The Four Things To Do See & Eat in Hanoi

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Four Days In The Capital Of Vietnam, Hanoi

After a few days exploring Ho Chi Minh City we were on a $20 flight to the tip of the north, Vietnams cultural capital, Hanoi. Swapping sunshine for rain we had 3 days to find the best four things to do, see and experience.
The City known as 'The Paris of the Orient' is famed for being one of the most fascinating capitals in Asia. Where old meets new, it felt like we had been transported into ancient Vietnam. We were staying in the heart of the Old Quarter set over the waters of the historic Hoàn Kiếm Lake. Nick named 'Turtle Lake' after it's mystical residents hidden underneath the waters surface, who occasionally pop up for a hello. The Vietnamese tortoise! 

The Old Quarter is made up of 36 Streets, a labyrinth born of the 13th Century where each road was clustered with trade of the same speciality, and by the looks of it, nothing seems to have changed bar the odd mobile phone cover store. Silk street is draped in silk fabrics, Trimmings street, our favourite of course, flooded with thousands of buttons, ribbons, appliqués and pompoms. Silver street, Carpet Street, Paper street, oh the list goes on. It is like nowhere else you’ve ever been.

After one of the most delicious 80cent Pho sat on a tiny blue chair (child sized!) listening to the pattering rain above us we were already charmed by another great city.
Without further ado here are our Top Four Things of everything Hanoi.

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The Four Places To Eat

1  KOTO (Know One Teach One)

Opened by a Vietnamese-Australian as a non-profit restaurant to train street kids to be bilingual chefs & waiters
59 Van Mieu Street, Hanoi | + 84 4 747 0338

2  Quán Chả Cá Thăng Long

Great value for money and the most delicious turmeric infused fish

31 Đường Thành, Cửa Đông, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam |+84 4 3824 5115

3  Chim Sao 

Sit on the floor for dinner with delicious reasonably priced, authentic dishes

63-65 Ngõ Huế, Hai Bà Trưng, Hà Nội, Vietnam

4  La Badiane 

10 Nam Ngư, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam, +84 4 3942 4509
Epic French Fusion food
 
vietnamese papaya shrimp salad
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The Four Places To Stay

1  For Little Budgets  Rising Dragon Hotel Hanoi 

Doubles from $20 we stayed here one night the service was amazing they surprised Eleni with a mega Birthday cake, 24 Hang Ga, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi, Old Quarter, Hanoi, Vietnam

For Medium Budgets La Maison Hai Ly Home Stay

 Doubles from $80 authentic home stay in gorgeous location, No.8, alley 437, Ngoc Thuy Street, Long Bien District, Hanoi

For Healthier Budgets Apricot Hotel

Doubles from $95, we stayed here it was fruity and fun just like the name, 136 Hàng Trống, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam,+84 4 3828 9595

Fit For A Queen Lotte Hotel Hanoi 

Doubles with breakfast for $135, lap up a little bit of luxury in their rooftop pool, 54 Lieu Giai Street, Ba Dinh, Hà Nội 100000, +84 4 3333 1000

The Four Best Coffee Shops

1  The Kafe

Hidden down a mural painted alley, it's East meets West in this trendy spot, great coffee and good apple mint tea

18 Điện Bin Phủ | +84 4 3747 6245
 
 
Great cafe tucked away on a side street, best flat white in Hanoi
 
6 Ngõ Hội Vũ, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam | +84 4 3938 2117
 
 
The oldest coffee shop in the city, a real Hanoi gem
 
60 Nguyen Huu Huan, Old Quarter, Hanoi, Vietnam | + 84 4 3824 5940
 
 
 
Rustic meets chic, this slate floored, military themed cafe has an edgy vibe. A good spot for people watching and coffee sipping
 
152D Wang Zhao Vietnam | Dong DaHanoi, Vietnam
 

The Four Best Things To Do

1  Half-Day Hanoi Motorbike Tour

See Hanoi's best historical bits including Hanoi Opera House, Old Quarter, Hoan Kiem lake, Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum and enjoy Hanoi's best bites on the back of a bike. Tickets are 40USD

2  Visit The Night Market

 In the heart of the Old Quarter every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening indulge in some gorgeous trinkets, clothing and food. Located between Hang Dao Street and Dong Xuan Market. Catch it between 6 - 10pm

3   Hit the Old Quarter at Night 

Sip cocktails on a roof top bar or watch the world go by with a local beer, street level with the Hanoi folks for 5000 dong (just 20cent, making it the cheapest beer in the world!)

Here are our favourites

The Rooftop 83 Lý Thường Kiệt, Trần Hưng Đạo, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội | +84 91 370 69 66

Tadioto Bar  24 Tông Đản, Tràng Tiền, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội | +84 4 6680 9124

The Summit at Sofitel Hanoi 15 Ngô Quyền, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội 010000 | +84 4 3826 6919
Minh’s Jazz Club 65 Quan Su Street, Hoan Kiem District | +84 43 942 0400

4 hours drive from the city and you can find yourself on a boat trip surrounded by over 1600 floating limestone islands in the Gulf of Tonkin. A world UNESCO Heritage site, if it's nature you're after, head this way. Some of the limestone islands are over 20 million years old! We booked a 2 day cruise on a traditional luxury junk boat, from our hotel for 150USD inclusive of food (drinks were extra). A beautiful place but check the weather forecast before you go as visibility wasn't great for us due to fog and the crowds were a little overbearing on the activities such as cave tours and floating village. This place has an air of mystic quality, so much so that they were even filming the new Hollywood movie 'King King' during our visit.

We booked on to A Class Cruises, which had a cute crew, was super clean and great grub.

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1 Comment

  1. June 1, 2016 / 12:39 am

    Mark Twain once said that if the first thing you do in the morning is eat a live frog, you can go through the rest of the day knowing it can t get any worse. That doesn t mean you have to go and switch your soy latte for a frog it simply means you should do your most important assignment first. Studies have shown that you have the most willpower in the morning , so harness your motivation mojo and master your most important task bright and early.

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