Hanoi

Vietnam is the capital of the country and has been for more than a thousand years. It has a wonderful mix of Western and Eastern, Chinese traditions, and French architecture. The city is located 15 km oblong the river Sông Hồng (Red River). It is divided into 7 central districts calling “Khu vực”. The most admirable quarters in Hanoi are “Old district” and “36 Streets” – the labyrinth of narrow streets, which represent the enormous trade district. Generally, Hanoi is used by tourists as a transportation hub in order to take a flight or train to other parts of the country, where beaches prevail the historical sites.  For that reason, you are not likely to observe the crowds of tourists in the city, like it’d be in Paris. Many of them just choose to stay in a city for a day or two in order to feel the atmosphere of Vietnamese history.

SAFETY INDEX

See others cities in Vietnam

Although most travellers feel relatively safe in Hanoi, pickpocketing and petty crimes do occur on a regular basis. Violent crime against foreigners is rare but on the rise. Another irritant in Hanoi is pollution. The level of the pollutions is high and the air quality is poor. Hanoi is ranked 61st out of 113 on the ranking of the safest and most dangerous cities.

Warnings & Dangers

Mid Priority-96 OVERALL RISK : LOW

Hanoi is safe in terms of violent crimes and assaults. Main dangers for a tourist in Hanoi are busy traffic and bag snatching.

Mid Priority-96 PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW

A very common way of bag snatching involves couple individuals riding a motorcycle, with a passenger snatching a camera, phone or bag. For that reason, do not hang a bag on a neck, because you can be pulled down.

Mid Priority-96 MUGGING RISK : LOW

There are no kidnapping risks in Hanoi. However, there are known cases when the foreigners, particular men, were forced at gunpoint to withdraw money from multiple ATMs.

Mid Priority-96 SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM

Be aware of taking the taxi at the airport, as many of them are a taxi and minibus mafia, which unwitting tourists to the wrong hotels. At Hanoi’s Bus Station you may stumble across the taxis with a super fast taxi meters. Avoid con artists, as they pose themselves as s students and suggest a drink or a meal. Gay men are often targeted this way. These crooks will suggest visiting a karaoke or bar, where you finally received a bill for hundreds of dollars. Stay vigilant and be aware of the suspicious activity, use common sense.  

Mid Priority-96 TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM

Crossing the street might be dangerous. Traffic rules are ignored frequently. Be very cautious crossing the street and while driving a motorcycle. Do not take the taxi that looks suspicious, drunk drivers are common in the evenings. Use only reputable taxi companies (Hanoi Taxi, CP Taxi, Mai Linh Taxi).

Mid Priority-96 NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM

During rainy season between June and December, flooding is common. Typhoons and Tsunami are also common. Information on natural disasters can be obtained from the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System. If a natural disaster occurs, follow the advice of local authorities.

Mid Priority-96 TERRORISM RISK : LOW

The possibility of terrorist attacks in Vietnam has a moderate probability, however, you should watch out for suspicious activity. Terrorism is a threat throughout the world.

Mid Priority-96 WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW

Sexual assaults do occur, but are rare.  We advise do not use the overnight trains and buses for those women who travel alone. Also, avoid poorly illuminated streets and bars with intoxicated individuals is recommended.

Carte

WHAT TO DO?

Hanoi has many must-see attractions like Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, The Perfume Pagoda and Hanoi Opera House.

Hanoi Old Quarter

This is a top tourist spot, there French – colonial architecture, local delicious street food, and history mixed together. It’s better to avoid the poorly illuminated streets after 10 pm. Watch out for pickpockets.

Dong Xuan Market

This market was erected in 1889. It’s known as a larger Hanoi’s market. Freshly produced food, souvenirs, and clothes can be found there. Also, there is a huge dining area, where you can find a wide variety of Vietnamese dishes for a moderate price. Pickpockets are the main pain here, as they targeted distracted tourists and busy locals.

Dong Anh district

Dozens of red-light cafes locate on Mai Lam road in this neighborhood. Also, suburban districts like Phan Dang Luu and Mai Lam are well known for its coffee shops with prostitutes. This is no go areas. Prostitution is connected with criminals and potential risks in this area are very high.

Useful Information

Vietnam visa is required for all US citizens wishing to visa Vietnam. Vietnam visa can be applied no earlier than 6 months prior to the date of departure. Make sure your passport has at least six months’ validity from your planned date of return.
The official currency in Vietnam is Dong. In order to obtain the best currency exchange possible, try to exchange your money in banks, post offices or in some large hotels. The convenient currency exchange rate also can be found at the international airports.
The weather in Vietnam differs from region to region. In Hanoi, May to October is hot and humid, lots of rainfalls. November to April is cool and dry. Central Vietnam has a hot, dry weather from January to August, weather may reach the level of 30°C. September – October is a rainfall season. Southern Vietnam usually dry and hot between November and April, the rainfalls common in June, July, and August.
The busiest airports of Thailand are Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh and Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi.
As in any country, we advise travelers to get a travel insurance that covers not only medical problems but also theft and loss of personal items. Learn more on our travel insurance page.