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Vietnam forum

5 hours in Hanoi, worth leaving the airport?

Posted by Dazmar on 19/5/2011 at 10:43

I fly into Hanoi 1:10pm and then catch a flight to Luang Prabang at 6:30pm the same day. Would there be enough time to leave the airport and have a look around Hanoi? I am told I have to get a visa anyway so would like to have a look around. Any recommendations would be appreciated.

#1 Dazmar has been a member since 19/5/2011. Posts: 3

Posted by travellingsarah on 19/5/2011 at 14:14 TF writer

Posted from within Vietnam.

You have to get a visa anyway? What a pain! In that case I would say yes! But it will be a rush. However, even the drive into Hanoi is an experience. The cheapest way would be to take the Vietnam Airlines bus to it's drop off, and from there you can do a walking circuit up along Hoan Kiem Lake and round Old Quarter then back along the other side of the lake, through the French Quarter and back to Vietnam Airlines for the bus back. It would be quite a lot of walking though so you might prefer to take a cyclo ride around for an hour or just wander a bit and then find a nice cafe to sit in and watch life in Hanoi pass by.

#2 travellingsarah has been a member since 23/3/2010. Location: Vietnam. Posts: 679
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Posted by daawgon on 20/5/2011 at 00:35

What a waste! Just a few hours in one of Asia's nicest places.

#3 daawgon has been a member since 17/4/2007. Posts: 1,082

Posted by travellingsarah on 20/5/2011 at 07:58 TF writer

Posted from within Vietnam.

Well said. I'm interested though Dazmar - who are you flying with that you transfer through Hanoi? I thought it was one of the least useful airports.

#4 travellingsarah has been a member since 23/3/2010. Location: Vietnam. Posts: 679
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Posted by Dazmar on 20/5/2011 at 12:14

Flying from Australia to Luang Prabang, Laos. Using frequent flyer points to Hanoi then flight from Hanoi to Luang prabang with Lao airlines. Basically it was the cheapest way to get there and the flying times were only a few hours different to other options

#5 Dazmar has been a member since 19/5/2011. Posts: 3

Posted by tival on 21/5/2011 at 09:26

Posted from within Vietnam.

if i were you,i will just stay at airport because you will not have enough time to see Hanoi ,.
It takes you at least 45mins from airport to center then back, so total nearly 2 hours, and you must be at airport 2 hours before your flight to check in.
So no time to see Hanoi anyway.

#6 tival has been a member since 31/3/2010. Posts: 3

Posted by busylizzy on 21/5/2011 at 10:34

It's a hard one... I'd be tempted to try and escape and head to the lake /Old Quarter area for a quick squiz around.

But..,. are you sure you need a visa? You usually don't at most airports if you are in transit, and don't actually go through immigration. Maybe check with the airline that is taking you to Hanoi.

#7 busylizzy has been a member since 31/12/2007. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 2,155
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Posted by SBE on 21/5/2011 at 13:12

I don't think you'll be able to leave the airport anyway.

I had a four hour lay over in Ho Chi Minh a few years ago and I'm pretty certain I didn't pay for a visa... though if I remember right they did put a transit stamp on a brand new page of my passport rather than using a half empty page.

Bring a decent book!

#8 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,002
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Posted by gatvietnam on 21/5/2011 at 22:24

Posted from within Vietnam.

Not enough anyway. 2 days are ok, or at least 1 day. just several hours will lead you to no where beautiful or worthy to see in Hanoi, except going to Trang Tien street for famous Trang Tien Ice-cream

#9 gatvietnam has been a member since 9/5/2011. Location: Vietnam. Posts: 34

Posted by jonyd1 on 22/5/2011 at 22:22

I agree with the not enough time posts. Figure a couple hours getting to and from the airport, plus arriving at the airport with enough time to check in and make your flight - a lot of hassle to take a quick walk around a couple streets in Hanoi. I say save it for a whole trip - it's worth it :-)

#10 jonyd1 has been a member since 29/9/2010. Posts: 23
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