We have new article from our guest writer, Angelo who will share his experience for his trip to Hanoi and nearby last January. Hope you enjoy and useful for your upcoming trip.
Our trip to Hanoi was during the last week of January. It was nice weather for touring around Hanoi, since it is still considered winter, and which feels around 15 – 18 deg Celsius. Majority of the day are cloudy and dim, aside from short rains in the some part of the day.
Our first meal in Hanoi is their tasty: Bun Cha which consists of rice noodles, a tasty sauce dip with grilled pork belly, spring roll, and fresh herbs. There are several road side food stalls around Old Quarter, just pick wherever your feet leads you - just like us.
Touring around Old Quarter, French Quarter, and around Hoa Kiem Lake needs 3-4 hours walk. To get to know more about the place, we hired the service of “Hanoi Kids Free Guided Tour” which assigned us 2 of their volunteer college student guides: Bin and Sufi Kun.
Halong Bay and Halong on land
A must visit when travelling to Hanoi is off course the Halong Bay. On our second day, we joined daytrip to Halong Bay, which takes us 4 hours to go there and upon arriving we boarded the cruise to have simple lunch.
The entire Halong Bay cruise took 4 hours, and after the trip back to Hanoi is another 4 hours. It was quite a tiring day, but for those who want to be more relax you can join the 2d/1n cruise which costs from 80 US$ to several hundred US$ (depend on the luxury cruise ship); while the daytrip costs us 30-35USD per pax.
On our third day, we joined the day trip to Tam Coc – which is also known as Halong on Land. The first stop is Hoa Lu – The Ancient Capital of Vietnam during 10th and 11th centuries.
Next stop is to Nin Binh – Tam Coc, we had buffet lunch, and after we just cross the road and took the paddle boat to navigate along the river surrounded by the stunning rock formation (took around 45 minutes return trip).
For most of us, we enjoyed the Tam Coc daytrip more than the Halong Bay Cruise, since the travel time to Ninh Binh is only 3 hours, and you can get near the rock formation, and get closer to nature. Day trip to Ninh Binh – Tam Coc costs us 25 USD per pax.
Night life in Hanoi
Note: at night, the Hanoi City police ensure all establishments to close at 12 midnight, they would round the city with megaphone and announcing to the business establishment to close shop.
So night life is shorter but safer.