Travel // Vietnam [Part One – 5 Things to Experience in Hanoi] {August 2019}

Hanoi is a real shock to the system, it’s noisy, chaotic and can be a maze to get around. From the crazy moped drivers to the constant honking of horns. But it has a real charm to it once you adjust and there are some lovely gems to be discovered. You’ll even master crossing the road in no time.

This summer, like last, some good friends of ours from the UK came out to Asia to meet up with us. After going around the houses we decided on Vietnam as a destination. Now we refined our itinerary quite a few times. I had a whole Trello board going for the organisation as we wanted to cover as much of this beautiful country as we could in just 11-days.

img_5409.jpg

My advise is don’t under estimate how long it can take to get from one location to the next in Vietnam and thus we kept our route to the North and Middle for this trip. It can take 12-hours plus to travel from the North to the Middle alone! So we saved the South for another trip, also sadly we had to omit serine Sapa this time too.

Opera House, Hanoi
Opera House, Hanoi

img_6673.jpg

This is the route we took… Hanoi (2) – Lan Ha Bay (1) – Hanoi – Da Nang – Hoi An (3) – Hue (2) – Ninh Binh (2) – Hanoi. Taking two night trains and one 3-hour day train and coordinating with our hotels for connecting car transfers. We also organised it all on our own without any tour companies, without any problems, most of the hotels were booked through booking.com. (Use this affiliate link and you’ll get £15 credit after your first stay)

The Metropole Hotel, Hanoi
The Metropole Hotel, Hanoi
The Metropole Hotel, Hanoi
The Metropole Hotel, Hanoi

For us it was only a short 2.5 hr flight from Singapore into Hanoi in the North of Vietnam. We landed early evening and had a short transfer into town. There are so many hotels to choose from in Hanoi, Vietnam. We booked The Metropole as a treat for our first two nights. It’s in a great location next to the old quarter and right by the opera house.

Tip: You can grab a taxi into town from outside the airport terminal, but check the price before you get in, as some have dodgy meters and you could end up paying 5 times as much!

IMG_-1

We only had two nights in Hanoi and with lots of attractions to choose from. Here are the top 5 things to do in Hanoi, which we just about managed to squeeze in and were road tested by my family.

  1. Ho Chi Minh Museum 
    Ho Chi Minh Museum, Hanoi
    Ho Chi Minh Museum, Hanoi
    Ho Chi Minh Museum, Hanoi
    Ho Chi Minh Museum, Hanoi
    Ho Chi Minh Museum, Hanoi
    Ho Chi Minh Museum, Hanoi
    Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Hanoi
    Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Hanoi
    Ho Chi Minh Museum, Hanoi
    Ho Chi Minh Museum, Hanoi
    Ho Chi Minh Museum, Hanoi
    Ho Chi Minh Museum, Hanoi
    Ho Chi Minh Museum, Hanoi
    Ho Chi Minh Museum, Hanoi

    This one was recommended by our hotel so we headed over on our first morning. It was interesting to learn about Ho Chi Minh, see where he lived, wander around the grounds, look at the car garage and saw some cute wooden houses. The museum part was a welcome break from the heat but the kids weren’t that into it.

    2. Water Puppet Show

    IMG_-58

    IMG_5538.JPG
    Thanglong Water Puppet Show, Hanoi

    After a rest from the midday heat we went along to the Water Puppet show. There are plenty around in town, but we went to this one… Thanglong Water Puppet Theatre, they’ve toured the world with their show and it was truly fantastic.

    The concierge at the hotel booked it for us on the day and secured us some awesome 2ndrow seats. Despite not being able to understand what was being said we all loved this show and you must add it to your list if you’re in Hanoi.

    Tip: We watched the 4.10pm showing which gave us enough time to get to train street afterwards. Also it was an easy walk to the puppet show alongside the lake from The Metropole Hotel.

    3. Train Street

    Train Street, Hanoi, Vietnam
    Train Street, Hanoi
    Train Street, Hanoi
    Train Street, Hanoi

    img_6770.jpg

    Train Street, Hanoi
    Train Street, Hanoi
    Train Street, Hanoi
    Train Street, Hanoi
    Train Street, Hanoi
    Train Street, Hanoi
    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
    Train Street, Hanoi
    Train Street, Hanoi
    Train Street, Hanoi

    We hopped over to train street after the puppet show. Weekdays the trains mostly come through in the evenings but at weekends 10 trains come through a day, so you’ll get to see more action.

    We did the usual taking photos and then stopped at this cute café… it doesn’t have a name but look out for this cute pup in the picture above. It’s crazy to see the cafe staff picking up table and chairs and moving them out of the way just before the train approaches.

    Tip: get a taxi to drop you off at this location and you’ll be in a good spot (no 110 rail 5 tran phu str)

    4. Shopping

    Shopping, Hanoi, Vietnam
    Shopping, Hanoi, Vietnam

    Whilst you’re in Hanoi find time for Nik Nak shopping. We picked up some lovely mementos of our holiday here, the tourist shops are plentiful, fun to haggle and walk around. Also if like us you forgot rain macs/warm coats Hanoi is a good place to pick some up.

    5. Note Cafe, Hanoi

    IMG_-66
    Note Cafe, Hanoi
    Note Cafe, Hanoi
    Note Cafe, Hanoi
    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
    Note Cafe, Hanoi
    Note Cafe, Hanoi
    Note Cafe, Hanoi
    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
    Note Cafe, Hanoi

    This little gem is tucked away in a five story building near to the water puppet theatre. We had no idea it was any bigger than the ground floor when we arrived, until we were taking up some hidden stairs. Whilst the food was at best average, the coffee was good and the kids loved writing and sticking notes everywhere.

     

    Other things to do in Hanoi (but we didn’t make it to this time)

     

    Loved this post? Check out the others in the Vietnam Series

    Vietnam Part Two – Why you Should Add Lan Ha Bay to your Itinerary Instead of Halong Bay {August 2019}>>

    Vietnam Part Three – 4 Things you Must do in Hoi An & Danang {August 2019}>>

     

     

     

    weavingmyway.com

     

     

     

    4 thoughts on “Travel // Vietnam [Part One – 5 Things to Experience in Hanoi] {August 2019}

    1. Pingback: Travel // Vietnam [Part Two – Why you Should add Lan Ha Bay to your Itinerary instead of Halong Bay] {August 2019} – Weaving my Way

    2. Pingback: Travel // Vietnam [Part 3 — 4 Things you Must Do in Hoi An & Danang] {August 2019} – Weaving my Way

    3. Pingback: Travel // Vietnam (Part Four – Adding Some Culture to your Itinerary with Hue) Asia {August 2019} – Weaving my Way

    4. Pingback: Travel // Vietnam [3 Thing to Experience in Ninh Binh] {August 2019} – Weaving my Way

    Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    WordPress.com Logo

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

    Google photo

    You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

    Connecting to %s