December 29, 2015

Top 10 Things To Do In Hanoi

My sister and I went to Hanoi, Vietnam last October for the first time.  I honestly had low expectations going there but the trip exceeded my expectations and Hanoi pleasantly surprised me.  The beauty of Hanoi is not only in its charm but also in its people. They are, by far, the most hospitable locals in all the countries I've visited. The city was friendly and safe. Manila should have been like this had it not been corrupted and polluted. The side trips we had were also amazing. Ninh Binh is a beauty and Halong Bay definitely deserves its status as one of the wonders of the world.

To those planning to visit Hanoi, here are my top 10 things to do in Hanoi (a.k.a. my Hanoi trip highlights!)

1. Sign up for a free Ba Dinh Square tour on Hanoi EBuddies and learn about Vietnam's complex history.

2.  Stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake and discover local sights and sounds.

3. Visit Hoa Lo Prison and learn about the horrors and atrocities during Vietnam War.

4. Go on a day trip to Ninh Binh province and bike around picturesque Van Lam Village.  
5. Boat along Ngo Dong River and experience having a bad-ass female driver who paddles with her feet.   (We booked our Ninh Binh day trip via Vic Travel.)

6. Back in Hanoi, drink Vietnamese coffee.  Their iced brown coffee is one of the best I've tasted, and I'm not a coffee drinker.

7. Vietnamese pho noodles are a must, but I also recommend that you taste bun cha.  It is the best!

8. Drive around Hanoi in a motorcycle. Or in my case, have a local Couchsurfer drive you around town in his motorcycle.

9. Go on a cruise in Halong Bay (MUST DO!)

10. While in Halong Bay, climb up and go inside Sung Sot Cave. It is the most beautiful cave I've ever seen and I'm not exaggerating.

Feel free to comment below if you have questions about Hanoi or if you want me to share my 5-day trip itinerary.

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