So you all know that I left my heart in Vietnam and am eagerly awaiting another trip back to immerse myself in the culture and history, the people and the food once again. This post has been a long time coming so I really want to document it now so that I don’t forget anything, so that we literally have a blue print for our next trip! Don’t forget to check out my initial post about Vietnam, here!

This post will be about everything to do, and nothing that you should do.. except for a warning to not eat green tea Kit-Kat. Just don’t. It’s gross. It tastes even worse than it looks.

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My love for HANOI is strong, my suggestions would be to spend your time here, instead of any of the other cities first! Get a lay of the land, and enjoy every second.I would suggest staying in the Old Quarter as it really is the best place to be close to everything.

Choose a hotel in the Old Quarter – so you walk out the door and you have clothing shops on your doorstep, can stop have have a coffee or an ice cream, restaurants, travel agencies, grocery stores, ATMs, jewellery stores, all types of souvenirs.. you get the idea.

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We loved staying here in the Old Quarter, location is perfect. You will walk around at night and all the streets will have hundreds of tiny chairs and restaurants spilling over into the streets. The noise is so exciting and you really FEEL the culture and smell all the divine foods!

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Some suggestions of places to visit and tours to try:

Food tour in Hanoi (we did the sunset tour on the back of a scooter – drank beer and tried lots of different food and got a tour of the area included). They also do a craft beer tour if that’s your thing. It’s a great way to orientate yourself and find things you enjoy early on in your trip so that you can go back again! The tour company is called A Taste of Hanoi and we highly recommend it. I’m a huge baby but sitting on the back of a scooter was way more fun than I thought it would be!

Restaurants we recommend:

KOTO is close to the Temple of Literature. The name of the restaurant stands for KNOW ONE TEACH ONE. Here they teach street children to be trained to become chefs. Great food, great initiative. When you look at website, pick the HANOI one. They have others around Vietnam. Link.

The best Ban cha in town – now this awesome! This is where President Obama went to eat! Cheap and amazing. You sit with business men, locals, tourists, on tiny chairs, stainless steel tables – no airs and graces BUT food is amazing and beer is cold. We wished we hadn’t waited until the end of the trip to go and try this as it could have been our go to place to eat every day. It was that good! I saw more Louis Vuitton handbags and Gucci shoes in this restaurant that walking through Sandton City on a Saturday – this little hole in the wall is loved by all walks of life.

Check out the reviews and details of the restaurant here.

The best egg coffee in town. (egg coffee was the coffee they had during the war when milk was hard to get your hands on. They whip up the egg and add to the coffee – tastes like a dessert! Trip Adviser had this to say.

If you are feeling like you can’t eat any more Asian food, we went for a burger and they do loads of craft beer too. Close to the hotel we recommended above. This is the only Western restaurant we went to in 3 weeks. Pulled pork burger was amazing!! Chops is the restaurant’s name and we really, really enjoyed the food! Link here.

Then this is a great articleWe used this and that’s how we found most of the things we did and restaurants we ate at! We didn’t do the fancy buffet at the hotel and the museum of Ethnology was closed when we went, but the majority of the other stuff we did.

What else did we do? Temple of Literature. Was stunning! Take lots of pics and enjoy the beautiful architecture and carvings.

We also went to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum where we saw the army/soldiers walking around and doing their parade at a certain time everyday, flying the Vietnamese flag high.

Markets:

  1. Hanoi night market – only on at night and certain days so ask the hotel for more info and they can point you where to go.
  1. Hang Dau Street – this street sells all the shoes! open till late at night. Any brands you could ever want – they will have them!

Hanoi is all about the busy streets and noises and colours. It takes over your senses and you will love it!

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