Nội Bài International Airport, located in Hanoi, is the largest airport north of Vietnam. It is now the main airport serving Hanoi, and currently the main hub of Vietnam Airlines, the country’s flag carrier. It is also the major hub of Vietjet Air and Jetstar Pacific. Located in Phu Minh Commune in the Soc Son District, which is approximately 30km (19 miles) northeast of downtown Hanoi, the airport is not far from Hanoi’s satellite cities including Vinh Yen, Bac Ninh, and Thai Nguyen. There are currently two terminal buildings at the airport.
Like other capital cities, Hanoi offers a lot of attractions and vast array of activities that tourists will surely enjoy. If you are planning to visit museums, note that many museums are closed on Mondays and Fridays, so make sure you plan your museum trip beforehand. Vietnamese Women's Museum, which underwent an extensive renovation, houses exhibitions, a modernised interior, and is a great source to learn about Vietnam’s female heroines in history. Other museums you can visit are Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Ho Chi Minh's Vestige in the Presidential Palace Area, and Ho Chi Minh Museum. While you’re at it, you should also visit Hanoi’s wartime sites such as the Hoa Lo Prison (The Hanoi Hilton), B-52 Lake - Huu Tiep Lake, Army Museum, and B-52 Lake - Huu Tiep Lake. There’s no shortage of parks in the city as well. Hoan Kiem Lake in particular is a locals’ favourite. Lenin Statue & Park and Ly Thai To Statue & Park are also great parks to sight-see and to breathe in fresh air. Some activities that you can enjoy in the city are rock climbing and attending cooking classes.
How to get around within Hanoi
There are several ways to navigate around Hanoi. For long distances, the best way is to take the taxi while for shorter trips, cyclos, or pedicabs, are the cheaper alternative. Motorcycles are commonly used and are also popular as a means of transport. Make sure that if you choose to ride any of these, negotiate the fare ahead to avoid scams and be clear with your destination. Renting a motorcycle is also a good option, and you can arrange a rental through most hotels. You can ride around and make several trips around Hanoi. Don’t forget to always exercise caution as city roads can be tough. If your motorbike breaks down, there are several repair shops around that you can go to. Buses in Hanoi are fast and comfortable although can be rather confusing at first. Make sure you tell the driver or the conductor where you’re going or ask for directions. The Metro system in Hanoi is part overground, part underground. However, it’s still under construction, with the first line due to become operational in 2016.
How to get there
If you are getting in by plane, you’ll most probably arrive at the Nội Bài International Airport. From the airport, there are fixed price taxi stands located right outside the exit. Compared to the taxis in the city, they are slightly more expensive, but the rates are fixed. You can also take a public bus bound to the city centre or shuttle-buses that stop at the Vietnam Airlines Office on 1 Quang Trung. Another way to get in the city aside from getting on an airplane is by train. All other trains, except those bound to Nanning, China, use the main Hanoi train station, for daily services from southern cities in Vietnam including Hue and Nha Trang. The Reunification Express however, runs to Ho Chi Minh City. Train services between Hanoi and north-west cities are also available. There are also public buses that ply to southern destinations that leave from Giap Bat bus station.