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Quintessential Hanoi Experiences

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Hanoi is very much its own city which means plenty of experiences that are quintessential to Vietnam’s capital. Sit down for a cup of strong Vietnamese coffee in Hanoi's Old Quarter. Hitch a ride on the back of a cyclo or a motorbike taxi. Take your taste buds on a street-food tour, and drink with locals at a bia hoi. Then, if you dare, get your fortune told in an alleyway. Your senses will be filled with the colors, smells, sounds, and tastes of Hanoi.
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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,...
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20 Phan Chu Trinh, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội 100000, Vietnam
Hanoi's street food can be experienced by anyone with a willingness to sample the many delights being rustled up at markets, on sidewalks, or inside hole-in-the-wall venues. Sometimes a little expertise comes in handy, though, and the couple that...
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Quảng trường Ba Đình, Ba Đình, Hà Nội, Vietnam
A pilgrimage to the mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam's revolutionary leader, is an essential part of any Hanoi itinerary. Less macabre, however, is a humble stilt house where he resided intermittently from 1958 to 1969. The house is an...
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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...
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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...
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Hanoi, Hoàn Kiếm, Hanoi, Vietnam
Our pack of motorbikes has been navigating choking rush hour traffic for an hour. I’ve never driven this far down the Red River dike road. We turn into one those ubiquitous tiny alleys and wind our way deeper into the arteries of Hanoi. We swerve...
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Hoàn Kiếm Lake, Hàng Trống, 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...
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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...