The 1000-year-old Vietnamese capital, Hanoi is known for its incredible architecture, out-of-the-world street foods, and many cultural and historical sites. The Old Quarter is where most of Hanoi’s tourist sites, hotels, bars, and restaurants can be found. But if you want to escape the hustle and bustle, you can opt for the quiet lanes in the French Quarter.
To explore these attractions spread across Hanoi, you will require a means of movement. A car or a motorbike taxi will be the most ideal in this case. If you opt for a car, there are several companies offering rental cars in Hanoi from which you can choose from. Compare prices between at least three and settle on the cheapest. As for motorbike taxis, they are readily available on the street but don’t forget to negotiate the price before hopping on.
Yet, it is surprisingly not the biggest city in Vietnam, of which Ho Chi Minh takes the top spot. So why Hanoi? Below are five reasons why you should visit Hanoi.
It’s the Cultural Capital of Vietnam
Hanoi is rich in Vietnamese culture since it has been its capital for over a thousand years. It is home to at least 15 museums showcasing different historical aspects, including fine arts and traditional medicine. The Museum of Ethnology is a good place to start, as it showcases the distinctive cultures and customs of the 54 ethnic groups residing in Vietnam. You can also visit the Art of Water Puppet Theater near Hoan Kiem Lake and enjoy skilled puppeteers entertaining you while knee-deep in the lake.
It Is One of Asia’s Most Exciting Street Food Destination
If you are a foodie, Hanoi will make you feel at home as your taste buds will be in for a treat. You can sample delicious foods with recipes older than 100 years. Most of the best food in Hanoi can be found on the streetside, and you are most likely to smell good food before getting to the store. Watching the different delicacies prepared adds to the fun and ensures your appetite remains optimum and your tummy rumbles with desire. You can sample hand-rolled steamed rice rolls, enjoy a bowl of finger-licking grilled pork, and wash it down with sweet broth on the streets. Egg coffee is another delicacy you must try when you hit the Hanoi streets. Coffee is popular in Vietnam and is usually served with a healthy dose of creamy milk. But there is a local option with creamy whipped egg yolk as a cappuccino’s foam, which adds to the aroma and flavor of strong coffee.
It Is a Photographers’ Paradise
Hanoi is a colorful city, whether for social media or memories. The spots for photo opportunities will overwhelm you. Whether it’s at the Old Quarter, where you can pull a chair and enjoy your coffee as you click away scenes from the streets, or the French Quarter, as a photographer, you won’t just stop clicking. Another photo opportunity you should not miss is that of the train street. Two times a day the train speeds through Hanoi Old Quarters in an adrenaline-filled few seconds because of the little distance. The train street now has limited visitors due to safety concerns, but there are still accessible spots where you can snap a few pics. You can take pictures as locals fold chairs while others press to the walls for the train to pass.
It Is a Heaven for History Lovers
Among Asia’s oldest capitals, it has a deep history spanning over a thousand years. It was occupied by the Chinese, French, and Japanese at various points in history, making it a cultural melting pot. To have an in-depth understanding of the history, visit the National Museum of History, where more than 200,000 exhibits show Vietnam’s history from its prehistoric times to the revolution and the founding of the country as a republic as we know it today.
It Is a Budget-friendly Destination
If you want to travel on a budget, Hanoi will suit you. Places you can stay, food, and transport costs are cheap. For example, a basic bed in a shared dorm will cost around $7, while you will pay $30 for a room in a decent hotel. Local beer is about $1. Transport is also unbelievably cheap. A 4 km trip from Hanoi airport on a motorcycle taxi will cost you less than $2.
In Conclusion What Is So Special about Hanoi
Hanoi is a top tourist destination that should be on your bucket list. It is rich with culture, history, and food treats to die for. To move within the city you may opt for motorbike taxis but for distances outside the city, a rental car will be most suitable. Compare flights at Hanoi airport, get a cheaper one, and visit Hanoi for that memorable lifetime experience.