Travel tips to Hanoi and the ancient Old Quarter
Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam and the main tourist attraction in the north. The most famous spot for tourism is Old Quarter, where many hotels, bars and other services for travellers are located. It is easy to explore Old Quarter by foot, bicycle, motorbike, electric car or by rickshaw. I prefer walking around Old Quarter to see the many tiny shops selling colorful souvenirs and handicrafts. You can also explore the more traditional market areas where locals go to buy flowers, fruits, ‘Pho’ noodles or just to enjoy an iced tea. It is a unique local experience that every traveller should try.
What should do in Hanoi:
• Visit Hoan Kiem lake and Ngoc Son Pagoda, Ho Chi Minh mausoleum, Tran Quoc Pagoda, Hoa Lo prison, West lake area…
• Buy a ticket to the unique water puppet show
• Try local foods like Pho, spring rolls, grilled pork & grilled fish.
• Try local drinks like Vietnamese coffee, egg coffee & lemon tea.
• Beer in Vietnam is very cheap and everywhere, especially in Old Quarter. You should check out bia hoi junction, where both locals and foreigners go for Hanoi’s fantastic nightlife.
• Try locally produced craft beer. There are many breweries around Hanoi which make amazing and flavoursome beer at a very affordable price
Costs and Prices:
• Generally, Vietnam is an inexpensive country for travellers.
• A tourist can have a fantastic time in Hanoi spending as little 50$ per day (even less if you stick to a tight budget!)
• Taxis should charge by the meter, though the best option is to use the local ride-share apps, such as GRAB, Go-Viet, and Bee.
• A street side meal can cost as little as 1.5$ for a bowl of noodles, 1$ for a baguette, 30c for a bottle of water, and around 1$ for soft drinks or beer.
• Hanoi has a huge range of foods to suit all tastes, both local style and foods from all around the world.
What need to notice when travelling in Hanoi
• Be careful about traffic! Traffic in Vietnam can be chaotic and dangerous, and road rules are routinely ignored.
• Some vendors can be very pushy, so don’t be afraid to bargain, or walk away if you are not happy with the price.
• Beware of shoe shiners. They are known to overcharge or even scam tourists into their services. Locals usually pay only around 20,000 dong (1$ USD).
• Always pay attention to your bags and pockets
• Air quality is not good sometimes so prepare a good mask from your home
A few useful words and phrases in Vietnam.
• Hello – Xin Chao (sin-chow)
• Goodbye – Tam biet (tam bee-et)
• Thank you – Cam on (cam un)
• How much – Bao nhieu tien? (bao new tee-en)
• Too expensive – Dat qua (dat qua)
• Yes/no – Co/khong (co/cong)
• I love Vietnam! – Toi yeu Viet Nam (toy yew Vietnam)
• I am from…. - Toi den tu… ( toy den too….)
Check out my page for more travel tips in Vietnam Protected content