If you are one of those who still send old fashioned paper mail then you have a very centrally locted post office right by Hoan kiem Lake in Central saigon.
The adress of the place is "75 Ðinh Tiên Hoàng" and it has the services you would expect from a post office aswell as a small shop where you can buy various things.
It's on the same side of the lake as the wter puppet theater and just a 2 minute walk from there.
Hanoi has recently installed electronic street map in some of the most visited parts of Hanoi so you can easily pop over there to see on a map where you are and most hotels on located ion the maps too so you can see whether you can walk home or need a cap or a rickshaw.
This thing is clearly in it's beginning but it's in my opinion a really cool initiative that deserves praise and support, so thumbs up for that initiative.
From the old quarter, you take bus no 34 and ask the driver to drop you off at the stattion where you can take bus no 47. Bus no 47 stops right front of Bat Trang Ceramic Village. It's a very easy trip.
In Bat Trang village, you could see a world of ceramic products and have chance to do some by yourself. And you may cover the village in the afternoon only.
Have a nice trip!
Just to let members here know of my personal experiece.
Though I was told by many friends that they were once the best with competitive prices, I found them to be:
-very slow in replying your e-mails
- Not honoring their quotations, though they stated that the quotations are valid for 15 days from 1st enquiry, they actually jacked up the price after I had decided to confirm one of their proposed trips, despite querying them on why the price had gone up, they would just ignore and not answer the questions directly, but said that prices go up and down depending on demands/timing/exchange rate! What kind of business principle is this if they are indeed a big and reputable company!
-they will add 4-5% of service charge if you pay online using credit cards!!!!!
Ha Noi Kids is an association of students that provides an “escort” or “companion” service for tourists visiting Ha Noi. This is NOT a guiding service but if you arrange it with them they will accompany you for the day, participating in your daily activities related to tourism in Ha Noi.
I found them on the internet while searching for information about Ha Noi. I made inquiries through they’re website and arranged for they’re representatives to meet us at an agreed upon address at a predetermined time. There is an application process to be completed and they determine your suitability for the program.
I organized this entirely through they’re website exchanging various emails and then decided on the date. They showed up exactly ON TIME and exactly where we had planned without ANY complication.
The intent of Ha Noi Kids is multi purpose, it provides students with some exposure to foreigners, it provides an environment that enables the students to practice they’re second language skills, and for someone that might be a little uncomfortable exploring a new and large city on they’re own it provides the tourist a mechanism to orient themselves into the pace of life and surroundings here in Ha Noi.
We were quite lucky…the organization sent two students to accompany us for the day…
I determined the day’s itinerary and they accompanied us until the late afternoon. You choose the day’s events or itinerary and they make sure that it happens. They facilitate communication with taxis or help you through the bus system, they do they’re best to explain some of the sights that you are seeing but acting as a GUIDE is NOT they’re function so its likely a good idea to prepare yourselves with some background information about what you want to see or do.
Fondest memory: We spent the morning exploring Ngoc Son Pagoda and walking the streets of the Old Quarter. They suggested a great place to have lunch and then we spent a part of the afternoon exploring the Museum of Ethnology. There is an architectural attraction in the Old Quarter at 87 May May Street where there is a calligrapher working…LouAn provided translation and I had quite an interesting conversation with the gentleman. You can catch a glimpse of this conversation on one of the attached videos here if you might be interested.
This is a FREE service however we picked up the tab for drinks throughout the day as well as the cost of lunch and taxis…
If the rest of the “kids” are as polite and helpful as Loan (pronounced LouAn) and Tai (I called him “T” ) then you really cant go wrong..
The website is down at the moment but it seems to me if I remember correctly the organization has been around for a few years and the number of students participating is about 150…so I don’t think that scheduling would be an issue
I'm happy that I took advantage if this service, I got to meet some really interesting young people who had spent they’re entire lives living and growing up in Ha Noi.
I would highly recommend you take advantage of this service for tourists!
You can contact them at this email address if you would like more information.
email@example.com or when it becomes available again...http://www.hanoikidstours.com/
A nice way to explore Hanoi is by Cyclo. My Hotel got one for me, and I was very pleased.
A nice man, that could speak good English, would stop for me to take photos, and would tell me about the places I was seeing, what a way to go!!
AND...... An experience, sitting in the "frontline," watching all those Motorbikes whizzing past and around you, hoping that you and the Motorbike do not hit!
If you do take a cyclo ride, see if you can go past the Embassy homes, they were colonial, and beautiful.
COST IN 2008 FOR 2 HOURS... 60,000 DONG
I asked for a city tour, and was very happy with what I got. I used this same Cyclo a few times as he did an excellent job!
People often want to know how much money you can withdraw from the ATM's.
A lot are only 1million dong..........
the INCOMB bank is 2million dong ............
ANZ BANK NEAR HOAN KIEM LAKE IS 9,900,000dong and there are security guards next to the ATM.
Fondest memory: Located near the Old Quarter side of Hoan Kiem Lake
Do you feel Vietnamese traditional art ( lacquer, wood engraving, ... ) is so awesome, the material. Wow. So strange. That's why I looked for a class to study lacquer or engraving when I live in Hanoi for one month . I found two places. It's Hanoi university of Fine art and T-art. I tried both, here are some of my observation :
- HN university of Find art ( 42 Yet Kieu ) :
It's a nice place. U can meet many ambassador's wife from various countries . ^^ . They focus on techniques so much. So it takes much your time to study. It's suitable for people live in Vietnam for 1 month upwards.
- T-art center ( 26A Thuy Khue, Tay Ho ) :
It's a nice place, too. ^^. But here, if you just stay in Hanoi for about 1 week, U still can learn basic techniques of lacquer or engraving or silk painting ( of course your painting is not too complicated ). Because the duration of course depends on you. And the teachers is from Hanoi University of Fine art, too.
Its a great way to rent a motorbike and explore Hanoi. You can visit the places that I aready listed on my page http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/93e1b/ you can get more than 5 places on a day, depends on your driving & map reading talents :p
Besides, you can visit several places by outskirts of Hanoi but its better you have local people to guide you or you could loose the way.
Tell me if you want more info abt Hanoi or Vietnam, I'll try to reply.
Laundry places in the French quarter of Hanoi were non-existent. In the old town, there were quite a few. I used one at 24 Ta Hien. About $1/kilo for washing, drying, folding. Very reliable!
Alternatively, you could always let the Sofitel or Melia do your laundry for $5 a shirt.
Favorite thing: The Old Quarter is one of the most popular districts with the tourists in Hanoi. Here budget travelers fill the guesthouses on tree-lined streets. The streets of the Old Quarter are named for the goods that used to be sold on them. Now the wares have changed but the feeling hasn’t. This is the place to shop in Hanoi. You can find everything and anything you might want to take home with you in the Old Quarter. It’s also the heart of the arts district in Hanoi. Galleries here abound, carrying original art by the leading Vietnamese artists. Other highlights of the Old Quarter include Hoan Kiem Lake, the Water Puppet Theatre, the local market and St. Joseph’s Cathedral. Also since this is a highly touristed zone many local travel agencies line the storefronts offering packaged tours to popular destinations like Ha Long Bay and Sapa.
When you're in Hanoi, or any areas nearby, use Vietnamese Dongs. They're accepted anywhere, anytime - If they don't, don't give them business. :-)
In hotels, although they prefer USD, the donggers are accepted.
I got 1.6 million dong for USD 100 (Jan 07) - Instant millionaire. :-)
Favorite thing: One of the best ways to explore Hanoi is by walking around the streets. If you are tired after a long walk and happened to be at the famous St Joseph's Cathedral, there is a foot massage shop at the row of shop houses just next to the cathedral called Aroma Foot Massage. I went for a foot massage here for about 1 hour, and it was quite good and the price is very cheap (see the second photo for the prices of the different types of massage here). The place is air-conditioned which is very relaxing if the weather is hot outside :)
The foreign exchange at the airport gives reasonable rate, in comparison to the hotels in the city. The 2 foreign exchange counter at the arrival area of Noi Bai have almost same conversions..
As of October 6, 2006 this is the money exchange:
1. USD (1,2,5,10,20$) 16,015 dong
2. USD (50,100$) 16,035 dong
3. Japan Yen 132.73 dong
4. Australian Dollar 11,648 dong
5. Canadian Dollar 13,814 dong
6. Great Britain Pounds 29,365 dong
7. Singapore Dollar 9,877 dong
8. Euros 19,858 dong
9. Hongkong Dollar 2,003 dong
10. Thai Baht 409.21 dong
Ask the cashier to give you on small denomination, as having 100,000 dong is hard to use for payments on small purchases.
Once you exit the customs at NoiBai Intl, there is an ATM machine areas from 6 different banks and there is no long queue either.
Atms accept cash advance withdrawals from visa or mastercard credit cards. Some of the banks are also affiliated with PLUS and CIRRUS.
One international bank available is CITIBANK, you can withdraw from your Citibank ATM account, few thousand dongs to use for transportation.. Surprisingly no surcharge.
It is best to withdraw from the ATM at the airport, as I have not seen many ATM machines in the Old Quarters.
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