In our recent trip to Vietnam, we enjoyed visiting Hanoi so much! Hanoi is the capital and Vietnam and it is indeed a great city for tourists and digital nomads like us. There are a lot of places for sightseeing, hanging out for beer, eating street food, drinking coffee, walking around parks and lakes, and many more! There are indeed many activities to do in Hanoi and we loved it there because of the good internet connection as it is very important for our online job.
How to get to Hanoi
Getting to Hanoi is easy. There are many flights destined to Hanoi if you are coming from Southeast Asia. You can get there by bus and train if you’re coming from Sapa, Hoi An, Nha Trang and other local destinations. We recommend riding a bus and night train to save time and get nice accommodation. Sleeper buses in Vietnam are awesome, too.
Things to do while visiting Hanoi
Have you ever heard about egg coffee? It was our first time trying this unique kind of coffee and we really loved it! Our friend Tuan guided us around the city and showed us the best places to have some egg coffee. It´s creamy and really delicious. Sunflower seeds will be served to you in coffee shops while drinking egg coffee.
You’ll definitely love street food in Hanoi. We loved Vietnamese food so much. These are our favorite choices: Pho, Bahn mi, pizza and ice cream.
Walking around the lakes
There are beautiful lakes around the city. In the morning and evening, you’ll find Vietnamese people doing sports, walking around the lake or waiting for the sunset. It´s indeed a perfect place to relax, meeting with friends and taking pictures around Hanoi.
We liked the atmosphere in Hanoi at sunset time. A lot of local people wait for the sunset to take beautiful photos. Eating an ice cream or drinking a beer while waiting for the sunset was one of our favorite things to do in Hanoi.
There are a few places to visit in Hanoi. You should try walking around Old Quarter and Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. You can also visit interesting museums and pagodas there.
Going for a beer
Hanoi nightlife was really fun. People, both the locals and foreigners, hang out for beer. There are bars with loud music and bars with tiny chairs where you can order some food to pair up your beer with.
It´s a must-visit place when visiting Hanoi. We had an experience sleeping in a cruise and also visiting caves and kayaking around. We also sailed around the limestones in one of the most beautiful places that we have ever visited. It reminded us of El Nido, Palawan. There are day trips but you can also spend a two or three-night tour in Halong Bay. We recommend that you ask for references first from other travelers before taking the tour. This will somehow assure you that you will get what the tour agency promises.
This is one of the most touristic places in Vietnam. We highly recommend this place because of our experience. We spend two days hiking between the mountains and rice fields in Sapa. It´s very similar to Banaue in the Philippines. You can spend the night in a local homestay and have a really good local experience drinking happy water. Just make sure you bring both warm clothes and rain coats, just in case it rains. Breathe fresh air and take beautiful pictures in Sapa. We did the tour with Lili´s Agency and we highly recommend it. All people were really happy at the end of the tour. We stayed with Mao in her homestay and she was super friendly. She took care of us and I can say that it was one of our best experiences!
Visiting Hanoi is something you shouldn’t miss while in Vietnam. It’s a really accessible place and can be an arrival or exit point. It’s also the base point if you are heading to Halong Bay or Sapa. We enjoyed traveling by sleeper bus at night. The buses were very comfortable for and has a Wi-Fi connection on board (good speed). A sleeper bus ride is very affordable, too! You can have your trip starting from $10-$15 for around 10-12 hours. Yeah! Vietnam is indeed a great place for traveling on a budget.
When traveling, you don’t always have the best tour companies. Based on other travelers’ experiences and ours as well, not all tours in Vietnam are the good. However, our experience with Lily’s Agency was great! We paired up with them in our trip to Sapa and we really got what they promised. The staff was welcoming. They welcomed us with smiles on their faces and took care of our luggage. They also let us walk around the beautiful area for sightseeing. The staff are very accommodating (always greeting us “Hello!”) and they even offered us a “Welcome Juice” with smiles on their faces.
Where to stay: Hanoi Delight Hotel
We spent our Hanoi trip in Hanoi Delight Hotel and we really had a great time with them. Kevin, the owner, was very hospitable and welcomed us. Our room was big and spacious we had a nice view of the city. It was in a quiet area and it’s a perfect place to go for a coffee or local dinner. The staff was very friendly and they gave us the best advices for our Hanoi trip like which places to go and how to move around the place.