Collected by Laura Magson
25 Hàng Giầy, Hàng Buồm, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Vietnamese food is widely regarded as one of the world's healthier cuisines. There's nothing particularly holistic or nutritious about this traditional favorite however. A local variant on steak and eggs, the dish is a calorific wonder. Steak is...
52 Vương Thừa Vũ, Khương Trung, Thanh Xuân, Hà Nội 100000, Vietnam
My first day in Ha Noi, I was lucky enough to meet up with fellow AFAR traveler Heather, who also aimlessly wanders to get a sense of a new place. Soon after dropping off our bags, we started following our curiosities. At some point in the...
2 Hùng Vương, Điện Bàn, Ba Đình, Hà Nội 100000, Vietnam
Though the venerable Vietnamese leader asked to be cremated, Ho Chi Minh's remains now reside embalmed inside this imposing, pillared, gray-granite memorial. His resting place is hugely popular, drawing Vietnamese in droves as they pay their...
57B Đinh Tiên Hoàng, Hàng Bạc, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội 100000, Vietnam
While the art of puppetry is common throughout much of Asia, Vietnam has the unique discipline of water puppetry. These puppets are carved from wood and then lacquered to protect them from the water. The stage for a show is a pool of water, with...
1 phố Hoả Lò, Trần Hưng Đạo, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội 100000, Vietnam
Tổ 6, Lệ Mật, Phường Việt Hưng, Quận Long Biên, Việt Hưng, Long Biên, Hà Nội, Vietnam
For a truly memorable dining experience in Vietnam's capital head to one of the city's many snake restaurants. Here, your dinner (cobra most likely) will be killed in front of you by experienced snake handlers. After being presented with the...
Old Quarter, 22 Tạ Hiện, Hàng Buồm, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội 100000, Vietnam
A lilliputian property on a busy Old Quarter street, Essence has an unassuming entrance that belies its stylish interiors. Renovated in 2017, the eight-story hotel’s intimate rooms are well-appointed with velvet headboards, lantern-like...
15 Phố Ngô Quyền, Tràng Tiền, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội 010000, Vietnam
A 1901 landmark in Hanoi’s French Quarter, the colonial-style Sofitel Legend Metropole has long been a celebrity magnet, welcoming presidents, ambassadors, and literary and cinematic royalty into its marble lobby. Somerset Maugham...
44B Lý Thường Kiệt, Trần Hưng Đạo, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội 001235, Vietnam
There’s a pleasing bit of cognitive dissonance happening at Meliá Hanoi. Housed within a green-glass, part-cylindrical tower, the hotel tempers sleek European-style hospitality (think streamlined gray and cream furnishings and...
5 Từ Hoa Công Chúa, Quảng An, Tây Hồ, Hà Nội 10000, Vietnam
Known locally as Ho Tay and situated just northwest of the Old Quarter, the city’s largest lake is the backdrop to this whitewashed hotel, whose layout fittingly mimics the shape of the open lotus flowers that line its shores. The main...
29 Tràng Tiền, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội 010000, Vietnam
From its striking colonial-inspired exterior and elegant marble lobby to the uninterrupted views of the Hanoi Opera House, the Hotel de l'Opera evokes the spirit of an old world performance hall. The Old Quarter hotel’s cynosure is...
1 Lê Thánh Tông, Phan Chu Trinh, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Located in Hanoi’s business district, just two blocks from Tran Quang Khai highway (where it’s a quick 18-mile ride to Noi Bai International Airport), Hilton Hanoi Opera is in demand with the corporate crowd. Built to resemble the...
35-37 Phố Mã Mây, Hàng Buồm, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội 100000, Vietnam
This affordable 38-room hotel on a bustling Old Quarter street is as vibrant as its surroundings. Painted iron tables and chairs out front enable guests to soak in the rich street life—watch roadside food hawkers sell their wares and locals...
6 Ngõ Hội Vũ, Hàng Bông, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
The main draw at this Australian-run spot is the convivial and bohemian atmosphere. Housed in a stunning 1920s colonial villa in a quiet part of the Old Quarter, the cafe has a rustic, warm vibe. While items from the simple menu can be hit or miss...
76 Hàng Buồm, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
The oldest temple in Hanoi, this small structure in the heart of the Old Quarter was built by King Ly Thai To in the 11th century to honour a white horse that led him to the site. There's a statue of the legendary horse inside the pagoda as well...
Hoàn Kiếm Lake, Hang Trong, Hoàn Kiếm, Hanoi, Vietnam
A couple of blocks west of the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, Hoan Kiem Lake—meaning Lake of the Restored Sword—is one of Hanoi’s anchors. It contains a number of sites worth visiting, like Ngoc Soc Temple and the picturesque, red-lacquered Huc...
55 Bát Sứ, Hàng Bồ, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Situated to the south and east of Lake Hoan Kiem, the French Quarter has a different feel from the rest of Hanoi—one characterized by a profusion of space. The French began shaping this part of the city in the late 1800s (in part by knocking...
Hồ B52, Ngọc Hà, Ba Đình, Hà Nội, Vietnam
It took ages to find the (much acclaimed at AFAR) sunken B-52 bomber in Ha Noi. The twisted pile of metal hardly resembles a plane anymore, but it was interesting nonetheless. Even more fascinating to me was the 'lake' it had fallen into. This...
Chùa Một Cột, Đội Cấn, Ba Đình, Hà Nội 100000, Vietnam
The French destroyed this famous temple in 1954, but it was lovingly rebuilt and remains a favorite with locals. The structure commemorates the legend of Emperor Ly Thai Tong who originally built the temple way back in 1049. The distinctive single...
Cổ Loa, Đông Anh, Hà Nội, Vietnam
At over 1,000 years old, Hanoi is not exactly a spring chicken. For some truly ancient Vietnamese history, however, it is worth spending time at Co Loa, the country's first fortified citadel and a onetime capital of the nation dating back to the...
Đinh Tiên Hoàng, Hàng Trống, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội 100000, Vietnam
On Jade Island on Hoan Kiem Lake, this picturesque 18th-century shrine is perhaps the city's most beautiful. To get to the temple, walk through Three Passage Gate and across the Flood of Morning Sunlight Bridge. Once at the temple, you will reach...
25 Hàng Thiếc, Hàng Gai, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
For an occasionally harrowing (but always interesting) peek into traditional Hanoi, spend an afternoon navigating the maze of the Old Quarter markets. Traditionally, certain streets were named after the product that was sold there (i.e. shoes,...
5 Nguyễn Siêu, Hàng Buồm, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội 10000, Vietnam
There are more local bia hoi hot spots in Hanoi, but the strip of venues at the crossroads of Ha Tien and Luong Ngoc Quyen is justifiably famous for its buzzing atmosphere and cross-cultural mash-up. Beer is slightly more expensive than at other...
713 Lạc Long Quân, Phú Thượng, Tây Hồ, Hà Nội, Vietnam
The Vietnamese can be a very romantic people, and love is permanently in the air around West Lake where lovers young and old come to take a spin around the water in one of the resident swan boats. Rent your vessel from the little booth on Thanh...
Ninh Thắng, Ninh Bình Province, Vietnam
Visitors have a love hate relationship with Tam Coc - and Ninh Binh in general - thanks to the aggressive nature of the touts that descend upon them the moment they disembark from their day trip tour buses from Hanoi. Solution? Don't get on the...
Cote 700m Ba Vi National Park, Ba Vì, Hà Nội, Vietnam
1/23 Trường Chinh, Phường 15, Tân Bình, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
On our way to find yet another banh mi cart, we noticed a tiny sign that said "boo coffee, 9th floor" at what looked like an alleyway full of parked motor bikes. We went in, took a crowded elevator up to the eighth floor (the 9th floor button was...
Đồng Khởi, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
To know Saigon is to know the traffic and the madness that it is as compared to the rest of the civilized world. Every aspect of moving around the city by foot, motorbike, or taxi is made more complex by the whistling wheels of the common Honda...
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