[5D4N] : Hanoi - 10 Tips on Visiting Hanoi, Vietnam

By : Chha

In my mind, Hanoi has always been a beautiful place with awesome scenery and a nice place to visit. Well, after visiting Hanoi i start to have mix emotion on how i feel about Hanoi. When people talk about Hanoi, most will instantly mention Halong Bay ! No doubt that Halong Bay is an amazing place to visit. With beautiful scenery and awesome cruise along the bay but Hanoi City is really a hectic place with many motorbike, cars, locals and tourist all over the city. The place is seriously packed with people. Personally, i prefer places that is more laid back and not that hectic. I must admit, Hanoi does have many places for shopping, if you are really interested in shopping, then Hanoi will definitely interest you. I also love the food and coffee there in Hanoi, haha ! Here is some tips that i think is useful for those of you who plan to visit Hanoi.

Currency : Vietnamese Dong, ₫
Currency Exchange : RM 1.00 = 5530 ₫ (January 2018)

Temperature at Hanoi : Approximately 18'c ~ 22'c

#1 : Coffee

I highly recommend trying the coffee there in Hanoi. From what i heard, Vietnam is famous for their coffee. Throughout my experience of traveling in Vietnam, every different states in Vietnam does have their own different type of Coffee, though there are some which is common throughout Vietnam but there are some which is special only for that particular state.

#2 : Food

One of the famous food in Vietnam that i know is their Beef Noodles (Pho Bo) which i heard is really tasty but i did not try it, instead, i go for their Chicken Noodles (Pho Ga) which is tasty as well. I like their noodles here, the noodles they use is really special and very different from what we have back home. I order the noodles mostly with soup, especially in Hanoi where the weather is cold during my visit, having a bowl of hot Pho Ga with Soup is really awesome !

Other than their noodles (Pho), there are many other types of food that you can choose from, so go ahead any try everything that you can find there at Hanoi.

#3 : Be Cautious On The Food You Eat

Hanoi can be a little bit dirty, the air is slightly polluted and there are rubbish on the street. If you are not used to eating by the road side, like how the locals do, with motorbike riding up and down the street or with rubbish around the place you eat, then i would suggest that you dine in a proper restaurant. Food at restaurant may be a little more expensive but it is slightly much better than those at the road side. If you ever suspect that the food they are selling is not fresh or look old, don't think twice whether or not to dine there, move on and search for another restaurant that you feel comfortable with the quality of food there. There are a lot of restaurant around Hanoi, so it is really easy to look for food there.

#4 : Bring Your Own Medicine

Bring your own medicine that is my suggestion to you all, maybe it be just a normal paracetamol, bring it from home as spare, just in case you might need it. Of course, we hope that we don't but just in case. Throughout the 5 days of me visiting Hanoi, i did not see any official or proper pharmacy or clinic here in Hanoi. Maybe they do have some local drug store that prescribe medicine but i did not notice any. Let me know if you found any .. ! haha .. !

#5 : Visit The Hoan Kiem Lake

One of the famous lake in Hanoi is the Hoan Kiem Lake. The are around this lake is like a total different place of Hanoi, haha ! There are more higher class restaurant like KFC, Dunkin Donut, Cafe and lots more. The environment here is slightly different from those i see at the Old Quarter of Hanoi. It is definitely nice to take a long slow walk around the Hoan Kiem Lake while enjoying the nice view of the lake.

#6 : Visit The Old Quarter

The Old Quarter in Hanoi is where you would like to spend the most of your time here at Hanoi. There is a lot of food to eat, hotel to stay and things to buy. The Old Quarter is like a one stop town for everything your travel need, haha ! The best way to explore The Old Quarter is by foot as it would be easier for you to explore more shops and there is no worry about finding parking place if you are driving. Even though there is a lot of hotels available here but it would be a good advice to book in advance. The reason is because in Hanoi, especially The Old Quarter is fully packed with tourist and hotels here will be fully booked really fast.

#7 : Hanoi Night Market

I heard from the locals saying that there is Night Market every week starting from Friday Night until Sunday Night. It is something like a Weekend Night Market where they sell a lot of food, cloths and souvenirs. At the night market, streets are actually closed to avoid cars or motorbike from entering the night market area, this makes shopping here worry free, haha ! No worry about crossing the busy streets or being accidentally knock down by motorbike.

#8 : The Streets

If you ever think of riding a motorbike or even think of driving. Don't ! haha .. my advice don't .. the traffic here is really crazy .. unless your driving or motorbike riding skills are super good, like off the charts good .. ! Then go ahead, else .. i would advice you to walk but be careful even if you decide to walk around Hanoi Town. There is like no traffic rules here in Hanoi, motorbike just ride how ever they want to and there is non stop horn here and there. I can even hear the motor and car horn from my hotel room. Imagine how noisy it is on the street .. ! Even if you cross the road, the vehicels there won't stop to let you cross, the motorbike will just maneuver around you, haha ! Don't panic, just walk as normal and all the motorbike will try to avoid you .. !

#9 : Finding The Reasonably Priced Items To Buy

Shopping can be fun but always check the price before you buy them. Hanoi is a tourist pack area and of course the locals there would love to make business and earn more from tourist but some of the items they sell are just too expensive. Let me take an example of what happened to me. I try to buy a bottle of mineral water from shop A and the lady at the shop offer to sell it to me at 50,000 dong which is equivalent to RM 10.00. I thought to myself, RM 10.00 for a bottle of mineral water ? I said no and walk off .. then i enter shop B, the owner offer to sell at 11,000 dong which is equivalent to RM 2.20, which is more reasonable .. ! So i bought it, then after awhile i notice that shop C is selling it at 10,000 dong equivalent to RM 2.00.

#10 : Visiting Halong Bay

Yes, Halong Bay is definitely a must visit place when you are in Hanoi. Halong Bay is so famous now that it is full with tourist from all around the world. I was told that along Halong Bay there is approximately around 300 cruise cruising along Halong Bay and over night at Halong Bay. This actually make the entire stretch of Halong Bay full with cruise and people, because of that i decided to visit Bai Tu Long Bay instead of Halong Bay. Bai Tu Long Bay is actually at the northern side of Halong Bay which looks similar to Halong Bay and because Bai Tu Long Bay is not as famous as Halong Bay, there is actually less tourist there with approximately around 30 cruise cruising Bai Tu Long Bay during my time of visit. Bai Tu Long Bay is every bit as beautiful as its famous neighbour. In some ways it’s actually more stunning, since it’s only in its initial stages as a destination for travelers. Improved boat transport to the scattering of resorts here means the area is quickly growing in popularity with domestic tourists, but the bay and its islands are still unpolluted and relatively undeveloped. For Western travelers, it’s a laid-back alternative to the touristy bustle of Halong Bay. (Source). Well, being me as always, i like to take the unbeaten path into discovering something new, do things that not many people have done and travel to places that only few have been .. therefore Bai Tu Long Bay seems to be the perfect choice for me at that time.

Visited : January 2018

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Posted Date : 24 January 2018

Posted Time : 6.00 pm