What to do in Hanoi Part 1: Starter 101

Travelling in Vietnam, Hanoi guide lines

You may properly have your own schedule to discover Hanoi, but here are advises from truly Hanoi locals which I’ve summarized into this post, let’s check it out!

Where to live:

This is a common question also the first concern to all traveler, in Hanoi you will have no difficulties finding a qualified hotel where you could spend your night completely comfortable, just by a few click-through Trip Advisor, Lonely Planet, Virtual Tourist … that you can find a nice place to stay over. However there was one said you should only believe 70% what the internet provides you, the other 30% is preparing yourself for the opposite reality. So here some of my suggestion as a Hanoian:

  • If you have low-budget, stay AROUND, not IN the Old Quarter. Yes there are fancy hotels or hostels that offer you attractive service but let me tell you this, everything in the Old Quarter you can find it much cheaper once you step out of the area. You may have to walk, but walk is nice, you have more chance to explore the city! I will have a review about transportation when travelling in Hanoi below, wait for it.
  • In case money is not your concern then I recommend you to choose over hotel that lies near the Lake of Restored Sword (Hoan Kiem lake) like in Ta Hien strt, Hang Buom strt, Ma May strt, Hang Manh strt … not only these streets are in the center of the Old Quarter, but also could make you feel the atmosphere of Hanoi in the fulfillest way. The scent of Hanoi custom is still being preserved in this gem stone.

travelling in VietnamMa May strt, Hanoi Old Quarter

What to do:

There are A LOT of things you should do during your vacation to Vietnam, I think I would spend another review on this part, but there is one thing that I want you to keep in mind: Try the sandwich and pure weasl coffee , and why? I will reveal you later.

travelling in VietnamCa phe Sua da, Vietnamese Iced Coffee

What to eat:

Yes another independent review too, I promise!

travelling in VietnamNem nuong, Nha Chung strt, St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Hanoi

Cautions: Travelling in Vietnam

travelling in VietnamWall of adverstising

  • ALWAYS ask the price before you try, why? Foreigner equal tourist and tourist equal gold mine, this is a popular notion that not only in Hanoi but in all travelling destinations around the world, this one I can make it sure without hesitation.
  • Distinguish the between 20,000 dong and 500,000 dong: they are quite alike due to the shade of color are pretty close. Remember that the 500,000 is bigger and the surface of a 20,000 dong is smoother.
  • Bring along hat or umbrella in the noon. Vietnam is a tropical country, even though Hanoi lies in the North but it doesn’t mean that the sun couldn’t harm you, the sun is extremely intense and you could feel the burn in sun exposing area. If you’re British or European you really should note down this, I’ve seen many times foreigners walk under the sun and get sick soon later, some even faded, shock with the heat I think so. What to do if you encounter this situation? Just stay calm, take your friend to the nearest house or shop in the street and ask for help, especially from the old, they know tricks to heal your friend immediately. Remember Vietnamese people are very friendly, just ask them and they will help you with a big smile, part of the Hanoi custom I guess.
  • Do not ask “Is this boiled water or tab water?”, like ever! This is an offensive question, like you assume they are a tribe who doesn’t know how to stay clean and live healthy. 3rd world country doesn’t mean they live in low standard, remember this please.
  • “Thank you” in Vietnamese is “Cảm ơn”, pronounce like “Come on” but in low tone with sweet and smooth accent.

There are many more, I will comeback with more review. If you like it why don’t hit the like button and follow me for more interesting fact? I love making new friends.

See you in the next post: What to do in Hanoi? – Hanoi Eating


Huongmai Café.

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