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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Hanoi

Every year, numerous holidays are celebrated in Hanoi.
Below are the main dates for these festivities:

1 January: New Year's Eve (national)

The European New Year is especially celebrated by younger people in Vietnam. In Hanoi, as in other major cities in the country, they head to the city centre for a drink. Around midnight, the streets fill: everyone awaits the countdown and the traditional fireworks.

28 January: Lunar New Year (national)

Tet, or the lunar calendar New Year's (Chinese), is a major event in Vietnam. The festivities begin every year on the first day of the first lunar month and last one week. During the Tet holiday, shops close, people return to their hometown to visit their parents and pay homage to their ancestors. Families and friends gather to eat traditional meals, and houses are decorated with yellow flowers.

2 to 12 February: Co Loa Festival (local)

Nicknamed ‘The City Spiral' Co Loa, a jewel of military architecture, celebrates the reign of its founder, An Duong Vuong (214-208 BC) every year from the 6th to 16th day of the first lunar month. Located 16 kilometres north of Hanoi, the citadel is the scene of spectacular processions and religious rites. The event is also lively, with traditional performances by night and popular games by day: chess with human pawns, cockfights, rice-cooking contests, ritual dances, and more.

6th April: Anniversary of the death of the first emperor Hung (national)

The death of the first known king of Vietnam is celebrated on the tenth day of the third month of the lunar calendar. Festive commemorations take place, especially in front of the temple of the Emperor, in Hanoi.

30 April: Anniversary of Reunification (national)

This date marks the end of the two Indochinese wars, with France and the United States. On this occasion, military parades and sporting contests are held.

1 May: International Labour Day

This is a very busy day in Vietnam! Numerous tourists, notably from China, enjoy visiting the country from early May. Shops, restaurants, and tourist sites are in full swing.

2nd September: National Day of the Socialist Re-public of Vietnam

This holiday commemorates the Declaration of Independence of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam by Ho Chi Minh. Official speeches are given and military parades take place. Big cities are adorned with the colours of the country and pay tribute to the founder of the current Vietnamese Communist Party and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (became Socialist Republic of Vietnam in 1976).

15 September: Mid-Autumn Fes-tival (national)

On the occasion of the moon festival, the Vietnamese eat crescent moon-shaped cakes, made ​​of glutinous rice flour and stuffed with lotus seeds. In the evening, the children walk with lanterns in the shape of dragons, unicorns, and carp to the sound of drums and cymbals in the city streets. Dance performances and traditional music are also held outdoors during the day.

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Hanoi

The weather in Hanoi is humid subtropical. It is marked by cool periods, followed by very hot and humid months. The mild months of March, April, October, November and December, never scorching hot and usually dry, are the best times to visit Hanoi.

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January 14 21 17 Not the best period to go
February 15 22 27 Not the best period to go
March 18 24 37 Good period to go Good period to go
April 21 29 80 Good period to go Good period to go
May 24 33 195 Not the best period to go
June 27 34 238 Not the best period to go
July 27 34 332 Not the best period to go
August 27 33 342 Not the best period to go
September 25 32 253 Not the best period to go
October 23 30 98 Good period to go Good period to go
November 19 27 42 Good period to go Good period to go
December 16 23 19 Good period to go Good period to go
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HANOI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

The Noi Bai International Airport is about 45 kilometres north of the centre of Hanoi.

  • Two terminals:
    • T1
    • T2 (Air France)

Travelling between the airport and Hanoi:
  • By car
    • Access: the centre of Hanoi is roughly a 50-minute drive from the airport (journey time is variable, depending on traffic).
    • Parking: parking for short- and long-term stays, for cars and motorbikes, is located at the airport exit. It costs around 5,000 VDN for 24 hours.
    • Rentals: several car rental companies operate from the airport. Warning: it is essential to have a Vietnamese driving license to drive in Vietnam.
  • Bus
    Two bus lines connect the Noi Bai Airport to downtown Hanoi. The bus stop is located right in the arrivals area.
    • Bus 7 goes to the west side of Hanoi. It takes about an hour to reach Kim Ma station and runs daily every 15 to 20 minutes from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Tickets cost 5,000 VDN and are sold by the bus driver. Bulky baggage will cost you 1,000 VDN per bag.
    • Bus 17 goes to the Long Bien hotel district. It runs daily every 15 to 20 minutes from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Warning: the 17 bus bypasses the city. Depending on traffic, the trip can take two hours. Tickets cost 5,000 VDN and are sold by the bus driver. Bulky baggage will cost you 1,000 VDN per bag.
  • Taxi
    Taxis are available outside the airport. The fare to downtown is 250,000 VDN. Warning: only use official taxis. The cab must have a meter and the driver must be able to present a photo ID, showing his name and license number.
  • Services ATM, currency-exchange office, bank, shops, duty-free, restaurants, cafeterias, bars, first aid centre, pharmacy, and restrooms.

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GETTING AROUND Hanoi

Rickshaws are rare—opt instead for the bus, the perfect way to explore the city and its surroundings.

Car

Lack of signage in certain neighbourhoods, overloaded traffic in peak hours, and parking problems: traffic in Hanoi can be hellish. And you need a Vietnamese driving license… Better to avoid using a car during your visit.

Bus

Hanoi and the surrounding districts are crisscrossed by some 60 bus lines.

The most important lines run generally from 5:30 am to 1:00 a.m. every 15 to 20 minutes.

The best lines for sightseeing are line 14, which takes you near Hoan Kiem Lake and the Old Town, lines 2, 9 and 33, which serve Le Hong Phong Street and Dien Bien Phu Street, where the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum is located, and the neighbourhood of the great boulevards. Line 47, from Long Bien terminal, will take you to Bat Trang pottery village near Hanoi.

The price of a ticket varies between 3,000 and 10,000 VDN on average, according to the line used and the distance travelled. Purchase tickets directly from the bus driver. At peak times (6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.), it is recommended to have the exact fare. It is best not to travel by bus (lines 7 and 17 to the airport) with too much luggage.

Taxis

The taxi is a great way to get around Hanoi, if you take into account the potential difficulties related to traffic. The price of a trip is negotiable. On average, expect to pay 12,000 to 14,000 VDN for the first 700 metres, then 15,000 VDN per subsequent kilometre. Warning: there are over a 100 taxi companies in Hanoi. Stay away from unofficial taxis cabs: make sure the one you get into has a meter and that the driver has a photo ID, with his name and license number.

Motorcycle taxis

Motorcycle taxis are a quick and inexpensive way to travel around Hanoi. The motorcycle taxis parked on the sidewalks of the city are identifiable by the second helmet that the driver is holding. To ensure that it is a motorcycle taxi, ask the driver ‘Xe Om?' (pronounced ‘Che om?' and meaning ‘motorcycle taxi?'). The price for a trip is about half the price of a regular taxi, around 7,000 VDN per kilometre. This means of transport is reliable. It is preferable to agree on the price and settle the race before leaving.

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Visitor information

Once you arrive in Hanoi, don't hesitate to be in touch with tourism professionals for information and help in organising your stay.

Vietnam National Administration of Tourism

80 Quan Su
District Hoan Kiem
Hanoi, Vietnam

+84 (0) 4 39 42 20 70

www.vietnamtourism.com

Tourist Information Centre

7 Dinh Tien Hoang
District Hoan Kiem
Hanoi, Vietnam

+84 (0)4 39 26 33 69

www.vietnamtourism.com

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Currency and Exchange Rates

The currency used in Vietnam is the vietnamese dong (VND).

1 € = 26 769,48 VND

The above exchange rate is given for information because is variable.

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Medical information

In Hanoi, medical care is of good quality and infrastructure and facilities are modern. It is recommended to take out health insurance covering medical expenses abroad and the costs of repatriation before a trip to Vietnam.

LIST OF OBLIGATORY AND RECOMMENDED VACCINATIONS

The update of diphtheria-tetanus-polio vaccines before departure is recommended.

Other vaccinations, such as those against hepatitis A and B and typhoid are also recommended (see your physician).

For long stays, it is recommended to get a rabies vaccination.

Zika virus cases have been reported in Vietnam. This virus is transmitted through mosquito bites and unprotected sex. This virus is usually benign, but can cause serious complications in new-borns whose mothers were infected with the virus during pregnancy. If you are pregnant, a trip to Vietnam is not recommended. If you are considering becoming pregnancy, it is advisable to postpone your trip to Vietnam.

For more information, contact the Air France Vaccination Centre:

FOOD SAFETY RECOMMENDATIONS

It is recommended to ensure a healthy diet that you follow food hygiene practices (well-cooked food, and fruits and vegetables washed before consumption).

DRINKING WATER

It is advisable to consume water from sealed bottles.

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Administrative formalities

A visa is required to enter Vietnam except for residents of the following countries: Belarus, Brunei, Cambodia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Norway, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, and the United Kingdom.

For more information, visit the Internet Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs website: www.mofa.gov.vn / in

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Essential phrases

Here are a few useful phrases in Vietnamese for your stay in Hanoi.

Hello: Xin chao

Good evening: Chuc ngu ngong

Good bye: Tam biet

Yes: Co

No: Khong

No, thank you: Toi khong muon, we cam

Thank you very much: Cam is

I don't understand: Toi khong noi tieng viet

Could you repeat that?: Ban co the lap lay

Please: Xin me

What time is it?: May gio king?

Excuse me?: Xin law

Airport: San bay

Train station: Tram

Taxi: Taxi

Hotel: Khach san

Hospital: Benh vien

Bank: Ngan hang

Telephone: Dien thoai

I am (…): Toi (…)

I'm looking for (…): Toi nhin (…)

What is the price of (…)?: Bao nhieu (…)?

Do you have (…)?: Ban co (…)?

Where can I find (…)?: Noi ma toi co the tim thay  (…)?

Where can I buy (…)?: Noi ma toi co the mua (…)?

I would like (…): Toi se (…)

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Good to know

+84
00 + country code
5 : 00
of time difference with
Amsterdam
There is no daylight savings time in Vietnam

Banks

Generally open Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Government Offices
Generally open Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., except post offic-es, which are usually open from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. in major cities and from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. in smaller cities, including Sunday.
120 Volts - 50 Hz

TIPPING

Tipping is not mandatory in Vietnam, but it is appreciated. You can leave an additional 10 to 15% of the amount of the bill in bars and restaurants. Tips are also welcomed by staff at hotels and spas, and by tour guides and taxi drivers.