The sights:

* City gates - Dai Hung (South): Prosperity; Dieu Duc (North): Wonderful Virtue; Tuong Phu (East): Good Omen
* French colonial remnants - Long Bien (Doumer) Bridge (1902);
* Hanoi Cathedral (1886);
* Louis Finot (History) Museum - Vietnam's past;
* Opera House; hotels and villas;
* Dong Xuan Market - the heart of the city;
* West Lake: Tran Quoc pagoda - one of the oldest in the country;
* Quan Thanh Pagoda (1010-25) - with a bronze bell and a huge bronze statue of the guardian spirit of the North;
* Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh - the ruler on ice;
* One Pillar Pagoda (1049);
* Cot Co - flagtower (1812) - remains of the citadel;
* Fine Arts Museum - ethnic artifacts and modern art;
* Temple of Literature (1070) - walled courtyards;
* Lake of the Restored Sword and Tortoise Twer;
* Temple of the Jade Mound;
* Lenin Park - round a central lake and a statue

* Bat Trang - pottery village;
* Cat Ba Archipelago (133km/83 miles) - beaches and a national park off the coast near Haiphong;
* Halong Bay (160km/100 miles) - Vietnam's Phang-Nga Bay;
* Houng Son (65km/40 miles) 0- mountains and pagodas

Annual events:
* Tet (Jan/Feb) - Lunar New Year: Dong Ky Festival, Tien Son District (Jan/Feb) - one of the most spectacular celebrations;
* Lim Festival (Jan/Feb) - artistic and cultural festival;
* Ram Thang Gieng (Jan/Feb) - the main Buddhist festival;
* Lac Long Quan Festival (Mar/Apr) - at Binh Minh village;
* Huong Tich Festival (Mar/Apr) - puppet theater;
* Festival of the Dead (Jul/Aug);
* Mid Autumn Festival (Sep/Oct) - mooncakes and lantern processions

The Headquarters

15 Ngo Quyen Street , 10000 Hanoi, Vietnam
The only game in town for everybody who is anybody. And so popular for standard, style and service that one should arrange the trip according to availability at Vietnam's premier residence. The architecture of the Golden Twenties, when the hotel already served the colonial society from Paris and the world, was brought back to life as well as the interior blended with modern times. Nostalgia and functionality vary delighfully - baldachined rickshaws and shiny limousines fans and faxes, bamboo and baguette, business hectic and graceful staff - and Franco-Canadian Ricardo Perran is constructing a new wing with more serious and best restaurant in Hanoi, the gourmet counter the sole refuge for the expats and savoir-vivants and Le Club the rendezvous par excellence and the jazz bar after dark. Charm and the necessary amenities in the rooms, rest and relaxation around the inner-court swimming pool and the few glamorous affairs in the city on the premises.

The Business Lunch
Le Beaulieu - Hotel Sofitel
Cuisine: French/International
It's the unofficial business and social stock exchange, terrain of networking for newcomers, canteen for serious deals among the pioneers and restaurant with laudable French specialties. Large, light and pleasant, the Sofitel's dining room even has daily surprises au gout du marche. Ricardo Perran imports what is possible - with a little help from Air France.

The Business Dinner
The Chinese Restaurant - Hotel Hanoi
Cuisine: Cantonese/Szechuan
The restaurant puts the hotel on the map: the best Chinese in town - in fact, the only authentic one. A friendly staff serves you, from the cozy bar to the spick-and-span dining hall where the lighting is a little bright, the service a little slow and the specialties a little basic, but everything is well-meant. Folklore from across the border accompanies the spicy fare at night.

The Social Lunch
16 Nam Ngu, Hoan Kiem
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Catherine Deneuve would fit beautifully into this elegantly restored colonial house in the French Quarter. Until then Pham Tuan Phong receives celebrities from the international business stage to the trio of antique-filled dining rooms. To the elegiac strains of the dan bau and dan tranh, drinks are served on the terrace and local specialties at table by traditionally-clad waiters.

The Social Dinner
17 Trang Tien, Hanoi Center
Cuisine: French
The best foie gras east of bangkok - and south of Hongkong. And the French chef doesn't stop there: excellent meats, sauces a la Patrie and patisseries for homesick expats. The colonial building near the Opera House is so francophile, you think the colonizers never left. At night, when the Minh quartet jazzes up the mood, even the past seems peaceful.

Romantic Dining
Club Opera
59 Ly Thai To
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Tired of the Metropole? Walk over to this renovated French mansion for a bowl of birdnest-crab soup, steamed rice with lotus leaves or Noodles Opera Club with fresh seafood. On the second floor sweet-and-sour fish comes easier than steak, but downstairs is for die-hard Westerners who won't risk experimenting beyond chili con carne. The bar on the third floor is for all.

The Exotic
Cha Ca La Vong
14 Cha Ca Street
You may wonder why everyone recommends this dilapidated tavern as one of the 'must' in the city. But when you are served the namesake fish in its secret sauce, cooked at your table with herbs and the best vermicelli, then you know why even the street is named after it. And you forgive the Doan family who has run the restaurant for the past 100 years the ruggedness and the suicidal staircase.

The Poolside Restaurant for a romance, the alcove bar Le Club for a jazzy end to the day - Le Metropole is all things to all people, also at night. At the Australian Embassy's poolside Billabong Bar, weekend nights turn into spontaneous happenings, with the Ambassador hosting friends and their friends. At the multi-level villa of Saigon Pull, youngsters have fun in bar and restaurant, disco and karaoke booths. Enjoy adult fun in pretty company, if a little tamer than in the Saigo sister establishment, at the VIP Club.

Like medieval cities in Europe, Old Hanoi is a maze of narrow streets named after ancient guilds. Here you find all goods - useful, artful, exotic and rare - and life at its most colorful and charming. Dong Xuan is the market for folklore, Souvenirs of Vietnam for lacquerware, ceramics, silver and - souvenirs. Antique shops line the streets from Hang Dao to Le Duan; modern art is exhibited at Han Art. Embroidery at Tan My, silk at Khaisilk - and the best tailor in town: lovely Bich Hanh's Le Minh on Hang Gai

* Vietnam
* Hanoi
* Hanoi Attraction Guide (

Template by - Abdul Munir - 2008