The Ninth International Conference on Simulated Evolution And Learning (SEAL'2012)

About Hanoi 

History, Geography, Transportation, Restaurant, City sights



An entrance to the Co Loa citadel

Hanoi is a sacred land of Vietnam. In the 3rd century BC, Co Loa (actually belonging to Dong Anh District) was chosen as the capital of the Au Lac Nation of Thuc An Duong Vuong (the King Thuc). Hanoi later became the core of the resistance movements against the Northern invasions. Located in the middle of the Red River Delta, the town has gradually expanded to become a very rich residential center. At different periods, Hanoi was selected as the chief city of Vietnam under the Northern domination. In the autumn of Canh Tuat lunar years (1010), Ly Thai To, the founder of the Ly Dynasty, decided to transfer the capital from Hoa Lu to Dai La, and so he rebaptized it Thang Long (Soaring Dragon). The year 1010 then became an historical date for Hanoi and for the whole country in general. For about a thousand years, the capital was called Thang Long, then changed to Dong Do, Dong Kinh, and finally to Hanoi, in 1831. This sacred piece of land thereafter continued to be the theatre of many fateful events.



Hanoian Beauty

Vietnamese people in general and The Hanoian in particular are proud of the beauty of the Ao dai when they wear them in the special ceremornies such as: Tet holidays, Wedding Anniversary, Opening School Days, National & International Conferences etc...The Ao dai was considered as a symbol of traditional beauty from a time immemorial, up to now Hanoians have preserved, enhanced and created more and more beautiful Ao dai. 

The pre-original Ao dai type was the 4-flap dress which was only worn on the occasion of the Tet festival. The brown dress with the two fore-flaps tied together and let dangling matches with satin trousers and silk belts. Then, the 4 flap dress has been modified into the 3-flap one: the collar being 2 cm high, the sleeves wrapping tightly to the wrists, breast and waist of main flaps, there is also a minor flap reaching down to the fringe. Buttons are made of plaited cloth and buttoned on the side. The collar is turned up obliquely to appear 3 colors (or 7 colors) of the dress. The outermost layer is of brown silk or a kind of black gauze, followed by light yellow, pink, lemon green, and sky-blue etc... 

Nowadays, Ao Dai is a two-piece garment made of fabric, full-length dress worn over loose silk trousers reaching all the way to the ground. The dress splits into a front and back panel from the waist down. The dress length seems to be gradually shortening and today is usually just below the knee. Variations in the neck, between boat and mandarin style, are common and even adventurous alterations such as a low scooped neckline puffed sleeves or off the shoulder designs are appearing as ladies experiment with fashion. Women wear Ao Dai of various colors, often with intricate patterns and designs, in formal or work settings. Schoolgirls wear pure white, fully lined outfits symbolizing their purity. The Ao dai's grace, beauty and elegance significantly contributes to creating the own beauty for the Hanoian. 




Hoan Kiem Lake

Hanoi is located in the Red River Delta, in the center of the north of Vietnam. It is encompassed by Thai Nguyen Province to the north, Vinh Phuc and Ha Tay to the west and the south, Bac Giang, Bac Ninh and Hung Yen provinces to the east and the south-east. Hanoi means “the hinterland between the rivers?(Ha: river, Noi: interior). Hanoi’s territory is washed by the Red River (the portion of the Red River embracing Hanoi is approximately 40km long) and its tributaries, but there are some other rivers flowing through the capital, including Duong, Cau, Ca Lo, Day, Nhue, Tich, To Lich and Kim Nguu.

Climate: Hanoi is situated in a tropical monsoon zone with two main seasons. During the dry season, which lasts from October to April, it is cold and there is very little rainfall, except from January to March, when the weather is still cold but there is some light rain. The wet season, from May to September, is hot with heavy rains and storms. The average annual temperature is 23.2ºC (73.7ºF) and the average annual rainfall is 1,800mm. The average temperature in winter is 17.2ºC (62.9ºF), but can go down to 8ºC (46.4ºF). The average temperature in summer is 29.2ºC (84.6ºF, but can reach up to 39ºC (102.2ºF).

In Hanoi Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Co 16.4 17.0 20.2 23.7 27.3 28.8 28.9 28.2 27.2 24.6 21.4 18.2
Fo 62 63 68 75 81 84 84 83 81 76 71 65




The Cyclo

Getting Around
There are plenty of taxis and mini-buses plying their trade between the airport and city center, and it is possible to hire either for a trip around town. Buses are cheaper, but with 13 different lines and numerous schedules that are difficult to find, it's certainly a challenge. The price can't be beat, however.

The cyclo (xich lo), or pedicab, is a sort of rickshaw with a view. Negotiating a fare beforehand, then sitting back and relaxing as you witness the chaotic streets of Hanoi from your own mobile throne. Bicycles are another good way to navigate Vietnam's capital. You can rent anything from leaden Chinese road warriors to high-tech Japanese mountain-bikes, perfect for navigating those pot-holes and farm animals. Hanoi is strictly BYOH: Bring Your Own Helmet.

Renting a car or motorbike is a popular option, despite the presence of water-buffalo, chickens, maniacal truck drivers, bicycles laden with three or four struggling pigs, packs of hormone-crazed teenage boys in vehicles of every shape, size and color, all sharing the narrow, pockmarked roads and obeying traffic laws that have no parallel in the known universe. Consider riding with a local guide for a day or two before going it on your own.

Transportation Means

Selected taxi, bus and cyclo address to travel easily in Hanoi street:

Thanh Hung Taxi 

Tel: 84-4  8.733 733  

Taxi Charges in Hanoi 


Taxi Categories

FIAT-SIENA (5 Seats)


Family Taxi (4 Seats)

1 Km Initial

VND 6,500

VND 6,500

VND 5,000

Next 100 m 

VND 650

VND 650


1-15 Km

VND 6,500/Km

VND 6,500/Km


2-20 Km



VND 5,000/Km

21 Km up



VND 3,500/Km

16-110 Km

VND 4,300/Km

VND 5,000/Km


111 Km up 

VND 2,300/Km

VND 2,800/Km


Waiting Time

VND 20,000/h

VND 20,000/h

VND 20,000/h

Hanoi Taxi 

Tel: (84-4)  8 53 53 53  

Taxi Charges in Hanoi   


Taxi Categories



Km Initial VND 11,000/1.3 Km VND 11,000/1.3 Km
Next 1 Km  VND 8,500/Km VND 8,500/Km
16 Km up VND 4,600/Km VND 5,200/Km
Waiting Time VND 15,000/h VND 15,000/h
20 Km initial VND 6,000/Km VND 6,000/Km
21 Km up VND 2,600/Km VND 3,200/Km
Waiting Time VND 15,000/h VND 15,000/h

Note: Not including waiting-time charges if the total distance is over 180 Km.

Mai Linh Taxi   

Tel: (84-4)  8 222 555  or (84-4) 9 722 722


Taxi Categories

M.Taxi (04)-8222 6666

VN. Taxi

(04)- 861 6161


(04)- 8222 555

Corolla 20001 

(4 Seats)

Mitsubishi Jolie 

(8 Seats)

Daewoo Matiz 

(4 Seats)

Vios-Limo 2005

(4 Seats)

Km Initial VND 10,000/1.3 Km VND 10,000/1.3 Km VND 7,000/1.3 Km VND 12,000/1.5 Km
1 - 15 Km  VND 7,700/Km VND 7,700/Km VND 5,500/Km VND 8,000/Km
16 - 40 Km * VND 5,500/Km VND 5,500/Km VND 4,400/Km VND 5,500/Km
41 Km up VND 4,400/Km VND 4,400/Km VND 3,800/Km VND 4,400/Km
Hanoi - Noi Bai Airport - Hanoi (≤ 70 Km)** VND 290,000 VND 300,000 VND 260,000 VND 300,000
Hanoi - Noi Bai Airport - Hanoi (≤ 35 Km)** VND 190,000 VND 200,000 VND 160,000 VND 200,000

 Note: - 50% discount for the return-way for 2-way taxi (in case of 1-way ≥ 40Km).

         - ** and *** : Taxi charge includes transportation fee

         - If the km No. is over the regulated Km No. (** and ***), taxi charges are paid arccording to *

Other taxi


  Name   Phone Remark
   Taxi CP    826 2626  4 seats & 7 seats
   Sai Gon    821 2121 4 seats & 7 seats
   Huong Nam    854 5454 4 seats
   V20    820 2020 4 seats & 7 seats
   Thu Huong    836 3636 4 seats & 12 seats, 30seats and 45 seats 
   Huong Lua    825 2525 4 seats & 7 seats
   Taxi 52    852 5252 4 seats 
   The Ky Moi    873 4734 4 seats 
   City    822 2222 4 seats
   Saigon Star    831 3131 4 seats & 7 seats


Directly access to the bus website for more detail


The Cyclo (The popular 3-wheeled bicycle-rickshaw), Passengers sit in front and driver peddles behind, so the Cyclo becomes a good sightseeing vehicle for visitors.

Selected Cyclo Address to hire:

Address: No. 50, Phat Loc Lane, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi.
(84-4) 928 1248 or Mobile (contact to Do Anh Thu): 0903 438048
VND 25,000 - 30,000 per hour 




Com (boiled rice)

In Vietnam, com is eaten in the main meals of the day (lunch and dinner). Rice is eaten together with a variety of different dishes and is made from different kinds of rice. Typically fragrant rice is used, such as Tam Thom and Nang Huong. An ordinary meal may consist of boiled rice and the following:
Mon an kho (meal without soup) consists of dishes of pork, fish, shrimp, and vegetable cooked in oil, as well as vegetables, pickles, etc.
Mon canh (meal with soup) consists of a soup made with pork or spare-ribs, crab meat, and fish.
In the past several years, people in urban center have begun to go out for lunch at the food stalls on the street. Consequently, there has been a proliferation of temporary food stalls along many sidewalks and public spaces in the cities. Some stalls are open until early in the morning to cater to regular customers. Around noon, owners can arrange tables and benches along the pavement to form makeshift shop floors. After two or three hours, when there are no more customers, they begin to remove all of their wooden furniture, so that the place resumes its former appearance. A well served lunch for one is very inexpensive.

Selected Boiled Rice Restaurants near Melia Hanoi Hotel: 




Tel No.


Com Viet (Viet Boiled Rice)

13 Ly Thai To Street

(84-4) 8240637


Com Chay Nang Tam  (Nang Tam Boiled Rice)

79A Tran Hung Dao Street

(84-4) 8266140


Restaurant 123

55 Pho Hue Street

(84-4) 8229100


Com Tam (Tam Boiled Rice)

59 Trang Thi Street



Com Tam Son (Tam Son Boiled Rice) 

34 Ba Trieu Street


Banh Chung (Sticky Rice Cake)

Sticky rice cakes are a Vietnamese traditional dish that must be part of Tet meals. As a matter of fact, every Vietnamese families must have sticky rice cakes among the offerings placed on the altar to their ancestors.
Bang chung is made of glutinous rice, pork meat, and green beans paste wrapped in a square of Rong leaves, giving the rice a green colour after boiling.

According to the legend, under the reign of the Hung Kings, Prince Lang Lieu created sticky rice cakes and presented them to his father. Bang chung won high acclaims from the King who awarded the prince his throne.
Making sticky rice cakes is a very meticulous job. To obtain the best cakes, rice has to soak in water for an entire day. The pork meat must include skin and fat, the green beans must be of the same size, and the Rong leaves must be fresh. Squaring off and tying cakes with bamboo strings requires skilful hands.

Sticky rice cakes are available at any time of the year, especially in the Tet holidays. Sticky rice cakes are often served with gio lua (lean meat pie) and hanh muoi (salted sour onions).

Gio Lua (Lean Pork Pie)

Lean pork pie is available in Vietnam only and has different names in the north and the south. Foreigners as well as Vietnamese are fond of lean pork pie.
Gio lua consists of pork meat wrapped in fresh banana leaves. The little bundles are then boiled. The most delicious part of lean pork pie is the top layer since it absorbs the flavour of the banana leaves.


Pho (Noodles)

Pho is the most popular food of the Vietnamese people. Pho is commonly eaten for breakfast, although many people will have it for their lunch or dinner. Anyone feeling hungry in the small hours of the morning can also enjoy a bowl of hot and spicy Pho to fill their empty stomachs.

Like hot green tea which has its particular fragrance, Pho also has its special taste and smell. Preparations may vary, but when the dish is served, its smell and taste is very delicious. The grated rice noodle is made of the best variety of fragrant rice called Gao Te. The broth for Pho Bo (Pho with beef) is made by stewing the bones of cows and pigs in a large pot for a long time. Pieces of fillet mignon together with several slices of ginger are reserved for Pho Bo Tai (rare fillet). 

The soup for Pho Ga (Pho with chicken meat) is made by stewing chicken and pig bones together. The white chicken meat that is usually served with Pho Ga is boneless and cut into thin slices. You could consider Pho Bo and Pho Ga Vietnam's special soups. Pho also has the added advantage of being convenient to prepare and healthy to eat.

Selected Pho Restaurants





Pho Bat Dan:  VND 5000-10000/bowl, pay in advance, (noodle soup with beef) 49 Bat Dan Street


Pho Ly Quoc Su: VND 5000-10000/bowl, pay in advance, (noodle soup with beef ) - very good 2 Ly Quoc Su Street


Pho Ly Sang: VND 5000-8000/bowl (noodle soup with beef) 2 Hang Ga Street


Pho Ga: Pho ga Mai Anh,  VND 5000/bowl (noodle soup with chicken) 34 Le Van Huu Street


Pho 24: VND 24000/bowl (noodle soup with chicken or beef) Ba Trieu Street

Cha Ca (Grilled minced fish)

Grilled minced fish has been served in Vietnam for more than 100 years. The Doan family of Cha Ca Street in Hanoi first invented this dish.

A wide variety of fish can be used in this dish including sturgeon and tuna. Tuna is low in fat, has an exquisite flavour, and few bones. The bones are separated from the meat and put into saffron water to be later used in a sauce. The fish is marinated in salt before being grilled.
What is interesting about this dish is that people can add their favourite condiments: coriander, mint, dill, shallots, and more.

Cha Ca Restaurant: Cha Ca La Vong, 14 Cha Ca Street; Tel: (84-4) 825 3929


Cốm (Grilled rice)

Grilled rice is mostly served in the autumn. After collecting the rice from the fields, several steps have to be performed to obtain excellent Com. After removing the grains from their hulks, the rice is wrapped in lotus leaves to keep it from drying and to allow it to absorb the lotus flavor.

Grilled rice can be found everywhere in Vietnam, but the best Com is found in Vong village, 5 km from Hanoi. People in this village still use traditional secret recipes. People eat grilled rice with eggs, bananas, or sapodillas.


Banh Cuon (Rice flour steamed rolls)

Eating Banh Cuon for breakfast is a great favorite among many Vietnamese.
Banh Cuon is made of rice flour. Thoroughly selected rice is soaked overnight, then ground with a stone mortar. Food preservatives are put into the flour to make the rice sheets softer and smoother. A screen of cloth used to mold the rice sheets is fitted over the opening of a pot of boiling water. Flour is spread on the screen and covered with a lid. After a few minutes, a bamboo stick is used to strip the thin layer of flour off the screen. Then it is rolled up and sprinkled with fried onions.

A small village in a suburb of Hanoi is famous for its Banh Cuon. People there serve it with a dressing comprised of lean meat, shrimps, mushrooms, dried onions, fish sauce, and pepper.
All the ingredients are stir-fried and rolled into a Banh Cuon. Banh Cuon is delicious when it is very thin, white, and sticky. It is even tastier when dipped in a sweet, sour, and spicy sauce.

Selected Banh Cuon Restaurants: 

  • Banh cuon Ky Dong, 11 Tong Duy Tan Street, Hanoi

  • 17 Cha Ca St

  • Banh Cuon Thanh Tri, Hang Chieu Strt, Hanoi

Bun Thang (Mixed noodle soup)

There are different kinds of rice vermicelli dishes: vermicelli with grilled pork (Bun Cha), with paddy crab soup (Bun Rieu), with snail soup (Bun Oc), with spare-rib soup (Bun Suon)... Each one has its own flavour and taste and all of them are delicious. But Bun Thang is top ranked among all vermicelli dishes. One of the reasons, perhaps, is that it is not so easy to make and so one does not get to taste it everyday. Moreover, Bun Thang might taste truly delicious only in one place: Hanoi. 

The name Bun Thang came from the way of preparation. Ingredients should be taken in portions like herbal medicine taken by a physician. This delicacy satisfies all the requirements for an interesting soup full of sour, hot and tasty flavour without being greasy or heavy. Bun Thang needs special broth. The broth should be prepared from chicken broth cooked with dried shrimps and chicken bones. These ingredients bring about the sweetness, which is neither fatty nor smelly and result in clear broth. Some chopped onion and fragrant knotweed are placed on the bottom of the bowl, and then vermicelli is put on added with other ingredients. On top of a bowl of Bun Thang lies a layer of different ingredients, not mixed randomly together, but arranged so each element occupies a corner of the bowl: shreds of pork pie and thin slices of fried egg, soft chicken fillets cut into shreds, fluffy shredded shrimp. Most of these have a yellow colour. They stand out on the background of very white rice noodles. In the center is the yolk of a salted egg surrounded by slices of red coloured sausage. The bowl should be filled up to the top with the boiling broth which is as clear and ivory-yellow as honey. The whole looks like a flower, yellow in colour, fragrance in smell. Before, Bun Thang was supposed to be the food of upper class. Nowadays, it has become a common dish. But its taste and attraction remain the same. It is very delicious, enjoy it.

Selected Bun Thang, Bun Oc, Bun Rieu, Bun Cha Restaurants:  






Bun Thang

Vuon Am Thuc (Traditional Foods Garden)

37 Cua Nam Street, Hanoi


Bun Thang

29 Hang Hanh Street


Bun Oc (VND 5000/bowl, very good)

73A Mai Hac De Street


Bun Rieu Cua (VND 3000-4000/bowl)

14 Hang Da Street


Bun Cha Hang Manh 

(VND 10.000 - 15.000/bowl, very good)

No.1 Hang Manh Street

6 Bun Cha Sinh Tu (8.000 - 10.000/bowl) 80 Nguyen Khuyen Street


Bun Bo Hue (Hue beef noodle soup)

One must have years of experience to cook excellent Hue beef noodle soup. This recipe mainly consists of shredded meat and rice noodles. Most restaurants and merchants in Hue do not make the rice noodles themselves; they buy them in Van Cu and Bao Vinh, two villages located near Hue.

Learning how to make a clear broth from bone and meat is also a difficult task, but cooks have the satisfaction of seeing customers enjoying a good meal. The secret of this recipe resides in the meat–this is why it must be bought directly from the slaughterhouse early in the morning. The meat is then shredded, boiled, and taken out of the water to obtain a delicious clear broth.
The amount of salt put in the recipe varies depending on the season; during summer, Hue beef noodle soup is served with soya bean, mint, and different kinds of lettuce; in the winter, the recipe is saltier and lemongrass and fish sauce are added.

Selected Bun Bo Hue Restaurants:  - Bun Bo Hue, Hang Ga Street.


Banh Tom (Shrimp fried pancake)

Although Banh Tom is available almost everywhere in the country, it is best at the Nha Hang Ho Tay (Ho Tay Restaurant) on the banks of Truc Bach Lake, close to Ho Tay (West Lake) in Hanoi. While diners await the arrival of the hot fried shrimp pastry, they can enjoy the picturesque lake and landscapes offered by the vast expanse of water from West Lake and the tree-lined Thanh Nien Road.

The dish should be eaten as soon as it arrives at the table. The fried pastry is topped with red shrimps and is eaten together with dishes of spicy vegetables mixed with sweet and sour sauce.
To remind you of the local shrimping business, waiters will often tell you that the shrimps that you have ordered for your meal have just been netted in nearby West Lake. This will be a memorable meal that will ensure that you remember your stay in Hanoi.

Banh Tom Restaurants:

  • West Lake shrimp fried pancake restaurant,  Thanh Nien street, Hanoi;  Tel: 829 2738, 716 0238

  • Restaurants on Dang Thai Mai St.

  • Restaurants on To Ngoc Van St.

Nem Ran or Cha Gio (Fried spring roll)

This dish is called Nem Ran by northerners and Cha Gio by southerners. Although it ranks among Vietnam's specialty dishes, Nem Ran is very easy to prepare. Consequently, it has long been a preferred food on special occasions such as Tet and other family festivities.
Ingredients used for Nem Ran comprise of lean minced pork, sea crabs or unshelled shrimps, two kinds of edible mushroom (Nam Huong and Moc Nhi), dried onion, duck eggs, pepper, salt and different kinds of seasoning. All are mixed thoroughly before being wrapped with transparent rice paper into small rolls. These rolls are then fried in boiling oil.


Lau Mam (Mixed Soup)

Lau Mam was a popular dish among farming communities hundreds of years ago, especially in the southwestern provinces. Nowadays, Lau Mam is considered a delicacy and is often served to special guests. Lau designates the broth, and Mam the salted fish.

The main ingredient used in the broth is marinated fish to which meat and vegetables are added. Various ingredients, such as seafood, fish, and meat, are prepared on separate plates. Guests choose and boil their meat in the broth. The meal is accompanied by several fresh vegetables and aromatic herbs.
This dish is particularly enjoyed since so many alternatives are possible, offering a wide array of delicious flavours.

Selected Lau Mam Restaurant: Lau Mam Sai Gon, Phan Chu Trinh Street, Hanoi



City sights

Van Mieu - Quoc Tu Giam  

Van Mieu  (Now)

   Quoc Tu Giam (Temple of Literature) was built in 1070 as a dedication to the founder of Confucianism. Six years later, Quoc Tu Giam - the first university of Vietnam - was built in the premises of Van Mieu. Quoc Tu Giam was the first school for princes and children of royal family members. In 1482, King Le Thanh Tong ordered the erection of steles with inscription of all the names, birth dates and birth places of doctors and other excellent graduates who took part in examinations since 1442. Each stela is placed on the back of a turtle representing the nation's longevity. During Nha Nguyen (Nguyen Dynasty), Temple of Literature was moved to Phu Xuan (Hue Royal City).  



Chua Mot Cot (One-pillar Pagoda)

One Pillar Pagoda

Chua Mot Cot (One-pillar Pagoda) : Its original name was Dien Huu (long-lasting happiness and good luck). It is said that King Ly Thai To was very old and had no son of his own. Therefore, he often went to pagodas to pray for Buddha's blessing so that he might have a son. One night, he had a dream that he was granted a private audience with Buddha with a male baby in his hands. Buddha, sitting on a lotus flower in a square-shaped lotus pond in the western side of Thang Long Citadel, gave the King the baby. Months later, the queen got pregnant and gave birth to a male child. To repay gift from Buddha, the King ordered the construction of a pagoda which was supported by only one pillar resembling a lotus seat on which Buddha had been seated. The pagoda was dedicated to Buddha.  




Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum  

Adress:  No.2 Ngoc Ha street
Opening Hours:
7.30am to 10.30am
Closing day:
Monday and Friday
Entrance Ticket costs:

Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum is located at Ba Dinh Square, on Hung Vuong Street past the end of Dien Bien Phu Street. At the entrance to the Mausoleum is Ho Chi Minh’s quote: " Nothing is more precious than independence and freedom". There are a number of rules and regulations in regard to seeing Uncle Ho. You will be not allowed to wear shorts, or to bring cameras or bags, you cannot put your hands into your pockets and you must retain a respectful air about you. Visitors walk in pairs in a militaristic fashion past Ho Chi Minh’s body that is held in a glass case. After the mausoleum the tour continues to Ho Chi Minh’s house that has a large collection of interesting relics from his past.



Ho Chi Minh Museum  

Adress:  3 Ngoc Ha - Hanoi.  Tel:8.463.757.    Fax: 8.463.752.
Opening Hours:
(Morning: 8h to 11h, Afternoon: 1.30h to 4.30h)

Entrance Ticket costs:
5,000 VND

This museum is located nearby Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. It was completed on May 19, 1990, on the occasion of President Ho Chi Minh's birthday. It is a 4-story building covering a total area of 10,000 m2. The museum is designed in the shape of a lotus flower, as a symbol of President Ho’s noble character.

The main showroom displays more than 2,000 documents, articles, pictures, and exhibits illustrating not only historical events that took place in president Ho Chi Minh’s life, but also important events that occurred in the rest of the world since the end of the 19th century.

The museum also contains other rooms such as a library, a large hall, meeting rooms, and research rooms. Since its opening, the museum has welcomed millions of local and international visitors.  


Vietnam History Museum 

 Opening Hours
- Morning:       8h00 ?11h30
- Afternoon:   13h30 ?16h30

 Closing day: Monday

Address   : No 1, Trang Tien St, Hanoi
Tel          : (84-4) 8242433; 8241384
Fax         : (84-4) 8252853
Email       :

Located on Trang Tien Street, in the center of Hanoi, on a picturesque block of colonial period buildings constructed in the unusual hybrid architectural style of the early 20th century. The grounds of the Museum include a spacious garden area and numerous old canopied trees. The Vietnamese National History Museum was officially opened to the public on September 3, 1958, on the grounds of what was the Louis Finot Museum during the French colonial period. The original building was built in 1926, and opened in 1932.

The architectural features of the building are drawn from the designs of China, India, and Japan, and are fused in a style unique to Indochina.



Vietnam Museum of Ethnology  

Adress:  Nguyen Van Huyen Street, Cau Giay District, Hanoi.  Tel: (+84-4) 756 2193, Fax: (+84-4) 8360351
Opening Hours:
8.30am to 5.30pm
Closing day:
Monday and Tet Holiday
Entrance Ticket costs:
10,000 VND

Characteristic: It contains more than 10,000 objects, 15,000 black and white photos and hundreds of video tapes and cassettes which depict all aspects of life, activities, customs, and habits of the 54 ethnic groups of Vietnam.

The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology opened at the end of 1997. Since then, it has attracted the attention of visitors as well as ethnographers and researchers from all over the world.

The museum has successfully recreated the daily life together with the religious rituals and the symbolic festivals of each ethnic group in Vietnam. Visitors have the opportunity to admire costumes, embroidery as well as outside stilt houses and habitats from the different groups.

All displayed objects mingle and supplement one another to create a colourful and diversified picture of Vietnamese culture.

An open-air exhibition in the museum’s spacious and peaceful ground features ethnic houses from all over Vietnam.
The displayed object area is divided into 9 parts:

- Introduction.
- Introduction of Viet (Kinh).
- Introduction of Muong, Tho, Chut ethnic groups.
- The ethnic groups belong to the Tay, Thai, and Kadai groups.
- The ethnic groups belong to the Hmong-Dao Group, Tang Group and San Diu, Ngai ethnic groups. 

- The ethnic groups belong to the Mon-Khmer group.
- The ethnic groups belong to the Nam Dao.
- The ethnic groups: Cham, Hoa, Khmer.
- Exchange and mingle between the ethnic groups.





Hanoi Out Sights


Hoa Lu - Ancient Capital


Hoa Lu was the capital of Vietnam from 10 centuries ago during the Dinh and Tien Le dynasties. It is situated in Truong Yen commune, Ninh Binh province, approximately 100 km south of Hanoi. Hoa Lu is surrounded by numerous magnificent mountains and consists of three areas: Thanh Ngoai, Thanh Noi, and Thanh Nam. 

Thanh Ngoai, covers an area of approximately 140 ha in Yen Thanh village. King Dinh Tien Hoang erected a flag in Thanh Ngoai Palace. Ma Yen mountain is in front of the palace.

Thanh Noi is located in Chi Phong village. This village, formerly known as Thu Nhi commune, where the children and servants of the royal lived.

Thanh Nam is surrounded by high mountains that act like barriers at the south of the ancient city, protecting the capital and enabling people to leave Hoa Lu by waterway.

To the east of the old capital are the Cot Co Mountains where the flag of Dai Co Viet, the former name of Vietnam, was erected; Ghenh Thap Mountain, where King Dinh used to review the army; Tien Cave, where the national treasures were kept; and Thien Ton Cave, where prisoners and criminals were punished.

Le King Temple, where Le Dai Hanh is worshipped, 500 m from King Dinh Temple. Le King Temple is smaller than King Dinh Temple, but is divided in three parts as well: Bai Duong; Thien Huong, where Pham Cu Luong is worshipped; and Chinh Cung, where Le Hoan is worshipped.

Unfortunately, most structures in Hoa Lu have been ruined over the last 10 centuries. Now, only the temples of the Dinh and Le Kings built during the 17th century remain. The tombs of the two kings can be seen in the Ma Yen Mountains.


Bich Dong - Tam Coc

Location: In the Ngu Nhac Son Mountains, in Dam Khe Village, Ninh Hai Commune, Hoa Lu District, Ninh Binh Province.
Characteristics: King Le Canh Hung said that Bich Dong was the second nicest grotto in Vietnam, after the Huong Tich Grotto in Ha Tay Province.

In 1773, Mr. Nguyen Nghiem (the father of the Great Writer Nguyen Du) visited this cave. After viewing the whole scenery of the mountains, waterways, fields, and sky covered in green mist, he gave the cave a very beautiful and romantic name, Bich Dong (which literally means “Green Pearl Grotto?. Bich Grotto is said to be the second most beautiful cave in Vietnam. The Bich Dong Pagoda was built near the cave in the Le Dynasty.

Bich Dong Pagoda, built on Ngu Nhac Mountain, is divided into three levels: Ha Pagoda (lower pagoda), Trung Pagoda (middle pagoda), and Thuong Pagoda (upper pagoda). On the mountain peak, the statue of a scholar Mandarin looks at the horizon in hope of viewing the spectacular landscapes of Hoa Lu.

From the upper pagoda, It's easy to see the most magnificent view of Bich Dong, which is romantically charming in terms of architecture and history. The location of this pagoda was chosen in 1428 after two monks were charmed by the view of the river and the mountains. Later, King Le Canh Hung wrote a poem in honour of the beautiful pagoda and landscape. He was the one who said that Bich Dong Pagoda was the second nicest pagoda in Vietnam, after the Huong Pagoda (also called Perfume Pagoda) in Ha Tay Province.

Near the Bich Dong Pagoda, it's very nice to visit Tam Coc Grotto which is located approximately 2km from the pagoda. Tam Coc is 3km from Van Lam Wharf.

Take a boat from Van Lam Wharf to reach the Tam Coc Grotto, consisting of the Hang Ca, Hang Hai and Hang Ba grottoes. These caves are adorned with beautiful stalactites and stalagmites of different shapes and colours that sparkle like gemstones.


Ha Long Bay  

Location: Halong Bay is located in the northeastern part of Vietnam and constitutes part of the western bank of Bac Bo Gulf, including the sea area of Halong City, Cam Pha Town and part of Van Don island district, Quang Ninh Province.
Characteristics: UNESCO recognized it as the World Natural Heritage two times.

The legend of Halong has it that, ?i>Once upon a time, soon after the Viet people established their country, invaders came. The Jade Emperor sent Mother Dragon and her Child Dragons down to earth to help the Viet people fight against their enemy. Right at the time invaders? boats were rushing to the shore, the dragons landed down on earth. The dragons immediately sent out from their mouths a lot of pearls, which then turned into thousands of stone islands emerging in the sea like great walls challenging the invaders?boats. The fast boats couldn’t manage to stop and crashed into the islands and into each other and broke into pieces.

After the victory, Mother Dragon and Child Dragons didn’t return Heaven but stayed on earth at the place where the battle had occurred. The location Mother Dragon landed is nowadays Halong Bay and where Child Dragons descended is now Bai Tu Long. The dragons?tails waving the water created Long Vi (present Tra Co peninsula) and formed a fine sand beach over ten kilometers long?

Ha Long Bay is one of the most picturesque areas in Vietnam where most visitors are in love with the unique charm of more than 300 limestone rocks in stunning shapes and sizes rising from crystal clear waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. Literally Ha long means "descending dragon", as per a legend,the dragon lived in the mountain created islands around Halong Bay, upon rushing to the sea, the dragon broke up the rocks into marvelous shapes. As a consequence, islands are named after their strange shapes such as Voi (elephant) and Mai Nha (roof). Because of its beauty and rich in natural resources, Ha Long Bay has been declared a World Nature Heritage by UNESCO.


Tam Dao Resort

Tam Dao Resort has long been known for its wonderful scenic spot and it is the ideal destination for vacations in the north. Tam Dao is a range of mountains stretching 50 kilometers, 10 kilometers wide and it is 85 kilometers far from Ha Noi. With the area of 300 ha, Tam Dao town locates in a small valley of Tam Dao mountains. Tam Dao - a sublime and lyrical landscape - is a precious gift given by nature. In summer, tourists visit Tam Dao to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery. 

Weather: The weather is cool all around the year with an average temperature from 20 to 22 oC. There are four seasons within a day: Spring in the morning, summer in the noon, autumn in the afternoon and winter in the evening.

Sightseeing: Television Tower is 93 meters on the highest peak of Tam Dao mountain range (Thien Nhi peak is 1375 meters high). It's difficult to climb but once you reach to the peak, you can enjoy the surrounding landscape. Tam Dao is endowed with the Silver Waterfall which is beautiful and lively scenery. If you love adventure, you can climb to Rung Rinh peak, where you can see many big trees and fantastic scenery. A little bit further is Tam Dao II, the ideal resort French used to relax. 

How to get there: You can ride motorbike. It's about 60 kilometers from Hanoi to Vinh Yen town, Vinh Phuc province, then continue going 25 kilometers, you will reach to Tam Dao. You also can go by bus. It departs at 5h30 everyday at 32 Nguyen Cong Tru.