Hanoi's streets are prefixed with pho , while larger roads and boulevards are called duong . The city is divided into seven central districts (quan) , surrounded by outlying neighbourhoods called hyyen . Can't-miss quan include the Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi's attractive city centre, and the elegant Ba Dinh district, also known as the French Quarter, which is home to Ho Chi Minh's mausoleum.

Most travellers experience of Hanoi will be in the Old Quarter, just north of Hoan Kiem Lake. This fascinating maze is made up of narrow streets whose names reflect the wares that are sold there.
 
Browser Hanoi Guide: Hanoi Bars | Hanoi Guide | Hanoi Restaurants | Hanoi Shopping | Hanoi Sights | Hanoi hotels | Budget Guesthouses

Getting There

For a capital city there are surprisingly few flights into Hanoi, but that's slowly changing. You can get direct flights into Hanoi's Noi Bai airport from Europe (Paris, Vienna and Moscow), Australia (Sydney and Melbourne), and most major Asian cities (Bangkok, Hong Kong, Phnom Penh, Tokyo, Seoul, Vientiane, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Taiwan), including several Chinese destinations. There are no direct flights to Hanoi from the Americas.

The bus system is inexpensive and easy to use with the aid of a bus map. There is cheap public transportation from Hanoi's several bus stations to all parts of Vietnam. Most travellers avoid the buses, preferring to use the transport provided by the government sanctioned travel and tour companies.

The capital's main train station, Ga Hang Co, provides access to the 2600km (1612mi) Vietnamese railway system, which runs up and down the coast between Hanoi and Saigon with links all over Vietnam and twice-weekly service to Beijing. Though sometimes even slower than the buses, these dilapidated trains are more comfortable as well as safer, for cross-country travel.

Getting Around

There are plenty of taxis and minibuses plying their trade between the airport and city centre, and it's possible to hire either for a trip around town. However, watch out for airport sharks taking you to the wrong hotel for commission, as this is all too common.

Renting a car or motorbike is a popular option, despite the presence of water buffalo, chickens, maniacal truck drivers, bicycles laden with struggling pigs, and packs of hormone-crazed teenage boys in vehicles of every shape, size and colour all sharing the narrow, pockmarked roads and obeying traffic laws that have no parallel in the known universe. Hanoi is so compact that you can get by (and get fit) by walking around town. Remember, walk don't run through the traffic: the drivers will go around you (just don't try this at home!).

Hanoi Restaurants

posted Apr 25, 2014, 6:57 AM by Long Quoc Tran   [ updated Apr 28, 2014, 7:03 AM ]

Hanoi has recently transformed itself from a culinary klutz to an epicurean entrepreneur. Sophisticated restaurants, beautiful bars and chic cafes have begun to emerge around the city with increasingly international offerings. You can't go past the Vietnamese staple though, a steaming bowl of pho ; no traveller should leave without sampling this tasty soup or the other delicious street food.


Banh Ghoi 
52 Pho Ly Quoc Su 

Banh Cuon Gia Truyen 
14 Pho Hang Ga

Banh Ghoi 
52 Pho Ly Quoc Su 

Brother's Cafe 
26 Pho Nguyen Thai Hoc 

Bun Cha 
34 Hang Than

Cafe Smile 
5 Van Mieu 

Cha Ca La Vong 
14 Pho Cha Ca

Cha Ca Thanh Long 
31 Pho Duong Thanh

Chim Sao 
65 Ngo Hue

Emperor 
18 Pho Le Thanh Tong

Hanoi Entertainment

posted Apr 25, 2014, 6:56 AM by Long Quoc Tran   [ updated Apr 28, 2014, 7:04 AM ]

Like its restaurant scene, the city's bars are up and coming. The Bao Khanh area, west of Hoan Kiem Lake, has perhaps the best established scene, with locals as well as expats propping up the bars. Finish your night at one of the bars here after dining out or seeing a water puppets show, or if you like to boogie, have a few pre-party drinks before checking out the local clubs.

 

Apocalypse Now 
Star Bowl Centre, Pham Ngoc Thach - Dong Da club/disco 

Au Lac Cafe 
57 Pho Ly Thai Tho French Quarter cocktail lounge 

Bia Hoi 68 Hang Quat 
68 Pho Hang Quat Old Quarter bar 

Cafe Des Artes 
31A Van Mieu Dong Da -> chillout 

Cafe Giang 
7 Pho Hang Gai Old Quarter 

Cafe Lam 
56 Quoc Tu Giam Dong Da 

Cafe Nhan 
39D Ngo Hang Hanh Nha Tho Area 

Cafe Pho Co 
11 Pho Hang Gai Old Quarter 

Cafe Ruou 
2 Pho Yen Thai Old Quarter 

Central Circus 
Hai Ba Trung District 

Club 51 
51 Pho Ly Thai To French Quarter ->cocktail lounge 
live music 

Hanoi Opera House 
Pho Trang Tien French Quarter ->theatre 

Ho Guom Xanh 
32 Pho Le Thai To Hoan Kiem Lake -> performance, bar, live music, swanky 

Jazz Club Minh 
31 Pho Luong Van Can Old Quarter -> jazz/blues, live music , chillout 

Lan Chin 
2 Pho Trang Tien French Quarter -> microbrewery 

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