A pecfect day in Hanoi

You have only have 24 hours in Hanoi while Hanoi is a charming city with many historical and cultural sites and a huge of amazing activities to do. You have no idea how to spend your 24 valuable hours. This article is exactly what you need in that case. Let us maximise your experience in Hanoi and all you have to do is … keep reading!
A pecfect day in Hanoi
Photo by Jorge Láscar
3:00 am

Yep, it’s 3 o’clock in the morning. Believe in your eyes and what you just read.

Wake up very early, grab your camera and head out to the Hanoi’s biggest flower market named Quang Ba. Step to the market to see and smell many glorious and exotic flowers. This is an interesting experience that not many tourists come to Hanoi have the chance to enjoy.

 Then, move to West Lake where the local people gather to practice Tai Chi, do morning exercise or play badminton. Instead of motorbikes and cars, at that time, here are full of people riding bicycles surround West Lake. It is a precise chance to not only encounter the daily life of local Hanoi-an but also admire the real Hanoi.

6:00 am

Skip a boring breakfast at the hotel and step to the Old Quarter for a bowl of Pho, a super famous noodle of Vietnam cuisine. There is a variety of local breakfast, such as many kinds of sticky rices, a huge number of noodle named “bun” (not the same as “pho”), steamed rolled rice pancake called “banh cuon” and so on, but Pho is always the first choice to deeply understand what the taste of Hanoi is. Then, walk to a local coffee shop, order for a cup Vietnamese iced coffee with condense mik named “nau da”. It is characterized by a special brewing process and its sweet, strong favor with 3 layers. Sipping a cup of coffee, feeling the special aromatic flavour, you just do what most of Vietnamese people do in their morrning everyday.

Good to know:

Pho Bat Dan: 49 Bat Dan Street, Hoan Kiem District.
Pho Ly Quoc Su (near the St. Joseph’s Cathedral): 10 Ly Quoc Su Street
Cafe Dinh (near Hoan Kiem Lake): located on the second floor of 13 Dinh Tien Hoang Street.
Cafe Nang: 6 Hang Bac
Cafe Lam: 60 Nguyen Huu Huan Street

8:00 am

It is time to explore some historical and cultural sites in Hanoi. Start with a visit to Ho Chi Minh complex including the Presidential Palace (formerly Palace of the Governor-General of French Indochina), Ho Chi Minh’s house-on-stilt and nearby One Pillar Pagoda. Next is the Temple of Literature, a center of learning dedicated to the Chinese sage and scholar Confucius in the 11th century.

12:00 pm

Feeling quite hungry? “Bun Cha”, a Vietnamese dish of grilled pork and noodle that is believed to have originated from Hanoi, is the best choice ever for your lunch. It has two kinds of grilled meat: tiny grilled pork patties and fatty pork slices. Try both of them and you will see it is without a doubt Vietnam’s most famous dish. Take a break before spending your left half-day in Hanoi.
Good to know:

Bun Cha Dac Kim: 1 Hang Manh Street or 67 Duong Thanh

13:30 pm

Stand up and stroll around Hanoi Old Quarter, the represented eternal soul of this city. Here, you can enjoy many unique evidences of colonial architecture packed along narrowed street. One of Hanoi’s most common sights is that of streets packed of scooters, cars swarming around pedestrians like a school of fish. You have no choice but deal with the traffic in the local style, the experience of crossing the road in this area is truly well worth it.

17:00 pm

Join in a performance in the Thang Long Water Puppet Theater. It takes about 1 hour for this exciting show. The puppets are made of wood then lacquered. The show is performed in a waist-deep pool and the puppets appear to be moving over the water. Do you want to know how it works, right? Buy a ticket and explore!

 Good to know:

Thang Long Water Puppet Theater: 57B Dinh Tien Hoang Street.
Ticket costs about 100,000 Vietnam Dong (about US$ 5)

18:00 pm 

What’s about having dinner and taking a sparkling panorama view of Hoan Kiem Lake. Go up to the 7th floor of Cau Go Vietnamese Cuisine Restaurant, where you can enjoy fabulous Vietnamese cuisine amongst tasteful interior design and breathtaking view.
Good to know:

Cau Go Vietnamese Cuisine Restaurant: the budget for dinner is about US$ 20-25 /pax (a la carte menu)

20:30 pm

Leaving the Cau Go restaurant, come to Ta Hien Beer Street. This street is one of the most crowded streets in Old Quarter, also known as “international crossroad” drawing many foreigner visitors and Hanoi young people. You just take a seat on a small-sized plastic chair, order an iced draught beer, some snack foods and watch the daily life as well as the very charming clutter of Hanoi city.

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