Hanoi is a vibrant city; there is always something happening though there are places where you can enjoy some peace and quiet. A Hanoi tour guide will point out that some of the strict local laws ensure that bars and nightclubs don’t stay open all night. In many cases, after a busy day and with other things to do the next day, you don’t want to be too late anyway. Midnight should be it, though some places remain open until told to close. Hanoi tours include some night-time options, often in the around the Old Quarter near Hoan Kiem Lake.
Bia Hoi Junction in that Quarter is the top area. It is full of bars and pubs, all of which are likely to be busy in the evening. There are many places in the immediate area and usually the beer is cheap and only 4% which is weaker than some beers sold elsewhere in the world.
Here is a selection of places you might try during your tours in Hanoi:
• 68 Hang Quat has plastic stools to sit on with a floor covered in peanut shells. It will be full with many people holding a glass of draught beer while they eat peanuts.
• Ete Resto & Café decorated with local art is fun; it sells burgers and beer and has a karaoke room and dancing.
• Half Man Half Noodle has become popular with ex-pats with its upstairs games room well-supported.
• There are places for live music, one of which, Binh Minh’s Jazz Club, has built up quite a reputation. A local celebrity, Quyen Van Minh, is the owner and plays saxophone as well.
• The Bank is the biggest nightclub in Hanoi. It is on the 6th Floor of the Capital Building with great views over Hoan Kiem Lake. It is a place where well-dressed locals as well as ex pats and tourists. It is not an expensive place, certainly in relation to some other clubs.
• Seventeen Saloon has a Filipino Band playing many old favourites. It is western style; cowboys and Indians a-plenty.
• Apocalypse Now gets its name from the famous movie. It relocated fairly recently to Downtown but is not a friendly place where everyone relaxes; it depends on what you want as to whether you will enjoy it.
• Hero Club is a dance place decorated with murals of many super-heroes. There are theme nights and the DJ sits in an old Soviet truck. There is definitely a party atmosphere and the music is loud so be prepared.
• Solace is a converted boat where anyone who fancies themselves as a DJ can have a go. It is essentially a dance place where youngsters go after a bar but before they want to go home.
• The Dragon Fly Bar Lounge offers dance music for the young crowd. It is a friendly place which has a ladies’ night each Sunday. Dancing is on the ground floor while upstairs you can relax, play Jenga or smoke apple and mint tobacco.