Stepping into Hanoi is a whirlwind of insanity. The humidity and heat smacks you in the face. The footpaths are filled with people riding scooters – honking their horns at you. Crossing the road becomes its own challenge. I personally love the city’s chaos. The atmosphere is vibrant. You never know what’s going to happen. Here are my top things not to be missed.
Visit the Military History Museum
I never used to be one for museums but travelling has defiantly changed that for me. I find its the best way to emirs yourself into the culture and find out the history of where you are. The Vietnam Military History Museum contains a large collection of weaponry, wreckage and photographs. It demonstrate just how much Vietnam had to fight for their freedom. Most westerners haven’t heard about the Vietnam wars, the struggle and the continuous ambush upon the country. Outside in the spacious court yard, you are able to get a very close look at preserved military wreckage’s. From canons and tanks to planes its a place not to be missed.
Entrance fee 40,000 VND ($1.75)
Location – Central Hanoi. Along Dien Phu (next to Ba Dinh Square)
Watch the water puppet show
Although only in Vietnamese the water puppet show is a must do. You don’t need to know the language to understand the story line. Be prepared to be wowed and have a continuous smile on your face. The puppet show is several times a day. Make sure you arrive early to secure a good seat.
Location – 57B Dinh Hoàn Street, HANOI.
Cost – 40,000 VND ($1.75)
Twice a day Hanoi’s very long train passes through the neighbourhood street of a residential town. Enjoy walking on the train track down the narrow street. We witnessed young kids playing on the tracks. Family’s having their dinner, even chickens roaming around. You are well aware of when the train is coming. Everyone gets up. You get told to stand against the wall. Then the vibrations and sound of the train approach. The train passes just inches away from their homes. Within 2 minutes its back to normality. There are not many places in the world where you get to witness that.!
Train passes at 7.30
Location – On a small street located between Kham Tien and Le Duan. The train passes through Ngo 224 Le Duan.
“Fresh Beer” Ta Hien Street
There is no way you are able to miss the cheap home brew beer that fills the streets of Hanoi. Tasty home brew beer is available on most streets. Enjoy with the locals, on small plastic stools whilst sitting on the curb side. Tasty, strong and probably the cheapest beer you will ever have. Best after 6pm. It’s the best place to spend the evening.Meet new people and dive into some delicious street food.
Beer Price 5,000 VND ($0.20)Location – Ta Hein
Eat the best Pho with the locals
You can not go to Vietnam and not eat their famous dish. Pho is a Vietnamese soup consisting of broth, rice noodles, a few herbs and meat. You will find it offered on every street. As foodies we asked the locals residents of Hanoi where to get the best pho. We were shown to the heart of the old quarter. The Cue was constant and rather large, but it was well worth the short wait. Enjoy a big bowl of delicious goodness whilst sitting on low plastic seats amounts the Vietnamese people. Be prepared to get in line, but the wait is worth it.
Price – 30,000 VND
Location- Pho Di Bo – Ho Guom number 49
Try the best egg coffee
A Must try for any fellow caffeine lovers. Egg Coffee is a Vietnamese drink. It is traditionally prepared with egg yolks, sugar, condensed milk and robusta coffee. Enjoy your egg coffee as classic, vanilla or mocha.
Cost – 35,000 VND ($1.50)
Location – CA PHE 39 NGUYEN HUU HUAN
Take a walk around the Hoan Kiem lake and Ngoc Temple
Escape the hustle and bustle of Hanoi and enjoy a stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake. The lake surrounds Ngoc Temple. In the evenings the lake is populated with exercise classes, couples talking a walk and tourists.
Cost – Free
Location – Between the old quarter and the night quarter.
Lottie Observation Deck
Travel up to the 65th floor of the Lottie centre and enjoy the panoramic view of Hanoi. Best viewed in the evening to see the lights of the city. Enjoy a drink in the rooftop bar and soak up the atmosphere of the wild city below.