Hanoi is a fun and exciting city which has a host of activities to offer for people of eclectic tastes. It is a city which has such vigour and life, where every traveller can write his or her own unique experience. Take an intoxicating tour of the labyrinth of the old quarters, meet some amazing locals, try out some of the delectable bowls of pho boo on an Hanoi food tour (yes, including Bia Hoi! Read below to discover what this actually is!), take the most gorgeous shots in front of the beautiful old school buildings and explore this city on your own terms to get a real feel of it. Here are some of the unique and amazing things that you can experience in Hanoi!
Experience the unique life of Train Street
The Train Street of Hanoi is a unique ecosystem that is established and settled on the train tracks of the Old Quarter of Hanoi. An entire establishment of families live their lives, cooking, eating, drying their clothes etc. by the track and even on the railway track in this serpentine lane. Their entire livelihood is spread out along the train tracks, but it shares a unique symbiotic relationship with the railway transport system. Every day, twice a day at 3 pm and 7 pm as the train passes by the narrow lane, between Le Duan and Kham Tien street, at some place’s inches away from the houses, they move all their belongings off the track and after the train is gone, life goes back to the same as the train was never there. Pro tip: be there on time for the train to pass so that you can see the entire process and the settling back to life.
Enjoy the famous Water Puppet Show
One of the most unique, amazing, and gorgeous things you will ever witness in Hanoi is their jaw-dropping water puppet show. It is a grand old tradition that goes back as far as about the 11th century when during the rains the rice fields would be flooded, owing to the lack of otherwise entertainment, the villagers would entertain themselves with puppet play. It tells the stories of old village folklore using puppets which are staged in waist deep water, tales of harvest, fishing, trysting with difficulties, overcoming them, and celebration. It is a glorious experience with tales, smoke, water and fireworks which is something you absolutely must enjoy. Try to get one of the front seats for a closer view of the magnificence.
Sip into a gorgeous mug of beer
If you are a lover of beer, Hanoi is just the right place for you. Vietnam is possibly the only place in the world where you will find beer such cheap. Freshly crafted beer, popularly known as Bia Hoi is delightfully light, delicious and easy on the pocket and thus, a must do on your Hanoi food tour. This light golden colored beer is unique as it is always sold fresh, made right in the morning and never a day old. You can find tons of local open-air establishments selling a mighty glass of bia hoi. It is often paired with a bowl of salted peanuts or meat-based finger food. If you are in a mood for something fancy, go over to one of the cool breweries in the city and have a glass of finest craft beer in tons of flavours. Go for a tasting platter for the most varieties.
Visit the unique Temple of Literature
This unique Confucian temple was built in 1070, which in effect, was Vietnam’s vert first university. Housed within the hallowed walls are some of the most revered photogenic halls, pavilions, statues as well as inscriptions on columns. These inscriptions speak of respected doctors who have graduated from this ancient university and enriched the Vietnamese world of education with their immense contributions to the field. This beautiful temple is featured on the 100,000 Vietnamese dong note, and today stands as one of the A fine examples of traditional Vietnamese architecture, the Temple of Literature has been through three renovations over the last century and stands tall and proud, as a monument to the rich world of Vietnamese education!
Eat endlessly at the Weekend Night Market
Vietnam has a unique love for street food, so much so that they have this amazing night markets on the weekend which must be included in your Hanoi food tour. Enjoy some of the most delectable, lip-smacking Vietnamese delicacies, consisting of noodles, rice, fruits, meat, seafood and so much more, under the open air in a street food style hawker pop up, which offers the most authentic local experience you can have.
Enjoy the mesmerising view from Sun Wheel
Although this is a bit of a drive from Hanoi, a ride on the Sun Wheel overlooking the Halong Bay is an experience of a lifetime which you just cannot miss. While Halong Bay is a popular destination on every traveler’s list, this majestic Ferris Wheel is something you absolutely must include on your Halong itinerary as well. Ride up the hill on a cable car from the amusement park and you are taken to the platform where the Sun Wheel is. You can get a breath-taking view of the entire Halong Bay as well as the Halong City as the little glass cabin on the wheel slowly takes you on a ride to the top, letting you soak in the view.
Hanoi is a beautiful city which has a uniquely peaceful cohabitation of the old and the modern cultures which makes it absolutely stunning. Enjoy an eclectic mix of the most amazing experience and witness the beautiful Vietnamese culture in this amazing city which will make you fall in love with it.