Hanoi, Vietnam's Old Quarter by Asiaroom and Keys.me
Arriving at Noi Bai Airport was the first sign Hanoi is completely different compared to Saigon. No one tried to sell me anything or charge me millions for a taxi ride. A quick guide from a tourist point of view.
Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam with a strong European influence mixed with a rich Chinese Ancestry. The city has a lot of hidden gems, and since I’m staying here for four weeks, I’ve decided to take a slower pace and enjoy one thing a day. However, for everyone visiting only for a few days, most of the attractions are within walking distance.
The Old Quarter Hanoi
The Old Quarter is one of the main tourist attractions, and has been the commercial center for hundreds of years. It has plenty of pagodas, temples, and museums to visit. Within walking distance from the Old Quarter you'll find the Vietnamese Women’s Museum and Hao Lo Prison.
Souvenir shops and clothing shops are on every corner. The Old Quarter has a lot of small streets, each of them specialized in selling one particular product. During my walk around the city, I found Button Street, Jacket Street, and kitchenware Street, what a charming day it was to explore this area. The Old Quarter neighborhood is lively, loud and more than anything a unique place which in itself is enough to spend few days exploring, however, it is not a typical tourist area with shops and pedestrian zones. Bikes, scooters, and rickshaws are all everywhere, and all of them will try to cut your way while crossing the road.
A Walk across the Red Bridge to Turtle Island and Hoan Kiem Lake
With a few adventurous road crossing and a short walk across the red wooden bridge called Rising Sun, I found Turtle Island on the Hoan Kiem Lake.Turtle Island is known as home to the Ngoc Son Temple, built in the 18th century. It is also home to a giant 250kg preserved turtle. To see a giant turtle is a sign of luck, so I hope it will bring me some. Turtle Island offers a calming view of the city and good relaxing spot. The nearby park is an excellent place to take a break and observe everyday life in Hanoi.
The Food in Hanoi
After a day of shopping and bargain hunting, it was time to eat. The must try food is the Banh Mi Sandwich, and you can find it at almost every corner. For the best Vietnamese food, I follow the simple rule- smaller the chair better the food. Tong Duy Tan Street, nearby Hanoi Railway Station is one of the places where you’ll find tasty and inexpensive food.
The Weather is Cool So Do Prepare
Hanoi for sure is one of the cities where you'll find excellent places to relax and enjoy. Just don’t forget the jacket. It can get very chilly especially at night.
Hanoi, Vietnam can be very wallet-friendly if you use this guide. AsiaRoom and Keys.me prides itself on being the most affordable hotel, guesthouse, bed and breakfast, home, and resort online source for rooms.
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