Hanoi

Things to do in Hanoi by Krisette Capati

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Have you seen your friends post the status “I’m travelling to…”? My social media feed is full of travel updates that show where they’ve travelled. Maybe you see the same set of updates, too (or maybe not).

Anyway, I can suggest just the perfect place to visit this April and May (weather-wise, these are the best months to visit). Before I forget, you’ll also have to update your wall to say: I’m travelling to Hanoi, Vietnam.

If you’re coming this March, you’re lucky to see the scented grapefruit flower baskets along the streets.

Here’s an itinerary for a day at the Vietnamese capital.

Breakfast

Café 129

French legacy still penetrates the scenery and architecture of Hanoi, from buildings, art and to food. If you’re in the city, you can’t miss what Café 129 at Hai Ba Trung offers.

Whilst the cafe may not have the fastest service, the extensive breakfast menu and servings are worth the wait. From sumptuous omelettes and English breakfasts to succulent strips of bacons and burritos to Canadian breakfasts, the meals prepare you for the upcoming hours of adventure and outdoor activities.

Wait, savor, and delight each serving. Promise! It’s worth the wait.

129 Mai Hac De, Hai Ba Trung,

Morning Activity

Hoan Kiem Lake

I recommend outdoor activities in the morning (early morning would be great, and as early as five a.m.) at the parks or the lakeside to enjoy the breeze and freshness of morning dew.

Wake up early for walkathons and a few miles of running along Hoan Kiem Lake, which is located in the heart of the city. Sightseeing is the best during this time because locals practice Tai Chi at the park, and you can experience the oriental landscape and culture along the streets. Rent a bike to explore the streets of the Old Quarter until you reach the Dong Xuan market.

Lunch

Don Xuan Market

Eat like the locals at the Dong Xuan market, where you’ll find food stalls selling Vietnamese cuisine to noodles and famous ban mhi sandwiches and rice noodles. You’ll see how they prepare the food.

Afternoon Activity

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and local museums

Siesta time is after lunch. Whilst you can rest for a while at the hotel or stay at the Dong Xuan market to see other items, I recommend the shopping activity later tonight. For the afternoon, it’s time to learn more of the culture and history through museum hopping and sightseeing, from Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum to Vietnam Museum of Ethnology to the Temple of Literature.

Dinner

Quan Oc Vi Sai Gon

You’ll find local cuisine specialties as well at the food stalls, bars and restaurants along the streets of the Old Quarter. Try Quan Oc Vi Sai Gon seafood restaurant for a change before you go to the night market. From an adventurous street food and wet market experience at lunch to Oc Vi Sai Gon’s place of comfort, spacious seating and ambience—tasty snail dishes await you.

19 Gia Ngu, Hang Bac, Hoan Kiem

Activity

Night Market Near Xuan Market

Shop ‘til you drop at the night market near Xuan market. Stalls are set up during Friday, Saturday and Sunday. So, I suggest you visit the place for cheap prices offered from merchants of jewelry, silk, dry goods and a variety of clothing. You can still explore the places and items from Hang Dao Street to Hang Giay Street.

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