Hanoi (Vietnamese: Hà Nội), the capital of Vietnam, and also its second largest city, is a fascinating blend of East and West.
The Tourist Information Centre, ☎ +84 4 926 3366, Dinh Tien Hoang, just north of Hoan Kiem Lake, can provide a fairly useful map although bewilderingly, the blow-up of the Old Quarter is missing, making it useless in that part of town.
The climate is tropical, with wet and hot weather much of the year. But due to the city's latitude, temperatures drop drastically in the wintertime and the wind chill and dampness means winter weather can feel cold.
Noi Bai International Airport (IATA: HAN), 35km (45-60min) north of the city.
Taxis to central Hanoi can be hired at Noi Bai. There are fixed price taxi stands right outside the exit, offering fares ranging from US$15-$25 into the city.
Public buses to the city centre from Noi Bai airport take about 1.5 hour. Bus #07 crosses the Thang Long bridge and goes to the Daewoo Hotel on the western part of Hanoi (almost an hour on foot to the historical centre of Hanoi). Bus #17 crosses the Chuong Duong bridge and goes close to the old quarter, to Long Bien (just a few blocks from Hoan Kiem Lake - the destination of most tourists). Prices are 6,000 dong and 7,000 dong, respectively. To catch buses 7 or 17, exit on the arrivals level and keep walking right past the taxis and minibuses, past the coaches and to the buses which are at the end of the car park. Public buses operate 05:00-22:00.
Shuttle-buses from the airport to Hanoi stop at the Vietnam Airlines Office on 1 Quang Trung (a bit south of the old quarter but conveniently stocked with taxis and motorbike drivers, of course!). Tickets are sold in the building in front of which the minibuses park, or you can give the fare directly to the driver. The cost is US$2 or 40,000 dong for foreigners (insurance reason), and 35,000 dong for Vietnamese (which includes VN-Americans), which rate is indicated on the sticker fixed to the bus's body. The driver will potentially give you trouble if you have additional bags, but if you push, you will get the same US$2 rate.(sources http://wikitravel.org/en/Hanoi)