Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. You could write a book about this city. The first time you arrive in Hanoi Vietnam, you will be amazed. There is so much happening around you that you will need several days to get used to the hustle and bustle.
Scooters, scooters, scooters
The first thing that you will notice when you arrive in Hanoi is the traffic. It is very amusing to watch the scooters and cars race past each other. You should definitely take part in this bizarre traffic and then you will notice that it works! Scooters will dodge you and if you dare cross the street you better walk slow without stopping.
Street life Hanoi
The people in Hanoi spend most of their day outside. Walking through the streets of Hanoi will teach you all about the life of the Vietnamese. Doors are wide open, giving you an idea of how the Vietnamese live. People sit outside in front of their house on plastic stools where they are in conversation with their neighbours. But they also sell food and drinks, and will leave their stools to help customers, after which they will sit back down and continue the conversation. You will also encounter many “outdoor barbers”. A mirror on a wall, a pair scissors and a customer. That’s all you need in Hanoi to run a barber shop.
Women walk through the city with a traditional hat on their heads and a bicycle with two big baskets filled with fruit. A more special way is the long stick that women wear on their shoulder with two baskets filled with food at the ends. Wherever you are in Hanoi, you can always eat something delicious.
Street food Hanoi Vietnam
Talking about food: street food! Hanoi is known for that. And rightly so, because in the old part of the city you will find a place to eat every few metres. Of course you can sit at a table outside on a low chair. A tip: try as many dishes as possible. Order the traditional noodle soup, fresh spring rolls, hot pot, fried noodles / rice, tofu, etc. Enough choice! All of this while enjoying a Hanoi beer.
Bike around West Lake
Yes, even in busy city of Hanoi there are places where you can escape the hustle and bustle of downtown. Highly recommended is the West Lake. A great lake north of the old town. Here you can rent a bike for a few euros. The trip around the lake is about 18 km and is wonderfully refreshing. The lake provides a cool breeze and cleaner air. Perfect to get away from the busy city centre. Along the way you can encounter plenty of places to eat. Relax on a chair overlooking the lake while enjoying a coconut.
Temples and museums in Hanoi Vietnam
Hanoi offers plenty of things to do to keep you busy for a number of days. From different temples to interesting museums. There are several options to explore, if you want to know more about Vietnam’s impressive history. Examples include a visit to the Museum of History, the Museum of War, the Ho Chi Minh Museum and Mausoleum and the impressive Hoa Lo Prison.
It is also pretty special to visit the many temples and pagodas that Hanoi has to offer. The beautiful Temple of Literature, the Temple on one Pillar, the Tran Quoc Pagoda and the bright red coloured bridge leading to the Ngoc Son Temple on an island in Hoan Kiem lake.
The evenings are anything but boring in Hanoi. Wander through the night market in the old town every Saturday and Sunday evening or visit the funny water puppet theater.
Old Centre Hanoi Vietnam
Even though Hanoi is Vietnam’s capital, it is less modern than the Southern Ho Chi Minh City.
In short, enough to see and experience in the worthy capital of Vietnam!