Top 10 Things to do in Hanoi, Vietnam

Hanoi Opera House

Here is a top 10 list of things to do in Hanoi.

Hanoi or (Ha Noi) is the much chiller city to Saigon’s blood boiling chaos. Granted there are about 5 + million motorbikes here but it definitely doesn’t feel like it. Most of the hot spots center around Hoan Kiem Lake and are easily walked from there. The weather is noticeably cooler albeit cold in some months but after a week in Hanoi, you’ll never want to go back to Saigon again but you may be interested in a top 10 of things to do in Saigon.

    1. French Quarter– My favorite part of Hanoi. Wide European leafy avenues with hardly a car/motorbike insight. Great for a break from the chaos. Metropole Hotel is here, beautifully restored colonial architecture.
    2. Hoan Kiem Lake – Lake in the heart of Hanoi. Very peaceful with temple reached from iconic red wooden bridge.
    3. Old Quarter – Old Hanoi architecture and the local crafts man at work. Streets are very narrow and crowded with commerce. Each street is named for the product sold there, Key street, Metal street, etc.
    4. Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum– A large opposing structure right of the communist architecture handbook. Uncle Ho’s final resting place.
    5. One Pillar Pagoda– a pagoda standing on just 1 leg. Near the Hanoi national museum.
    6. Vietnam History Museum – For history buffs, great museum about the country and it’s period of colonization.
    7. Boat Tours in Perfume River Although I don’t think the river smells like perfume anymore.
    8. Hoa Lo Prison or the Hanoi Hilton– Where John McCain was kept for 5.5 years.
    9. Side trips. Hanoi is a great launching point for trips to Ha Long Bay or a weekend trip into the mountains of Sa Pa.
    10. French-Vietnamese fusion cuisine. When pho just isn’t enough. Try Hoa Sua, Le Beaulieu in the Metropole Hotel or Indochine.

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