Vacationing in Vietnam? Don’t board that flight without reading our list of 13 things to do in Hanoi!
Once you’re geared to go make sure you follow our top travel packing hacks for smoother sailing to parts unknown.
1. Graze on Hanoi’s World Famous Street Food
Where else can you find a truly delicious meal for the price of a coke in a dingy airport vending machine?
Whether you’re eating bang tom (shrimp-fried pancakes), pho tiu (sweet and sour pork soup), banh cuon (steam rice rolls with pork and mushroom), or any variety of fresh fruits, juices, and even bugs you’ll be well taken care of.
2. Wander the Old Quarter
One of the most historical points of the city presents Vietnam as we imagine it: a never-ending sea of buzzing scooters and sidewalk vendors negotiating streets full of hip cafes, boutique shops, and art galleries.
3. Hang Out Around Tay Ho Lake
This massive fresh water lake with a 17km circumference is a natural respite from the city and offers some of Hanoi’s most sought out locations, featuring one of Vietnam’s four sacred temples and Hanoi’s oldest pagoda.
4. Bargain Hunt the Weekend Night Market
What could be wrong about closing streets off to chaotic traffic and letting vendors set up shop? The night market is a great place to get trinkets, souvenirs, and fashion and mobile accessories at bargain basement prices.
5. Watch a Water Puppet Performance
The Thang Long Water Puppet Theater is a must-see for locals and tourists alike – traditional shows involve performances relating to the lives of Vietnamese farmers, dragon dancing, or historical legends all for less than a fiver.
6. Bite into Some Bún bò Nam Bộ
Simplicity and elegance describe this traditional dish made with marinated slices of beef and vermicelli noodle served with fried onion, raw vegetables, bean sprouts, and peanuts.
7. Shop Silk Street
This 300 metre long street lined with tailors and fashion boutiques is a great place to get quality homemade furniture, Vietnamese apparel, and of course fashionable silk materials.
8. Experience Colonial Vietnam in the French Quarter
The wide open streets here are a welcome departure from the chaotic old town and the French style villas, Opera House, and charming cafes will make you feel a bit closer to home – unfortunately, so will the prices.
9. Don Xuan Market
Head to Hanoi’s largest covered market space for clothes, gifts, household items, and a ton of great Vietnamese dishes.
10. The Temple of Literature
This temple dedicated to the legendary teacher and philosopher Confucius was built in 1070 and would later host Vietnam’s first national university. Despite centuries of wars and disasters many architectural styles and precious relics have been preserved here.
11. Guzzle the Cheapest Beer in the World at Bia Hoi Corner
It’s a bold claim but you’ll be a ‘beerliever’ after forking over about 20 cents for a massive glass of this freshly-made, preservative-free 4% beer that must be drunk 24 hours after production.
12. Try the Famous Egg Coffee
Depending on the person Vietnam’s famous Cà Phê Trứng may sound delicious or revolting. Take powdered coffee and add a frothy mix of egg yolk and sweet condensed milk on top – Starbucks take note! Or not 😉
13. (Don’t) Stay at The Hanoi Hilton
This famous prison used by French colonists for political prisoners and later for US captives during the Vietnam War is now an informative museum offering a humble retrospective of a darker time.
Did these 13 reasons convince you!
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