Hanoi, the second-largest city and the capital of Vietnam, is one of the most popular travel destinations of the country. There are lots of things to do and lots of places to visit in Hanoi that it can get overwhelming for first-time visitors. Here are the top ten things you can do in Hani.
Source: Asia Unique Travel
When visiting the Old Quarter, the first thing you must do is to explore the slender streets of the town and experience the local way of life. You will be amazed to see how disordered and messy the roads are, yet how friendly and calm the locals are. The Old Quarter is very lively with people all around. You might feel overwhelmed at first with all the traffic and noise. The pavements are full of stalls selling fruits and vegetables. As much as the place is chaotic, it is also a mesmerizing experience. Each of the streets in the Old Quarter sells only one product. There is paper street, toy street, spice street, cooking utensils street, etc.
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Joining a food tour is a great way to get accustomed to Vietnamese food. You can join a Vietnamese food tour for as little as 20USD and enjoy some of the most delicious dishes in the world. The tour guides will give you the background of the food, tell you how they are prepared, and even answer your questions about Hanoi, its major attractions, and many more. Expect to get a new experience with each stop. In the food tour in Hanoi, you will not only get to enjoy mouthwatering dishes, but you will also get to see more fo the Old Quarter that you might have missed if you were traveling independently. It is a great tour if you love food, strolling through hidden alleyways, and see fresh produce markets.
HanoiKids is an organization that employs young Vietnamese to guide tours around Hanoi. The major reason these young Vietnamese are employed to guide is to practice their English. You can customize the trip totally to your preference. The tour is also free; the only thing you must pay is an entrance fee, if any, transport, food for you and your guides. These younger guides are also known to be very friendly, welcoming, and enthusiastic. They are very knowledgeable of the city and its streets, so you will get to tour around the city very cheaply than with the tour agencies.
It seems that there is a massage parlor in every corner of the streets in Hanoi. You will mostly be walking while exploring the city, so why not treat yourself to a foot massage. These massage parlors offer not only foot massage but also a whole range of massages, like a full-body massage, pedicures, manicures, and facials. It can be quite relaxing, so why not try each of them. The massage is also quite cheap.
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Railway village or train street is one of the fascinating areas of Hanoi. Railway village is a small village built within meters around an operational railway line. Some houses are within a distance of only 3-5m. The train leaving towards south from Hanoi passes through this village. Visitors get terrified seeing train pass this close to the houses, so it is interesting to see how the locals go about their day to day life without the worries of the train.
Source: Hanoi For 91 Days
Hoan Kiem Lake lies just south of Hanoi’s Old Quarter and is a great place to enjoy some peaceful time. You can stroll around the lake within just half an hour. Strolling around the lake is a great way to see the locals relaxing and enjoying the serene time, far from their chaotic lifestyle in the city area. The most renowned part of the lake is Jade Island that lies in the center of the lake. You will have to cross the Huc Bridge to reach the lake. Jade Island is renowned for its views and an 18th-century Buddhist temple. There are also many beautiful gardens on the island and a small pagoda. If you visit the lake during the dark, you will see the area lively with beautiful colors and Huc Bridge standing out with a bright red color.
Source: Vietnam Travel Guide
Hanoi Water Puppet Show is one of the most renowned attractions of Hanoi. This show gives you the idea of the ancient art of Vietnamese puppetry. This world-famous puppet show emphasizes traditional Vietnamese legends and historical tales. The puppet shows are held multiple times a day, every day of the year. Various place of Hanoi shows a water puppet show, and each show lasts for an hour. The most famous theatre for water puppet show is the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre, just by Hoan Kiem Lake
Source: Hanoi Local Tour
Visit Hanoi is incomplete without visiting the Ho Chi Minh Complex. Situated to the west of the Old Quarter, Ho Chi Minh Complex is a significant pilgrimage spot in Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh was the first president of Vietnam who devoted his entire life to the national liberation of Vietnamese. So, to honor him and as gratitude, the Vietnam government built the Ho Chi Minh Complex in Hanoi. Here, you will get to see the embalmed body of Ho Chi Minh. The complex includes the Presidential Palace, Ho Chi Minh’s house of stilt, Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, Ho Chi Minh Museum, Ba Dinh Square, and One Pillar Pagoda.
Source: Vietnam Travel Guide
Hoa Lo Prison was initially used by the French colonists in Vietnam. Later during the Vietnam war, North Vietnam Used it. Here, you can stroll around and see mannequins that depict the gruesome life of the prisoners and also read various and watch the video to understand how the prison operated. There is also a French guillotine used to behead Vietnamese revolutionaries.
Source: Hanoi tours
Dong Xuan Market is the largest indoor market in Hanoi. This market lies in a four-story communist styled building on the edge of the Old Quarters. You can get almost anything at Dong Xuan Market. Whether its fresh local produce, souvenirs, or electronics, you will find vendors selling it here. Like most markets in Southeast Asia, this market has a different section for meat, seafood, vegetables, and flowers from all across Vietnam. If you want to have a taste of various flavors, you will find paradise on the upper floors.