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May 15, 2015

Hanoi – the unforgettable beauty in the old town

Maybe, It is different from what you imagined before, when you come to Hanoi capital and see an ancient, interesting and full of energy town, you’ll love this city immediately. Ha Noi is not as bustling at night as in Bangkok, or not as modern and noisy as in Tokyo, the capital has a particular color of a history more than 4,000 years.

Hanoi night
Hanoi night

The old town is bustling and hubbub with motorbikes, and street corners are vibrant with stalls on the sidewalk creating a unique and unforgettable Hanoi. Many tourist sites to see, many things to do and many dishes to enjoy, a tour to Hanoi will make you have relaxed moments.

The Presidential Palace
The Presidential Palace

Accommodation in Hanoi

After many suggestions from our friends, we chosen to stay in Sofitel Metropole, a luxurious hotel and we loved it. There are many other options, but there is nowhere having charming and quaint space with French style as here. I felt like I was touched to Paris just right in the heart of Hanoi.

Hanoi in fall season
Hanoi in fall season

What to see in Hanoi?

The old quarter: If you arrive in Hanoi and it is enough time to do only one thing, let’s spend your time to walk around the bustle and charming old town. I felt in love right from the first day coming here and felt like I did not need to do anything other than to explore the Old Quarter of Hanoi. I was lost in the labyrinth with a lot of small shops, every street here only sell a specific commodity. Hanoi Old Quarter creates a gentle and safe space, so you can safely walk around alone.

Hoan Kiem Lake: Located in the city center, Hoan Kiem Lake like a cool airflow in the middle of the old town, this place is quiet for you to stop and rest. Hoan Kiem Lake is a famous landmark of Hanoi, Tortoise Tower and Ngoc Son Temple in the middle of the lake, around the lake has many flowers and plants. You easily find cafes around the lake, let’s sit down for enjoying a glass of water and relax.

The Huc bridge in Hanoi
The Huc bridge in Hanoi

Hoa Lo Prison: The prison was built by the French in 1896 and it was used during the Vietnam War for detaining American prisoners. This is the only prison in the heart of the city. Today, Hoa Lo prison remains only a small angle for visiting. Let’s visit Hoa Lo to have an interesting perspective on the history of this place.

Ethnographic Museum: We are attracted by an artist museum which is imbued with national cultural identity of Vietnam. Museum show the culture of each region very personal and very unique.

West Lake: This is the largest natural freshwater lake in Hanoi, located in the north-west from the city center. Beautiful scenery has a combination of modern and ancient features, so this area has many foreigners living.

Water Park near West Lake is another side of sight-seeing places with all colorful and playful water games to play. This is really suitable for children. But it is strongly suggested that they should always be accompanied by their parents when playing strong-feeling games there! A green and peaceful Hanoi, a fast-growing hospitable city with great tourism potentials, is now open and warmly welcomes friends from all over the world.

Tours in and around Hanoi city are available at all duration and price levels from different travel agencies, in which short-length city tours (one day or half a day) and day tours from Hanoi are most popular among tourists thanks to its low prices and flexible time arrangements. Hanoi is a mix of busy modern life and sustainable values preserved for generations. As such, this capital city has become extremely attractive to tourists especially with Culture and History tours.

The Temple of Literature
The Temple of Literature

Shopping in Hanoi

Old Quarter: A place is full of goods for shopping in Hanoi, you will find lots of silver jewelry in Hang Bac street, clothing and household items in Hang Trong Street, fabrics in Hang Gai Street, candy in Hang Duong street…

Tan My Design: it is not only a fashion shop, Tan My Design can be considered to a true art space “made in Vietnam” with traditional embroidery and silk items. Coming to Hanoi, you should not forget to visit Hang Gai Street to buy a nice suit with Tan My style.

Dong Xuan Market: This is the largest market in the old quarter of Hanoi with an existence history of hundred years. This busy market is the ideal place for you to find cheap jewelry items.

Hom Market: This is a small market in the south of The Old Quarter, it is famous for supplying fabrics from affordable to high price with various designs. If you have plentiful of time, around the market has some small tailor shops, you can choose some beautiful fabric types to make a bag or petite purse.

Chie Handmade: There are many shops selling Asian arts and crafts around the old quarter, and most of them tend to be similar each other from cloth, bags or toys … However, I casually stop by Chie Handmade at 49 Hang Trong Street and I love the unique design here immediately. They have fashion accessories and furnishing items which were carved with traditional patterns of ethnic groups in the Northwest of Vietnam.

Early morning in Hanoi
Early morning in Hanoi

Food in Hanoi

Cong Coffee Shop: An inspirational space for those who want to experience Vietnam coffee with the real taste. I did not like coffee but after a few days I loved it, especially a coffee with coconut milk.

Buffet Socola Metropolo: Colorful chocolate buffet in a great live music space at Le Club Bar of Sofitel Metropole hotel is appealing option for a romantic evening.

Betta Bar: Located on the 2nd floor of an old French villa, Betta bar is furnishing in classic style of the 80s, warm golden light and melodious music. This is the ideal space for you to relax and enjoy after a long day.

Green Tangerine restaurant: the restaurant has French-style, quiet and cozy space. You can come, enjoy a cup of espresso and listen to jazz melodies or enjoy both Vietnamese cuisine and French-style dishes.

67 Hang Dieu Street: Simplicity is a bowl of beef rice noodles on the street of Hanoi.

Hanoi Social Club: This place is quite popular with the foreign community in Vietnam. You will feel the music space very fascinated here.

Indochine Restaurant: With the French architectural feature, old photos and antiques, the restaurant is the choice of tourists who prefer the tranquility. I love the rustic but fascinated dishes here. Notice, the kitchen only serves to 9 pm.

Dac Kim pork rice noodle: it is well-known for its real title “The best pork rice noodle” in Hanoi capital, this is a great choice for lunch on Hang Manh Street.

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About the author

Hi, I'm Ho Lam! That's me, the boy who wants more experience each day. I'm slowly but surely working my way, travelling and sharing is my taste. The articles of this blog are not only from me, but also from my friends and the travellers mailed to me.

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