Hanoi (Vietnamese: Hà Nội), the capital of Vietnam, and also its second largest city, is a fascinating blend of East and West, combining traditional Sino-Vietnamese motifs with French flair. It is largely unscathed from the decades of war, and is now going through a building boom, making it a rapidly developing city in Southeast Asia.
By plane :
Most people arrive at the Noi Bai International Airport (IATA: HAN),
35km (45-60min) north of the city. The airport might seem relatively small considering Hanoi’s importance to the country, but this might benefit travellers by making the airport easy to navigate and no need to arrive hours in advance (the limited waiting space is one reason why non-travellers are discouraged from entering the airport) to make sure there is plenty of room for those actually using and working in the airport. The airport is being overloaded, and a new terminal is being built. Several airlines run flights from Noi Bai, including:
- Aeroflot (Moscow-Sheremetyevo)
- Asiana Airlines (Seoul-Incheon)
- Cebu Pacific (Manila)
- China Airlines (Taipei)
- China Southern Airlines (Beijing, Guangzhou)
- Dragon Air (Hong Kong)
- EVA Air (Taipei)
- Hong Kong Airlines (Hong Kong)
- Indochina Airlines, 63 Ly Thuong Kiet St, Tran Hung Đao Ward, Hoan Kiem District. +84 4 3941 1411,
- Japan Airlines (Kansai, Tokyo-Narita)
- Korean Air (Busan, Seoul-Incheon)
- Lao Airlines – small airline with 4 flights a week to/from Luang Prabang, Vientiane, and Phnom Penh.
- Lot Polish Airlines (Warsaw)
- Malaysia Airlines +60 3 7843 3000) – daily flights from Kuala Lumpur.
- PMTair (Phnom Penh, Siem Reap)
- Qatar Airways (Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Doha)
- Shanghai Airlines (Shanghai)
- SilkAir – The regional full-service subsidiary of Singapore Airlines. Offers a combined twice daily frequency to/from Singapore on some days.
- Singapore Airlines +84 4 3826 8888) – full-service airline with daily flights to/from Singapore. Offers a combined twice daily frequency on some days in conjunction with its regional full-service subsidiary SilkAir.
- Thai Airways International – two flights daily to/from Bangkok.
- Uni Air (Kaohsiung) 
- Vietnam Airlines – 25 Tràng Thi (corner of Quang Trung) +84 4 934 9660 fax: +84 4 934 9620,  – The primary national carrier.
- Vladivostok Air (Vladivostok) 
There are plenty of discount airlines where you can find really good bargains:
- JetStar Pacific +84 4 955 0550 – discount Vietnamese carrier (formerly Pacific Air) for domestic flights.
- Vietjet Air – another low-cost domestic carrier. Planes are new and clean, however, delays are quite frequent
- AirAsia +60 3 2171-9222 with many good offers from Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur.
- Tigerair (Singapore) +84 4 94 54565) – low-cost carrier with 6 weekly flights to/from its hub in Singapore.
If departing from Noi Bai airport via Vietnam Airlines with no checked luggage, walk to the last airline check-in counter and to the right of it, there’s a sign showing check-in for passengers without checked luggage. Using this counter is a great time-saver if it applies to your journey.
For the last century, Hanoi has survived through the invasions and occupations of Japan and France as well as the Indochina and Vietnam Wars to emerge as the booming capital city of a reunified Vietnam. Located on the banks of the Red River in northern Vietnam, Hanoi is a large city offering more than 1,000 years worth of history and culture now blended with modern attractions, dining, shopping and nightlife.
At the heart of Hanoi is its Old Quarter, an open-air museum of historic Asian and French colonial architecture that has largely remained intact despite the bombings of the Vietnam War. Here among scenic tree-lined boulevards, tourists can browse busy markets, sip coffee at quaint cafes and visit prominent sites like the Grand Opera House, the Presidential Palace and Saint Joseph Cathedral. Beyond the Old Quarter, the city is full of impressive temples and museums exhibiting the country’s eventful history.
Hanoi has many beautiful lakes surrounded by parks and green spaces with the most popular being Hoan Kiem Lake. A good way to experience the local culture is to attend a live performance of Ca trù, a traditional form of Vietnamese music, or to see history and folklore demonstrated at the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre. One of Asia’s top shopping cities, Hanoi is teeming in malls and shopping centers.
Hanoi’s dining scene is vibrant from numerous market stalls and street vendors selling traditional dishes like Pho Bo (Beef noodle soup) and Pho Ga (chicken noodle soup) to fine restaurants serving a variety of Asian and international cuisines. Nightlife choices are plentiful from karaoke bars and dance clubs to cinemas and theaters. The best options for getting around Hanoi are bus, taxi and motorbike taxi.