12 THINGS TO DO IN HANOI

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12 THINGS TO DO IN HANOI

Hanoi, Vietnam – the land of bún chả and egg coffee!

vietnamese street vendor

But let’s get focused here. It’s not always about food isn’t it? (Oh, it’s not? :D) Aside from munching our way through Vietnam’s freshest dishes, there are also other things to do in Hanoi and we’ve gathered them for you!


Here are 12 THINGS TO DO IN HANOI

1. 0.90 METER HOUSE

Vietnam is the land of ‘tube houses’ which literally means a house similar to the shape of a tube. The total base area of these houses are small but more space is provided as floors are added to the structure. The reason behind this is the way people in the past were taxed on property. The bigger your facade and the base of your property is, the more tax you’re gonna have to pay. There is one particular house with only 0.90M in width, and can be found exactly across 12A Hàng Mành, Hàng Gai, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội. We were told that this is the narrowest house in all of Hanoi.

narrow house narrow apartment

the yellow wall with 4 white box windows is only 0.90 meters in total width

2. BÚN CHẢ

I don’t even know how to begin! Sweet barbecue pork goodness, topped on rice flour noodles on a light clear soup, that is bún chả. Add chilli and garlic for more flavour or enjoy it at its simplest! We can probably eat this bowl of yumminess all day errr day whenever we’re in Hanoi because once you move to another city, it can nowhere be found.

vietnamese noodles bun cha

BÚN CHẢ / grilled pork noodles

please do yourself a favor and eat all the Bun Cha noodles that you can. hard to find it outside Hanoi -_-

Posted by Ian and Mar on Saturday, December 9, 2017

 

3. CAMBODIAN-CHINESE NOODLE HOUSE

If you have spent a good time traveling in Vietnam, Vietnamese food, just like anything else, will make you feel meh. So every time we are in town, we pay a visit to one of our favourite noodle houses in the Old Quarter. Mỳ Vằn Thắn – Đinh Liệt is just a mere 2-minute walk from the northern part of Hoan Kiem Lake, exact location here. I personally like the Phnom Penh dry noodles the most, Ian likes the soupy one with dumplings. All the noodles in the menu cost VND 40,000 (USD 1.8 / PHP 89) which means you can still order another bowl without spending a fortune! More photos in Foursquare.

noodle soup with egg

Ian’s favorite soup noodles in Hanoi – VND 40,000 ( USD 1.80 / PHP 89)

dry noodles in Vietnam

Mar’s favourite dry noodles in all of Hanoi DRY PORK NOODLES – VND 40,000 ( USD 1.80 / PHP 89)

4. HOÀN KIẾM LAKE

This lake is in the heart of Hanoi. Located about 5 minutes by foot from St. Joseph’s Cathedral (#5), Hoàn Kiếm Lake has rich history which you can read up more on here. There is an island pagoda that you can only reach by crossing the red bridge.

lake with a red bridge

Hoàn Kiếm Lake

5. ST. JOSEPH’S CATHEDRAL 

Quite famous for resembling Notre Dame de Paris, St. Joseph’s Cathedral is one of the first cathedrals built by the French in the late 1800’s. Masses are conducted several times during the day, with the biggest one being on Sunday at 6:00 PM, when crowds spill out to the streets.

notre dame church in hanoi

St. Joseph’s Cathedral

6. VIETNAMESE DRIP COFFEE

If you are a coffee lover, Vietnam is your country. Coffee shops are all around the Old Quarter; along the streets, in cafes, in more expensive restaurants. They say the best ones are actually the cheapest ones because commercial establishments probably use the same local coffee beans everywhere. In coffeeshops along the streets, coffee powder is placed on a dripper and poured with hot water. After a few minutes, brewed coffee drips slowly to a cup underneath, hence the name. And after adding condensed/sweet milk and ice, you get the richest cup cà phê sữa đá. A cup is only VND 20,000 (USD 0.90 / PHP 45), what more can you ask for?

vietnamese drip coffee in a cup

learning how to make a cup of Vietnamese drip coffee

7. EGG COFFEE

Not a fan of regular brewed coffee? Why not try a cup of egg coffee aka ‘liquid tiramisu‘? To be frank, I have mixed feelings about it. Easily because 1, I don’t drink coffee and 2, its taste and consistency is confusing! It’s kind of a super thick drink borderline mousse-y? The kind of thick that you need to spoon out. It’s also neither iced nor hot. However, we learned how to make it on our own from a cooking class we joined in. {Free Recipe here!} Whether you like it or not, you need to try it for yourself because your Hanoi experience won’t be complete without a cup of egg coffee! You never know, you might be crazy about it too just like other foreigners!

egg coffee!

article here: http://ianandmar.com/destinations/southeast-asia/vietnam/cooking-class-hanoi/

video on how…

Posted by Ian and Mar on Wednesday, August 23, 2017

 

8. PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR

The secret photo spots of the city is kind of hard to find if you don’t have a local friend who can easily bring you around. Hanoi Photography Tour is run by a group of university students with a passion for photography. They will personally adjust the tours depending on your interest. Your guide will also help you with tips in photography if you happen to be a beginner. We wanted to take photos of the real Hanoi which is why our guide, Hang, brought us to busy markets and actual residences of locals. Here are some photos I took.

9. HANOI TRAIN STREET

The Train Street is slowly gaining fame as people add this place to their must-see’s in Hanoi. A bit hard to find if you want to go there on your own so we were lucky that our photography tour included walking through this narrow strip.

houses beside train tracks houses beside train tracks

We weren’t able to catch the train because we didn’t have enough time. If you would like to see the trains pass by up close, make yourselves available at exactly 3:30pm and 7:30pm. Be there early to find a perfect photo spot. Exact location here:

10. OLD SHOPHOUSES

Squeezed in the narrow streets of the Old Quarter are old shophouses that were built a long time ago. House owners have their ground floors rented out, while they stay on the second floor. Renters renovate their spaces with modern design, and convert the area to either a shop or a restaurant, resulting to an interesting mix of architecture. Being total opposites, these shophouses are good photography subjects.

old and modern architecture

11. BIA HƠI HANOI

Light freshly brewed beer. That’s about it and that’s all you need. Chill out along Beer Street and sit on the street sides in the most local way by grabbing a bia hơi!

BIA HƠI / draft beer

freshest beer FTW! thanks to Travease for bringing us to all the right places during this food…

Posted by Ian and Mar on Saturday, September 9, 2017

 

beer street for a great night out

Posted by Ian and Mar on Saturday, December 9, 2017


Interested in food tours? We did a DAY FOOD TOUR and a NIGHT FOOD TOUR. Click for more.


12. HANOI WEEKEND NIGHT MARKET

The biggest ones are during the weekends, when everyone in the Old Quarter comes together and fills up the streets connecting Hang Dao and Dong Xuan Market. Find out more about the Hanoi Weekend Night Market in this article.

spiral potato chip for only VND 20K (PHP 45 / USD 0.90) per stick

why should you go visit Hanoi Weekend Night Market?…

Posted by Ian and Mar on Wednesday, November 29, 2017

affodable shopping items for everyone

why should you go visit Hanoi Weekend Night Market? find out below:

HANOI WEEKEND NIGHT MARKET

Posted by Ian and Mar on Wednesday, November 29, 2017

 

and because you made it this far.... BONUS ROUND!

13. HALONG BAY TOUR

Can you spare a day or 2? If yes, then join a tour and marvel at Halong Bay’s beauty! For a 2-day trip with hotel pickup and return, we paid VND 1,250,000 (USD 55 / PHP 2,590) per head for it but that’s January 2016 price. All meals included in the boat, mostly being buffet, and activities such as kayaking, squid fishing, and spring roll making are in the list as well!

actual rock on money rock

Posted by Ian and Mar on Friday, July 8, 2016

sunset happening at Halong Bay

Posted by Ian and Mar on Friday, July 8, 2016

Golden Bay 2 days-1 night Cruise (highly recommended!!!!) our cruise included 2 lunch sets, 1 dinner, and 1 breakfast. afternoon snacks with one round of free wine, and free beer after dinner was also provided

Posted by Ian and Mar on Friday, July 8, 2016

Golden Bay 2 days-1 night Cruise (highly recommended!!!!) our cruise included 2 lunch sets, 1 dinner, and 1 breakfast. afternoon snacks with one round of free wine, and free beer after dinner was also provided

Posted by Ian and Mar on Friday, July 8, 2016

 

Let us know if this article was helpful or you can suggest anything we missed. Would love to hear what your top things to do in Hanoi are!


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10 Comments

  • Meg Cale

    Ohhh I loved Hanoi! The streets are so alive and exciting. One of the best places in the world to people watch and take in the sights.

    December 18, 2017 at 12:08 am
    • ianandmar
      ianandmar

      It definitely is exciting! A lot of things happening all at once. 🙂

      December 18, 2017 at 12:20 am
  • Lucy

    The food looks yummy, especially the egg coffee, I would like to try that! The photo tour sounds interesting, I did one in Santa Barbara and loved it. All your tips are very helpful.

    December 18, 2017 at 12:45 am
    • ianandmar
      ianandmar

      Yay, thanks Lucy! <3 Glad you found them helpful. 🙂

      December 21, 2017 at 11:14 pm
  • stella

    i woukd very much like to visit st. joseph’s cathedral and try out egg coffee! great post! thanks for sharing! i also heard that vietnamese coffee is the best coffee out there it’s quite addicting!

    December 18, 2017 at 7:35 am
    • ianandmar
      ianandmar

      It’s true! For coffee lovers, I think they all agree Vietnamese coffee is one of their faves!

      December 21, 2017 at 11:15 pm
  • Heather | Ordinary Girl, Extraordinary World

    While I’m not sure about the egg coffee (but I’d give it a try), I LOVE that there is a photography tour. What a cool idea in a city to help you find those hidden gems!

    December 19, 2017 at 6:15 am
    • ianandmar
      ianandmar

      We didn’t know that such kind of tour exists until stumbling upon them. A super helpful tour!

      December 21, 2017 at 11:13 pm
  • Angie

    Hanoi is such a vibrant city! I love the food especially the variety of wine and pastries! Great photos too 🙂

    December 20, 2017 at 9:47 pm
    • ianandmar
      ianandmar

      Thanks Angie <3

      December 21, 2017 at 11:12 pm
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