Hanoi is one of the oldest capitals in the world, where you can find well-preserved colonial buildings, ancient pagodas and unique museums in the center of the city. The city still has a lively atmosphere. From the early hours until late in the evening, the streets are swarming with moving motorcycles. There are a lot of things to do in Hanoi. You can hunt for delicious street food, visit colonial buildings and explore the local life. Not to mention the peaceful countryside is a short drive away, with lush forests, green mountains and traditional villages, not to mention the iconic Halong Bay.
Hanoi Motorbike Tours
Since cars are incredibly expensive in Vietnam, 90% of the population commutes by scooter, motorbike, or Russian Minsk Motorbike. If you ride a motorbike in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, you’ll see that people drive very slowly, which may seem a bit insane but is actually a safe practice.
Hanoi Egg Coffee
Around the time of the French War, there was a lack of fresh milk throughout Vietnam. Many Vietnamese coffee aficionados chose to fill the bottom of their cups with condensed milk and then pour coffee on top in reaction to this shortage. (which is how regular Vietnamese coffee is served today).
Mr. Nguyen Van Giang, a bartender at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel, made the decision to develop a distinctive Vietnamese Cappuccino in 1946. But given the scarcity of fresh milk in Vietnam, Mr. Giang had few choices. The first cup of Vietnamese egg coffee was eventually invented by him by replacing milk with whisked egg yolks. Due to the enormous success of this beverage, Giang Cafe was established.
Visit the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre to see a show.
A visit to the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre is one of the attractions in Hanoi that you must not miss. Here you will find a theatre that contains a waist high pool of water that the puppeteers stand in.
They then manipulate puppets which are fixed to long bamboo canes and it looks as if they are dancing on the surface of the water. The shows here typically give you the tale of local myths and legends, as well as farming tales or Vietnamese folklore.
Views are available from Long Bien Bridge.
Built from 1899 to 1902, the Long Bien Bridge was built by architects who came over from Paris. This was the first steel bridge to span the famed Red Bridge and it is one of the focal points of Hanoi.
It is a location of historical significance in the city and would have played a crucial strategic role during the Vietnam War. Try to visit the bridge in the evening if you can so that you can see it lit up against the dark Vietnamese sky.
There is a pedestrian route that allows you to cross the bridge, and there are numerous street food carts serving delectable foods. You should take a motorbike tour to explore all of Hanoi.
Hanoi Train Street
Recently, the century-old train tracks that once ran through the center of Hanoi’s old town have been transformed into one of the city’s most popular tourist destinations, known as Hanoi Train Street. Even though it may be perilous, sitting at a cafe next to a railroad and seeing locals’ daily activities attracts many curious tourists.
The residential neighborhood on both sides of Hanoi Train Street, next to the railroad at the doorstep, is what makes it unique and draws tourists. All residents must assure the safety of their pets, vehicles, and other belongings every time a train passes while continuing to live their usual lives on both sides of the road due to the streets’ extreme narrowness.
You will be taken aback by the calm, unassuming demeanor of the residents who live close to the rails as you explore this distinctive train street in Hanoi; this will allow you to fully immerse yourself in the local face of hectic and thrilling Hanoi.
You can visit the train street at these addresses:
- Ngõ 222 Lê Duẩn, Khâm Thiên, Đống Đa, Hà Nội and
- 5 Trần Phú, Hàng Bông, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội
- Along Phung Hung street
The most active activity here is definitely taking photos of people and the living space by the train street of Hanoi people.
Hanoi Street Food
Lonelyplane.com ranked Hanoi as one of the top 10 walking tours for traveling foodies. Those who prefer street food will need to arrange their trips to Hanoi carefully in order to take advantage of the local cuisine.
You should start your Hanoi street food tour at the humming Chau Long market in the maze-like Old Quarter of Hanoi before going to establishments that provide native street food, such as Pho Bo (beef noodle soup), hearty Banh Xeo (egg crepes), and slinky Banh Cuon (steamed rice crepes filled with minced pork, shallots and mushrooms).
The top ten street meals in Hanoi, including as Pho, Bun Cha (grilled pig noodles), Bun Rieu Cua (freshwater crab noodles), barbecue chicken (grilled chicken wings and feet), and Xoi, are all must-try items (sticky rice with crushed peanuts and sesame salt).
Hanoi Night Market
Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 18 to 23 in the evening, the Hanoi Night Market is held. The market extends from Hang Dao area to Dong Xuan Market, creating a bustling and congested strolling area. People frequently come here to stroll or buy, which develops into a habit for Hanoians. Tourists enjoy walking along the Hoan Kiem lake’s walking promenade on weekends to watch the locals perform folk games and sing while they stroll.
You may discover anything related to clothing and entertainment on this commercial street. On Hang Ngang, Hang Dao, Hang Buom, Hang Duong, Luong Van Can, Hang Ma, Ngo Gach, and Hang Ca Streets, goods are sold in the following categories: clothing, sweets, “o mai” (salted dry fruit), decorations, toys, stationery, and other miscellaneous items. From Dong Xuan Market to Hang Giay Street, you can find everything you need.
On weekends, visitors to Hanoi’s night market come to shop or simply to saunter through the throng and take in the ambiance and customs of the locals. The prospect of going shopping with their family, sitting on their father’s shoulders, holding their mother’s hand, moving through a crowd of people, creating sand sculptures, and playing with sand pictures thrill children. It is very sweet to see couples going hand in hand along the street, grinning, taking pictures, and shopping for clothing on the weekends. Many foreign tourists visit the country to shop or go sightseeing. They can easily locate inexpensive trinkets made in Hanoi or in the Vietnamese style.
Learn to cross the road
In Hanoi, navigating the city’s busy streets is both a real cultural experience and a means to get in touch with its rhythms. The goal is to remain slow, steady, and predictable because Hanoi’s constant stream of cars and interminable lines of motorbikes may appear to be an impenetrable wall of lethal mayhem.
Drivers are accustomed to swerving to avoid people as they approach, so honking is simply a means to indicate their presence politely. The hardest thing is finding the bravery to step off the pavement and start walking… especially for the first time.
Savor the cheapest beer on the planet
Bia hoi, which is available in Hanoi, is marketed as “the world’s cheapest beer” because a glass costs between 5000 and 7000VND (US$0.22 to 0.31). Bia hoi, which is made from fermented maize, is sold and eaten by the side of the road as customers relax and converse informally on small plastic stools.
The Old Quarter’s Beer Corner, where Tha Hien and Luong Ngoc Quyen meet, is Hanoi’s busiest drinking location. It’s an entire street packed with red plastic seats, residents, visitors, and the echo of their boasts.