The Saturday Metropolis: Hanoi, Vietnam


hanoi traffic in the old townThe capital of Vietnam, Hanoi is positioned within the north of the nation. Crowded (pop. 6,000,000+), slightly polluted, and barely run-down, it nonetheless could be very quaint.

Though I did not like Vietnam, I preferred Hanoi.


Time and poor rebuilding might have worn down the town. Throughout Hanoi, previous French colonial properties lay crumbling as trendy buildings spring up round them, slowly bringing the town into the trendy age. The town’s previous quarter, positioned proper by Hoan Kiem Lake, is a high quality instance of French Colonial structure. I think about that is what New Orleans would seem like if it was left to decay.

However Hanoi is an enchanting metropolis the place you’ll discover superb avenue aspect pho locations, little beer bars, and a quick tempo the place it’s worthwhile to observe the grandmothers as you cross the road otherwise you’ll get run over.

Navigate tiny streets and outside markets as folks crush you from all sides. Hanoi could be very busy, and this quarter is among the busiest – flooded with bikes, buses, markets, and vacationers. Buses cram down streets I didn’t suppose even motorbikes may get by means of. A bus of mine went down one the fallacious manner and I used to be positive we have been performed for. Crossing the road here’s a high quality artwork, as motorbikes and automobiles don’t cease for you. However, regardless of the crowds, these densely-packed streets have loads of attraction because the previous battles the brand new for dominance.

Hanoi is one among my favorites and as we speak I wish to share some issues to see or do whereas in Hanoi:

Go to the Outdated Quarter
The Outdated Quarter’s 2,000-year-old streets are an internet of buying alternatives and low cost eateries. Gold and silver jewellery, garments, cosmetics and even musical devices can all be purchased right here alongside a myriad of different items. There’s additionally loads of fascinating previous worn French structure round and you’ll nonetheless see the robust French affect within the space. The previous quarter can also be a fantastic place to sit down and drink Bia Hoi, low cost Vietnamese beer. At 75 cents a beer, you possibly can’t go fallacious!

Go to Hoam Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple
(Dinh Tien Hoang St, +84 eight 3910 0555)
Get right here early within the morning to observe throngs of individuals working towards Tai Chi, working, biking and strolling earlier than their working day begins. Within the heart of the lake is the Tortoise Pagoda, a shrine to the well-known big turtles that dwell within the lake. The lake could be very lovely and there’s a temple price visiting on the north finish of the lake. You possibly can go to this space each day from 8am to 5pm. It’s 20,000 DNG to enter. 

Go to the Temple of Literature
(Quoc Tu Giam Road, Dong Da District)
Inbuilt 1070, the Van Mieu temple is a superb instance of conventional Vietnamese structure and is among the oldest constructions within the nation. Initially devoted to Confucius, you possibly can wander the 5 courtyards embellished and see the stelae mark with the primary diplomas for the college’s doctorate college students. Entrance is 30,000 VND per individual. Opening hours are Tuesday to Sunday, 7:30am to 11:30am and 1:30pm to four:30pm.

Go to the Ho Chi Minh Museum
Ho Chi Minh Museum, Hanoi
(19 Ngoc Ha, Ba Dinh, +84 24 3846 3757,
On the lookout for one thing morbd? You possibly can take a look at the physique of former chief Ho Chi Minh himself. Regardless of wanting his physique to be cremated (in order to not waste agricultural land), his countrymen mummified him and put him on show. It’s a creepy sight and he seems very “plastic.” No cameras are allowed in, and troopers stand guard to be sure you don’t communicate both. Ensure you time your go to proper, although – Ho Chi Minh spends just a few months out of the yr in Moscow getting “labored” on.

For these curious about Ho Chi Minh, you can even see his previous presidential palace in addition to a museum devoted to his life. The museum is de facto extra of a propaganda instrument designed to point out how Ho Chi Minh led a revolution in opposition to imperialist pigs as a substitute of being a chronology of his life. The museum is open each day from 7:30am to 6pm. Tickets are 30,000 VND per individual.

Escape the Hustle for Halong Bay
For many who discover the hustle and bustle of Hanoi an excessive amount of to deal with, there are numerous journeys exterior the town you possibly can take, too. You possibly can head out to the World Heritage website, Halong Bay, and sail by means of limestone karsts. Or head west to Sapa, some of the lovely areas of the world and residential to many hill tribes. Sapa was actually lovely. In truth, Vietnam’s pure magnificence was the spotlight of my time there.


You’ll discover loads of issues to see and do in Hanoi. This metropolis will hold you entertained in your go to however what actually makes Hanoi superb is the attraction of the town. It has that particular one thing that makes it completely fascinating as a lot as it’s irritating as you attempt to make your manner round in a spot that appears by no means to note you. It’s an journey in Hanoi and is why each traveler ought to go to!

E book Your Journey to Hanoi: Logistical Suggestions and Tips

E book Your Flight
Discover a low cost flight to Hanoi through the use of Skyscanner or Momondo. They’re my two favourite engines like google. Begin with Momondo.

E book Your Lodging
You possibly can ebook your hostel in Hanoi with Hostelworld. If you wish to keep elsewhere, use as they constantly return the most cost effective charges. (Here’s the proof.)

Don’t Neglect Journey Insurance coverage
Journey insurance coverage will defend you in opposition to sickness, damage, theft, and cancellations. I by no means ever go on a visit with out it. I’ve been utilizing World Nomads for ten years. You must too.

Want Some Gear?
Take a look at our resource page for the perfect corporations to make use of!

Need Extra Data on Hanoi?
Be sure you go to our sturdy destination guide on Hanoi for much more planning suggestions!

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