This Is Why Hanoi Should Be Number One On Your Bucket List
In this article we will walk you through some of our most memorable things to do in the capital, along with some invaluable insider tips to help you on your way.
Thing’s to do:
1. Treat Your Tastebuds To a Vietnamese Coffee
Vietnam is famous throughout the World for its exquisite coffee and Hanoi certainly lived up to our high expectations. Our favourite place to relax and enjoy one of these delicious beverages was a cute little spot overlooking the river, named The Note Coffee.
The Note Coffee is a must visit for anyone planning a trip to Hanoi. We can’t stress enough, you need this coffee shop in your life. As soon as you enter you are greeted by the sound of chatter and the warmth of smiles from both the staff and the customers alike.
The coffee shop itself is so inviting, the walls are layered in sticky notes with messages written by previous customers. Some of the messages are comical, some are romantic and some are positive quotes passed from one customer to another. The whole vibe in this place is amazing. We both ordered Vietnamese coffee’s, which tasted phenomenal, and when the barista brought them to our table she left a note for us too, which is pictured below.
The Note Coffee, Vietnam.
2. Bag Yourself a Bargain At The Hanoi Night Market
The Hanoi Night Market is open on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It is 3km long and is located in the heart of Hanoi’s Old Quarter, making it very central and easily accessible for both locals and tourists.
We ventured into the Night Market on the Friday night, and before we even got to the entrance of the market, our nostrils filled with smell of fried food and we could hear the hustle and bustle that awaited us. We spent a good two hours trawling through every stall that we could, trying to find some hidden gems. The stalls are filled with sparkling souvenirs, clothing for all sizes, food for all tastes along with a variety of other novelty gifts. We left the market with 3 new t-shirts and a pair of sunglasses each, after some bartering of course.
3. Take a Leisurely Stroll Around One Of Hanoi’s Lakes
Hanoi is home to several lakes nurtured in between its many distinct buildings and industrious roads. We found this to be a charming surprise, as we haven’t came across a lot of nature amidst the hustle and bustle of every day city life.
If you love wandering around city’s and taking in every stunning sight that they have to offer, then this should definitely be on your list. The lakes of Hanoi are wonderful for a leisurely stroll going at your own pace or a high speed stride for any budding gym enthusiasts. The picturesque views offer the perfect background for that awe-inspiring Instagram selfie.
Hanoi Lake and Blanaid.
4. Take a Trip To Ha Long Bay And Prepare To Be Mesmerised
Ha Long Bay has been named as one of the new 7 wonders of nature. It is located 160KM east of Hanoi, which is a 3 and a half hour drive away. It truly is a magnificent vision of nature and a sight that will take your breath away, if a visit to Ha Long Bay isn’t on your list of things to do when in Hanoi then you need to rewrite your list.
As you roam through the streets of Hanoi you will see numerous outlets selling Ha Long Bay tour tickets. You can choose either a 1 day tour, 2 day tour or a 3 day tour. If you choose the 2 or 3 day tour this will include your overnight stay onboard the vessel. The price will vary, depending on which tour you choose to do and which company you book through. We opted for the 1 day tour which was organised through our hotel and only cost $35 per person. It was astounding value for money as we left in the early hours of the morning and returned just after 8pm that night. The $35 included our transport from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay and back in an exceedingly comfy private mini bus; a breathtakingly beautiful boat trip around the bay; a heavenly three course meal onboard the boat that was fit for a Queen; kayaking around the bay.
A boat trip around Ha Long Bay.
Tips to help you on your way:
When you arrive into a new country or city, it can be difficult to work out how much a taxi journey should cost. Nobody likes to be overcharged. Instead of asking several different taxi drivers and trying to workout the cheapest price, just download Uber and book your taxi through them. This is a fantastic taxi app for your smart phone that will save you both time and money. We found this especially useful for booking a taxi to bring us to our hotel, when we arrived into the airport.
2. Withdrawing Cash
If you plan to travel on from Hanoi to another part of Vietnam, withdraw some extra cash whilst in Hanoi. This is useful because in Vietnam when you are withdrawing money from a cash point, depending on your particular bank account majority of banks will charge you a fee for withdrawing overseas. In Hanoi you can withdraw up to 5 million Vietnamese Dong in one transaction, however outside of Hanoi most of the cash point’s will only allow you to withdraw 1 to 2 million Vietnamese Dong at any one time. Therefore you will be withdrawing more often and incurring more bank charges. So withdraw a little extra cash whilst in Hanoi to avoid the some of the charges.
3. Crossing The Road
This sounds like a bizarre tip, but if you have never ventured through Asia before you may not be aware of just how much of a frenzy it can be, trying to get from one side of the road to the other. Essentially you need eyes in the back of your head. Hanoi in our experience, is the worst for this. If you are waiting for traffic to come to a halt to let you cross the road, you will be waiting a very long time. At crossing points, as alarming as it may sound, you just need to slowly walk across to the other side and let the traffic drive around you. This is the standard procedure, vehicles will actually drive around you.
If you enjoyed this article, why not share it with your friends.