Vietnam’s 1,000-year old city offers rich history and hospitality
Time Out Dubai staff
Stay... Budget Nam Hai Hotel: Located in the ‘Old Quarter’, the hotel is near several key tourist attractions including Ho Guom (Hoan Kiem Lake), Van Mieu Quoc Tu Giam (Temple of Literature), Chua Mot Cot (One-Pillar Pagoda), Vietnam’s History Museum, The Museum of Vietnamese Art and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. www.namhaihotel.com
Luxury Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi: The French colonial-style Sofitel hotel has been around since 1901 and has welcomed playwrights and ambassadors over the century. It’s the best of both worlds, as the hotel has a European feel with signature Vietnamese hospitality. www.sofitel.com
Eat... Budget Bun Cha: While it’s not the most creatively named, Bun Cha serves up the tastiest bun cha you’ll find in Hanoi. The dish is essentially a bowl full of small barbecued meatballs with a few veggies floating in broth. Vegetarians needn’t bother going here though. Corner of Hand Non and Hang Manh at the Old Quarter.
Expensive Green Tangerine: There’s fine dining and then there’s the Green Tangerine experience. The restaurant offers French, Vietnamese and fusion flavours in an elegant courtyard setting and has an extensive a la carte selection, as well as good value set menus. 48 Hang Be, Hanoi.
Must see... The One Pillar Pagoda (Chua Mot Cot), a historic Buddhist temple in Hanoi that was built by Emperor L Thái Tông, who ruled from 1028 to 1054, with the architecture based on a dream the Emperor had. Beautiful and inspiring. Ba Dinh, Hanoi.
Must do... Arrange a boat ride along Ha Long Bay (Descending Dragon Bay), which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. You’ll see many limestone inlets that have gone through 500 million years of formation and enjoy stunning scenery.
Flight time Six hours 40 minutes.
Getting there Daily return flights start from Dhs8,425 (connection in Singapore) on Emirates. www.emirates.com
Time Out recommends Visit the Fine Arts Museum in Hanoi. The Museum is housed in a building that once served as the French Ministry of Information. Inside you’ll find some of the most stunning Asian art that ranges from ancient antiquities to contemporary art. www.vnfineartsmuseum.org.vn