Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is a center of entertainment, information, and culture. It is also known as the heart of Vietnam and nowadays, it is not only a modern city but also preserves the cultural lifestyle or places very well. I had an excellent opportunity to visit Hanoi and every experience was fantastic at first sight. This article will tell you about my first day in amazing Hanoi.
1. How to get to Hanoi?
Uhm!!! Firstly, I want to tell you about some formalities to come to Vietnam. It is quite easy to get a visa. I applied for a visa at Getvisavietnam.com and I just needed to fill out the online form and pay the service fee. I used the normal service, so after 2 days, I got my approval letter via my email. After that, I just need to package my stuff and start to go. When I arrived at the airport, to save time, I used the Arrival Fast Track Service and it was my intelligent decision because it was so fast and convenient.
Everything went smoothly. Besides, the service fee was pretty reasonable. Then, I just needed to get in a taxi that I had made a reservation for before through Airport Car Pickup to go ahead to my hotel. They worked so fast and professional that I just took approximately 2 hours to get to the hotel. Maybe you should try to use their excellent services when you come to Vietnam.
2. Where to go in Hanoi?
After a short break at the hotel, I decided to take a shower and go downtown. It might be said that I have never been to any places which had an incredible crowd like that. thousands of motorbikes and the traffic seemed so crazy became my strong impression. Trust me! I am not the only one who said so.
Hanoi Old Quarter
As I mentioned above, Hanoi is truly a different city from the other. I went to the Hanoi Old quarter area. Its street is busy with a lot of people who sell and buy various things. Furthermore, the impressive ancient houses in a row dating back to a hundred years would blow your mind. I walked along the most beautiful and famed streets such as Hang Bac, Hang Buom with amazing French architecture, Hang Gai with animated spaces. Especially, I felt lost in Hang Ma. I think it is the most exciting street because there are a lot of colorful and brilliant shops. You might lift your hands up and cover your eyes in order to show your insane feeling in front of the unique street like this. You should remember to bring a map to avoid getting lost in the Old Quarter.
Hoan Kiem Lake
One of the must-go spots in Hanoi is Hoan Kiem Lake. it is called as a symbol of Hanoi and there is a story about it. They said that an old turtle in Hoan Kiem Lake gave a magic sword to King Le Loi in order to win the war. When the Vietnamese army won the battle, one day, King Le Loi was taking a boat to the middle of the lake. Then, the old turtle appeared and asked to take back the magic sword. That is the reason why this lake was called Hoan Kiem. It means taking back the sword. Besides, this beautiful lake has fascinating landscapes and it is easy to reach other famous spots as well.
Hanoi Opera House
In the evening, I went to the Hanoi Opera House to contemplate the performance of “My village”. It was an interesting experience when I not only watched a famous stage that talked about Vietnamese villages and their local people with changing lifestyles, but also admired the huge and gorgeous architecture of the Hanoi Opera House.
3. What to eat in Hanoi?
I would like to recommend some places with fresh and delicious dishes that I have ever tried.
Banh Mi Hanoi
I have heard that Banh Mi is the most popular street food in Vietnam. With the bread and “full option filling inside” that is made from pork, coriander, pickled cucumber, etc will bring you a super great dish.
- Address: 98 Hang Bac, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
- Price: 16,000 – 26,000 VND
A bowl of Pho for breakfast is the best choice for me. I did not know how to say it because it is really so delicious. All the flavors had mixed perfectly together with fresh vegetables, slices of beef, some chilly slices and lime. That is perfect for a bowl of Pho that you would never forget.
- Address: 49 Bat Dan, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
- Price: 30,000 – 55,000 VND
If you ask me what is the dish that is easiest to find? I am positive that it is Vietnamese Donut, which has a shape like a small ball. It is sweet and crispy with the crust covered up by honey or sugar. You just need to walk along the streets, then you can run into someone who sells them.
- Price: from 1,000 VND
Hanoi Egg Coffee
This is a crazy combination but provides an excellent drink. The sweet and bitter coffee mixed greatly with the egg that stirred frothy. You can taste this one of a kind coffee in the ancient space with many unique artworks.
- Address: 39 Nguyen Huu Huan, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
- Price: 15,000 – 33,000 VND
That is what I have done on the first day in Hanoi. It takes several days to discover all the attractive spots. Why don’t you come and explore yourself first?