It is largely unscathed from the decades of war, and is now going through a building boom, making it a rapidly developing city in Southeast Asia.
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. If possible, avoid the summer months of mid May to mid September, as the city turns into a sweltering sauna with little to no wind.
Getting into Hanoi
By plane: Most people arrive at the Noi Bai International Airport (IATA: HAN), 35km (45-60min) north of the city. The airport might seem relatively small considering Hanoi's importance to the country, but this might benefit travellers by making the airport easy to navigate and no need to arrive hours in advance (the limited waiting space is one reason why non-travellers are discouraged from entering the airport) to make sure there is plenty of room for those actually using and working in the airport
Taxis are the best way to travel long distances, but the cyclos, or pedicabs, are a cheap way to make shorter trips. Taxi fares are not always consistent, and the rates for each taxi company have not been standardized. For lone travellers, rides on the back of motorbikes (actually low-powered scooters) are popular too (known as xe om, literally meaning motorbike-hug). Uber has also launched in Hanoi, and while they has a few districts they operate on, they do offer more consistent pricing than taxis.