Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam and the country’s second largest city, about 1,760 km (1,090 ml) from  Ho Chi Minh City.
The city lies on the right bank of the Red River. Hanoi features a warm humid subtropical climate with plentiful rain. With the typical climate of northern Vietnam, it is hot and humid in summer ( from May to Sept), cold and dry in winter ( Nov to March), while spring (April) can bring light rains, Autumn (October) is the best time of year for visitors. Extreme temperatures have ranged from 2.7 °C (36.9 °F) to 40.4 °C (105 °F).

Hanoi is one of Asia’s most fascinating cities with its unique blend of western and oriental charm. You can wander through the 36 streets in the Old Quarter, near Hoan Kiem lake, rummage for souvenirs and witness the artisans working on their specialty crafts.

As the oldest university (established since 1070), the Temple of Literature and its five courtyards retains a scholarly atmosphere and makes a peaceful respite from Hanoi’s busy streets. Pay homage to the late Ho Chi Minh at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and his “house on stilts” and learn why “Uncle Ho” is such a respected figure to Vietnamese people.

Vietnam is a culturally diverse country and the fascinating ways of life of her 54 ethnic groups can be seen at the Museum of Ethnology. To check out the budding arts scene, pop into the dozens of art galleries that stock works ranging from tradition to modern. Although modern entertainment outlets are readily available in Hanoi, why not opt to catch a water puppet show - a unique cultural form of Vietnam since 10th century? For early risers, head to Hoan Kiem Lake and join the locals in their synchronized morning exercise. In a fine afternoon, stroll through the French quarter, sip an aromatic cup of coffee or green tea on the sidewalk and observe the bustling street life.

To learn about Vietnam’s pottery history, a visit to Bat Trang Ceramic Village should be on your travel schedule. Here, you could try your skill at making the ceramics, but it is much easier to be enticed into owning the exquisite vases, bowls and dishes produced from the hands of the talented Bat Trang potters.

For lovers of indigenous crafts, the Van Phuc Weaving Village lures visitors with its bewildering range of silk products. Explore the rustic landscapes by cycling around the city’s northern outskirts in Dong Ho Village, which is also famous for its painting styles that depict the traditional Vietnamese village lives.

If you have more time to spare, there are many interesting locales in Hanoi’s outskirts that are lesser visited by tourists. Tam Coc in Ninh Binh - with its series of limestone rock formations jutting out from a sea of rice paddies, is a scenic and surreal place to visit. Nearby, Hoa Lu also offers similar landscapes of rocky outcrops - no less spectacular when compared to Tam Coc - as well as 10th century relics from when the area was the country’s capital. 

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