What's up, Hanoi !

Vietnam has been a country that never really crossed through my mind for travel. Unsure whether I've been influenced by the delicious bowl of rice vermicelli I always packed for lunch, or that resurfacing number of travel recommendations about Vietnam, I settled for Hanoi - the more laid-back city as compared to Ho Chi Minh but a culturally rich and vibrant capital of Vietnam. 

With zero familiarity to Vietnamese culture and its whereabouts, here definitely lies the exciting part of planning the trip with my partner. For the convenience of accessing to major attractions and obtain the nearest local experience, we settled down in a budget hotel (which has real top-notch service in recommendation and catering to all our needs) at Old Quarter. Despite the never-ending stream of traffic, the lifestyle in Hanoi is surprisingly more relaxing than I expected. If you're looking for a slower pace holiday, use this mini guide of things to do in Hanoi for your upcoming trip. 

1. Visit key attractions within vicinity including Hoa Kiem Lake, St Joseph Cathedral, and the famous Le Duan Train Street. Tip: With all these attractions within walking distance, better to prep yourself with a face mask considering the level of air pollution in the city. 

2. Lounge at local cafes for cool refreshing drinks. Vietnam is well known for its coffee, and of course this entails different types of coffee well designed as local specialty. Try out a tiramisu-like foamy textured egg coffee at Cafe Pho Co, or coffee with coconut milk smoothie at Cong Caphe as shown below. 

3. Suit yourself on these mini stools by the sidewalk, whether to salivate in their local delicacies or just people watching. I guess the easiest way to experience and witness the everyday lives of local culture would be to walk through the nooks and crannies of small allies and pick a random store, go through that language barrier even if it takes a lot of sign language or poor enunciation that draws laughter. 
L to R: Egg Coffee (Cafe Pho Co), Beef Pho (49 Bat Dan), Sticky Rice (Xoi Yen), Bun Cha (34 Hang Than)

4. Wind down your day at Ta Hien Street (Beer Street). I've heard about Hanoi having the world's cheapest beer that costs only 5, 000 Dong (~RM1). Unfortunately I couldn't seem to find it even from the famous Green Apple corner, which claimed to be the start of beer corner. Nevertheless, from 20,000 dong per bottle, there's nothing better to quench your thirst and give the local snacks a try especially if they are off your radar in your culture.

To read out more about what to do out of Hanoi city, stay tune of this space. Till then! Love, Sharon.


Popular Posts