29 August, 2018 Phuong Nguyen
As the capital city of Viet Nam, Hanoi is a vibrant and dynamic city that’s guaranteed to excite you - but also maybe overwhelm you as well, especially if you only have a day to explore it all. Here are the tips to help you to navigate the streets from the old town to the downtown, or should I say, to explore Ha Noi in a day as a local?!
Here is the real review of a Westerner group which had had a thoroughly excursion around Ha Noi in a day, the capital of Viet Nam.
Ha Noi trip: Early morning: 7 – 9am
Wondering about what the locals have for their breakfast? You should head to the old quarter and order for yourself a banh cuon dish (a roll made with rice sheets and filled with meat, typically pork) or cha que (cinnamon pâté). Or go anywhere for a traditional bowl of beef noodle soup or sticky rice — all of it the perfect fuel to keep you going as you explore the city. From there (or maybe even before breakfast), head to Hoan Kiem Lake for a bit of quiet time before the hectic pace of Hanoi gets underway. Getting excited yet? How about challenge yourself by joining the locals exercising in the early morning hours. You might be interested with a group practicing Tai Chi or even a few dance moves. Alternately, head to Ba Dinh Square, next to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, for the daily ceremony - flag raising
Hoan Kiem Lake
Ha Noi trip: Morning: 9am – 12pm
Let’s go now, it is time to explore the city sites! For the people who into learning history, maybe visit museums (we recommend the National Museum of Vietnamese History and Viet Nam Museum of Ethnology) or Tran Quoc Pagoda, which is the oldest pagoda in the city (dating back to the 6th century) would be a wonderful place to be at.
Or, if you are looking for more outdoors activities, take a cycling trip around the West Lake (known in Vietnamese as Ho Tay) or to the outskirts of Hanoi to visit the Quang Ba flower market.
Quang Ba flower market
Ha Noi trip: Midday: 12 – 2pm
It is lunchtime then you should head back to the old quarter to be ready for the meal — you’re guaranteed to find delicious food pretty much everywhere in Hanoi, so you won’t be hard pressed to find a place to eat (rather, the hardest part will be narrowing down your options!). To help you shorten your list, we recommend you to order some cha ca (a famous Vietnamese fish dish made with turmeric and dill) on Cha Ca Street, or bunn cha (a noodle dish with grilled pork) on Hang Manh Street.
Ha Noi old quarter
Ha Noi trip: Afternoon: 2 – 6pm
Bored by the city yet? How about hop in a Grabcar to head out of the town? Have you ever heard about the Van Phuc Silk village? Here you can visit with local artisans, learn about the process of creating silk cloth products, and, of course, buy a few souvenirs to take home.
Van Phuc silk village
Ha Noi trip: Evening: 6pm onwards
One more time, the delicious Vietnamese cuisine is tempting you! For this time, let try any of the restaurants in the old quarter, or go further on the local food adventure and grab some food right on the streets, whichever what you see. If you fortunately are in town on a weekend, there is a night market on Hang Dao Street (in the old quarter) take place from Friday to Sunday. Otherwise, you can try to head to the Ta Hien Street. It is the most popular place for both locals and tourists to hang out, chat chit or something simple as an exciting place to sit down to grab a drink.
Ta Hien street