Founded in 1010, in 1954 it became the official capital
of independent Vietnam. A peaceful city of lakes with leafy boulevards, Hanoi lies at the heart of the northern Red
River Delta and somehow reflects an European feel. Especially the
streets of the Old Quarter preserve age-old customs, where trade takes one back half a century, and temples, pagodas and monuments reflect the historic character of Vietnam.
In this area there are many hotels which have been recently refurbished
with a special care to the traditional architecture and design. Hanoi Hotels
are surprisingly modest but preserve a unique charming environment.
Some of them are set in historical buildings: the Ritz Hotel for example or Joy
Hotel Return Hotel, the Pearls hotel, the Old street Hotel, Y Van Riverside Hotel, Hanoi
Plaza hotel and Hanoi Queen Plaza. They are all front serene Hoan Kiem lake
and – quite surprisingly for the standard they provide-, the prices are extremely
cheap. Spending a night in any of these Vietnamese hotels will cost you from around 3,5 euros per person up to 15 euros
per person. Although Hanoi, and Vietnam in general, have been absorbing a tourist boom
since1993, which of course has seen an infiltration of western-style
food and fashions into the once inaccessible city, Hanoi has retained its
appealing sense of the old world.
This means that the city provides many services
for tourists as nice boutique hotels, internet cafés and restaurants
offering wide range of food. Do not forget that tourism has in general a bad influence in the way local people live, too often being responsible for changing their tastes, habits and underlining economic gaps and unequal access
to resources. So forth, it is important each one
of us makes a difference in the way we wish to live the city.
Respecting local traditions and habits is important, from the way of dressing to general behaviour while in public areas, to gender differences roles.
Regarding shopping for example, do not indulge in mass tourist souvenirs.
Sometimes, the best way to take home part of the spirit, is
taking a good shot, or buying some spices, or typical
things that a local person would buy. From a notebook, to
a normal pen, or a traditional t-shirt or a votive candle or a dolly used by Hanoi girls.
This will help much more the local community than anything else.
The hotels listed above are also Vietnamese run and your money
will not feed some Western Fat Industries. Think about it.