Hanoi's pulsating city streets have plenty of things to see and do and on the shortlist of the best places to visit in Vietnam. The old quarter district is lively with street vendor action, while the restaurants and cafes are a contemporary, vibrant scene. For the tourists that wish to get a break from the crowds, there are the museums like Vietnam Museum of Ethnology and Temple of Literature to give an insight into Vietnam's history, while Hoan Kiem Lake is great to get a respite in the centre of the city.
Here are six of the top things to do in Hanoi:
Enjoy the street food scene
Hanoi is well-known for its amazing street food scene with the endless dishes and vendors to try, while the eating takes place on small plastic chairs. A great Vietnamese dish to taste is bun cha (noodles and grilled pork patties with herb, lettuce and dipping sauce).
Turtle Lake (Hoan Kiem)
Get a break from the lively parts of the city with a trip to the Hoan Kiem Lake. The lake is great to visit in the evenings with plenty of street stalls around, and it looks particularly striking once darkness arrives and the coloured lights are switched on.
Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre
The Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre is a popular event for families on the tours of Vietnam. There are plenty of show times on a daily basis, but they will get booked up quickly so it is useful to organize the tickets (about $3-$5) early in the day or even a day in advance. The water puppet show tells stories that depict folk tales and historical legends.
Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh
The Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh is about a 2 km walk from Hoan Kiem Lake or easily reached by taking a tuk-tuk. This historic site is a major attraction in the city and surrounded by a great park to get a break from the sights and sounds of the buzzing city. Also, there is other nearby tourist attractions, such as the Ho Chi Minh museum, One Pillar Pagoda and Presidents Palace.
A visit to the down-town area of Hanoi (north of Turtle Lake) in the evening makes it possible to explore this lively market. You can stroll up and down the length of the market for what may seem like miles. There are plenty of places to stop and buy a wide range of merchandise (bracelets, souvenirs, shoes, shirts, etc.), as well as delicious street food (mainly snacks, skewers and drinks), and it is open only on the weekends.
Get lost in the narrow, chaotic, and winding streets of Hanoi's Old Quarter. A great way to get an appreciation of what the streets have to offer is to take a ride on a cyclo. This human-powered transport zig-zags through the streets to make it easy to pinpoint the parts that interest you and worth coming back to. In addition to the many places selling merchandise, there is the rich architecture and history that spans nearly 2,000 years. While exploring the old quarter, it is also possible to come across venerable banyan trees, pagodas and temples.
Top Museums to Visit in Hanoi
Places for Draught Beer in Hanoi
Top Street Foods in Hanoi
Top 10 Things to Do in Hanoi
Best Restaurants in Hanoi
Best Massage in Hanoi
Best Spas in Hanoi
Top Hotels for a Family in Hanoi
Top Luxury Hotels in Hanoi
Top Boutique Hotels in Hanoi
Nightlife in Hanoi
Best Bars & Pubs in Hanoi
Traditional handicraft villages in and around Hanoi
Ancient villages in and around Hanoi
Famous pagodas in and around Hanoi