The easiest way to get to Hanoi is by flying into Hanoi’s International Airport. From London you can fly directly to Hanoi; majority of other international flights will include a stop at Seoul, Hong Kong or Taipei. Due to the location of Hanoi it makes a great start or end of your adventures in Vietnam, if coming from the South consider the overnight train from Hue to save time and money (be aware that this is definitely a local experience though – mice included for free)!
Hanoi’s old town is a maze of streets and alleyways filled with local homestays. I stayed at Hanoi Guesthouse which was great value for money and located smack bang in the middle of the old town within easy walking distance of Bia corner and the beautiful Hoan Kiem lake. The staff were very helpful even booking our overnight train tickets ahead of time and helping us find our couchette for the night.
The best (and by far the cheapest) meals I ate in Hanoi were from street vendors within the old town. Aim to find vendors with a large proportion of locals queuing up as they’re bound to know the best places to go. My favourite street food in Hanoi has to be Banh Cuon – I could slurp up these delicious pork and mushroom filled rice sheets all day long!
There’s only one place to be in the evening in Hanoi: Bia Corner! Join locals sat on kid-size plastic stools drinking fresh beer for less than £1. As more and more people arrive the stools from various bars (if the little hatch can quite qualify as that) merge together to form one large party-like atmosphere in the middle of the street.
The majority of people travelling to Hanoi are more interested in the nearby attractions – Halong Bay and Sapa (both incredible destinations) however there’s a lot to explore in Hanoi itself. With cultural highlights including the Temple of Literature and Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, as well as a maze of streets in the old town to get lost in, you can easily spend a day or two within the city.
Explore Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, from a hearty Xoi breakfast to the museums, beautiful lake and finishing with world famous puppet entertainment.
Vietnam is a great place to open up your tastebuds to Asian cuisine. Snails and Pho are just some of the delicious types of Vietnamese food you should try.