Must-see And Unique Things In Hanoi

Hoan Kiem lake - Hanoi

West Lake or Ho Tay

West Lake is a freshwater lake with a shore length of 17km. You will find many of the upscale hotels and beautiful villas surrounding West Lake. I didn’t spend much time around here but would be keen, as it’s becoming the more fashionable area of the city. Lots of new restaurants and boutiques can be found here along with the upscale hotels.

West Lake - Hanoi

Wander Around The Old Quarter

If you’re not staying in the Old Quarter, you must wander around this ultimate maze of shops, restaurants, cafes, bars, temples, and people watch. You’ll get lost in the Old Quarter but that is the best way to explore it. The Old Quarter has been kicking around since the 13th century and since then, a guild was responsible for each street and they’ve somewhat kept that going. When you wander around you’ll notice that each street still specializes in a certain business like fashion trimmings, bamboo poles, or metal cages. If you get lost just make it back to Hoan Kiem Lake and use that as your compass.

The Old Quarter

Eat Street Food

Eat all of it!!! If you love Vietnamese food you’ll be in heaven here. At first, I have to admit to sticking with Banh mi (Vietnamese sandwiches) and Pho (noodle soup) but luckily my friend opened up my palate to new things like savory porridge with shredded pork and fish soups. If you don’t like it, remember it’s so cheap so you can always order something else. Food in Hanoi was amazing!

Hanoi street food

Drink Vietnamese Coffee

I love ca phe sua da or Vietnamese iced coffee. I drank around 2 or 3 a day. Probably not a good idea…I was so wired! Smoking is still allowed inside cafes and restaurants so if you have a strong aversion to smoke, many cafes will be quite smoky.

Vietnamese Coffee

Hoa Lo aka the Hilton Hanoi 

Hoa Lo was a prison used by the French colonists for political prisoners and then later used by Northern Vietnamese for prisoners of war during the Vietnam War. American POWs also dubbed it the Hanoi Hilton. The prison was demolished in the ’90s but the gatehouse remains as a museum.

Hoa Lo Prison

Enjoy Trang Tien Ice-Cream

Trang Tien ice-cream is one of the most popular foods in Hanoi. Everyone who ever tries eating it will love it. That is the reason why Trang Tien ice-cream shops are always crowded with children and adults, Vietnamese citizens and foreign tourists. If you come to this city, do not miss the chance to enjoy Trang Tien ice-cream, one of the best indoor and outdoor activities in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Enjoy Trang Tien Ice-cream

Drink Beer On Ta Hien Street

In the afternoons when the sun has set, many people in Hanoi gather at beer halls to drink beer and chat. There are also tables on the pavements for clients who want to watch the traffic while enjoying beer. Drinking beer on the pavement helps cool your body after long hours of traveling.

(Source: Nhat Dam -LinkedIn)

Drink beer on Ta Hien Street

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