Activities when in Hanoi make you like a Hanoian

The capital of thousands of years of civilization, rustic with the old town has incubated the old timeline, bustling with the sound of car horns at peak hours, poetic in the afternoons with cool breezes by the lake.

With hundreds of crowded alleys next to temples or the old French quarter, there are many historical stories in this city. It is impossible to explore the whole of Hanoi in a few days. So, if you don’t have too much time but still want to experience a day in Hanoi like a local, this article is perfectly tailored for you.

  1. Beginning the day with special night markets

Quang Ba flower market and Long Bien wholesale market are two places that tourists should visit once when visiting Hanoi. The main products here are flowers and food. The market is open almost all night. Visiting these two markets, there are not only buyers and sellers but also many tourists who want to find for themselves a different perspective on the special culture in the life of Hanoi people.

From 20:00 the market begins to move, the more bustling at night. As the city fell asleep, the traders at these two markets got busier and busier.

Located right at the foot of Long Bien Bridge, the Long Bien wholesale market is bustling all year round with aquatic products, animal feed, poultry, and vegetables… but the most famous is the wholesale fruit market.

Quang Ba flower market is different from all other markets in that it only opens at night. From here, thousands of flower bouquets of all kinds are still wet with night dew, rushing around in the hands of people. Flowers here are extremely abundant. You can find countless unique flowers, not only from Vietnam but also from other countries. All form a forest of brilliant flowers with a seductive fragrance that fascinates people. Besides buying and selling, each person has a very different feeling about a cultural feature in the daily life of Hanoians at night.

Quang Ba flower market and Long Bien wholesale market are two addresses that Westerners whisper to each other to visit once they have the opportunity to come to the capital. The market mainly sells flowers and fruits, but “requires” visitors to stay up late, and get up early to see the bustling, bustling atmosphere of a very different Hanoi when night falls.

  1. Jogging around Hoan Kiem lake by dawn

Anyone who has been to Hanoi will have the same feeling, the city is narrow, crowded, rushed, and noisy. But perhaps that is only true when describing Hanoi during the day. And if someone had walked through the streets of Hanoi early in the morning, it would have completely changed their mind.

Hanoi city in the early morning is deep, and peaceful, with a refreshing atmosphere, everyone is beaming to welcome a new day. There is no room for the usual hustle and bustle in the Capital of Vietnam.

Sword Lake early in the morning is the best thing when visiting here. Visitors not only see the gentle and loving beauty of nature but also the daily habit of Hanoi people to exercise, regardless of winter or summer. Visitors can take a walk along the lake to enjoy the fresh, cool air or rest on a rock to observe and even mingle with the crowds of people practicing tai chi.

The image of gentle, peaceful, and clear Hoan Kiem Lake makes people think of a new breath of life flowing in the body to welcome a new day, a good new week.

  1. Diving into street food paradise

The culinary culture of the Hanoi people is first of all refined, elegant, delicious and healthy, clean, sophisticatedly processed with high art. Each dish will have its way of cooking, full of spices so each dish has a distinct character. It is impossible to tell all the ways of eating of Hanoians who are used to elegant ways of eating.

And it will be remiss if visitors come to Hanoi without trying the feeling of sitting on a sidewalk plastic chair and trying any food. Everyone who comes to the capital is surprised by the variety of foods on sale here, from bowls of Phở with bold Vietnamese flavors to side dishes such as fried spring rolls, Bánh mì, egg coffee, and even… dishes that have made up the soul of the land of Kinh Ky such as Bún chả, chả cá (grilled fish)… Visiting Hanoi at any time of the year, visitors can always choose for themselves delicious dishes. Look carefully for seasonal delicacies to fully feel Hanoi’s cuisine on sidewalk stalls.

  1. Wandering inside the Old Quarter

Hanoi has 36 streets with old houses and streets that still retain their appearance from the 19th century. You can wander all day on the old streets, and discover peaceful and quiet places inside the busy capital of Vietnam. Going to this place, you can feel the beauty of Hanoi people, close and familiar.

This is always the most attractive place for tourists in the capital. Although with the chessboard design, the parallel streets are perpendicular to each other, it is not easy for everyone to find their way out when they are lost in this “maze”. Walking around the busy streets or visiting the souvenir shops hidden deep in the alleys will be interesting experiences for any visitor coming here. Here, on the sidewalks as busy as in the middle of the road, people display plastic chairs to trade, and motorbikes are parked long. You must always be ready to dodge the flow of people and cars on the road.

If you feel tired, find a cafe located on the balcony of an old house to observe the bustling life below with a cup of Hanoi-flavored coffee. Just like that, 1,000 years of Hanoi’s history flows through the streets like a stream of blood creeping in each vein, blowing into life the breath of both the past and the present.

  1. Adventuring the Railway Hamlet & Long Bien Bridge 

The bends of the railway crossing the old town attract many international tourists to visit and experience. A lot of foreign tourists start going to the super narrow railway section at the intersection of Dien Bien Phu street or the intersection of Phung Hung street to visit and take pictures.

During the day, there are very few trains passing by so tourists can travel and explore the secluded space, and small neighborhoods to experience the life of the people here in the most realistic way. In the evening, sightseeing activities stop completely to start watching the train street and enjoy food and drinks.

If you walk along these romantic winding tracks, you will set foot on the beautiful Long Bien bridge.

Long Bien Bridge is likened to a historical witness of Hanoi’s many ups and downs. The more-than-a-hundred-year-old bridge is also a mark connecting the present and the old memories of the people who love Hanoi. The bridge was built in 1898, still in operation with 3 lanes, the middle lane is for trains passing. Western tourists often share about the experience of walking or cycling across Long Bien Bridge in the early morning or late in the day, not forgetting to remind each other to bring cameras to capture beautiful images of this ancient work.

With its uniqueness, the train street along with the Long Bien bridge has become one of the destinations not to be missed when visiting Hanoi. Despite being warned about the dangers of sightseeing and traveling on train tracks, Hanoi’s train street still has a strong attraction. Tourists from many places are still curious to come here to feel the uniqueness of this interesting little corner in Hanoi. However, please have a sense of self-protection, and always pay attention when visiting to have a meaningful and safe experience!

  1. Admiring the sunset in West Lake

In the middle of a crowded city with many high-rise buildings, West Lake is a rare place for Hanoians or any Sunset lovers to fully watch the sunset and enjoy a peaceful and relaxing space.

West Lake is considered one of the most beautiful sunset spots in the inner city. This place attracts a lot of people to visit every afternoon, the vast lake’s surface dyes a yellow color of the afternoon sun. The sun rolled slowly down from the clouds as if sinking into the tall buildings on the distant horizon.

At this time, you will encounter moments of magical transition of nature, when the sky is turning from golden yellow to bright red, then the sun disappears, leaving only orange rays flashing in the background. the purple-blue sky of the night.

All that miraculous process appeared in less than an hour but brought ecstatic emotions to those who watched.

  1. Taking on a bus tour around the city 

Taking a double-decker bus to explore the city is a well-known and popular tourist experience in many countries. Coming to the experience of riding a double-decker Hanoi bus, you can not only enjoy the panoramic view of the capital from above but also visit many famous tourist attractions of the capital such as the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Palace Hanoi Cathedral, Temple of Literature, etc., double-decker buses bring new perspectives to old places for even those most familiar with Hanoi.

The double-decker bus is fully equipped with wifi, a charging port, a refrigerator, a monitor, and CCTV. A special feature is that the car is allowed to open the roof so that passengers can freely enjoy the city view on the roads passing.

With the destination explanation system in many languages: Vietnamese, English, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, French, Russian… passengers can freely choose their strengths. For each stopover, this system will explain and introduce destination information to visitors.

The best time to see Hanoi by double-decker bus is in the morning, late afternoon, and evening. You will avoid the hot sun in the capital, sit on the 2nd floor and enjoy the best experience.

  1. Attending the flag lowering ceremony at Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

If you can’t get up early or have spent the morning exploring the markets in Hanoi, join the flag-lowering ceremony at Ho Chi Minh mausoleum at 9 P.M every day. This is a sacred ritual that is awaited by many domestic and foreign tourists, even Hanoians. Activities at Ba Dinh Square were stopped when the loudspeakers began to announce the preparation for the flag-lowering ceremony. The national flag will be lowered by an army of 34 soldiers walking steadily from the right side of the mausoleum to the music “Uncle is still marching with us”. Many travelers visiting Hanoi were surprised to see a lot of people standing around dignified, watching the national flag slowly being lowered to the music of the song “Uncle is still with us on the march. “.

  1. Meeting the night Owl at the Beer street

If in Saigon there is the famous Bui Vien West Street, the ancient capital of Hue boasts the sleepless street Pham Ngu Lao, then Ta Hien converges all the beauty of Hanoi’s nightlife. Ta Hien is known as the most valuable destination in Hanoi, as a crossroads between Asian and Eastern cultures, imbued with modern and liberal features, and with a subtle and ancient aftertaste.

With narrow folds with ancient brown tile roofs, and a small road more than a hundred meters long and bumpy, Ta Hien still retains the ancient beauty of Ha Thanh hundreds of years ago. Ta Hien’s old town was built based on French architecture with dozens of adjacent two-story houses with a uniform design, echoing the beauty of the early 20th century. French architecture has created a look. romantic, quiet but extremely noble and solemn beauty of this famous neighborhood. The irresistible beauty of Ta Hien is often compared by international tourists to the famous Western Khaosan neighborhood in Thailand. Different from the quiet beauty in the early mornings, Ta Hien puts on a charming and exciting look when the night falls.

There are few places in Hanoi with unique, vibrant, and bustling beauty like Ta Hien every night. The sidewalk shops and beer bars located close together selling delicious street foods typical of Hanoi have become an unforgettable impression for the people here in general and international tourists in particular. When you come here, you will be overwhelmed by the bustling space of people passing by. The image of young people or backpackers gathering to chat and sip cool beer has made a strong impression on visitors visiting Ta Hien for the first time. It seems that all barriers of language, culture, cuisine, … have been erased. All the same, souls mingle in the bustling and joyful space, enjoying the breath of Hanoi nightlife in every moment. Enjoying the intoxicating taste of Ta Hien beer drops and sipping accompanying snacks is an extremely interesting experience.

  1. Strolling through the city at night

During the day, it is a vibrant and bustling city, but Hanoi at night is the opposite picture. When the whole city is asleep, the streets of Hanoi suddenly put on a quiet look, the colorful daytime streets of souvenir shops are replaced by silence, and the noisy downtown areas are also quiet. put on a rare calm. Visitors can follow the streets, and walk along the places that were still busy before to enjoy a different space of Hanoi.