We just spent 3 Months in South East Asia and out of Bangkok, Krabi, Singapore, Manila, Puerto Princessa, Saigon, Chiang Mai and Siem Reap, Hanoi stands out as the best, but why?
Pho is a traditional Vietnamese noodle soup generally made with beef. It's divine: it tastes refreshing, healthy and it's very filling.
Bahn Mi will be one of the best sandwiches you ever try. The bread is usually a baguette made of both rice and wheat flour (again, Chinese and French influences), and the filling is generally meat, vegetables and chilli.
Egg Coffee is made with, you guessed it, eggs. The coffee is prepared with egg yolks, sugar and condensed milk. Coffee snobs (like me) and coffee haters (like Tanbay), alike will love this drink!
Vietnam actually exports a lot of coffee and is very proud of it. They offer lots of different types alongside the egg coffee, including the weasel coffee (coffee made from beans that have passed through a weasel)! We of course tried it, but didn't find out until afterwards that this is actually a really mean thing to do to weasels and shouldn't be done, which is a pity as it tastes amazing.
Sure, you will eat in Hanoi, and you will eat well, but don't stop at just three meals a day, take it a step further and make your entire day about eating!! Here are a few food related tours in Hanoi:
|Prices from $20 per person|
Voted #1 of 130 Food and Drink in Hanoi, Hanoi Street Food Tour lets you eat and drink like a true Hanoian. In this tour, you are led round the streets of Hanoi by a local guide, and get to try many tasty, traditional Vietnamese dishes including: Bun Cha, Bahn Mi, Vietnamese pancakes, egg coffee and even a Hanoian draft beer. Check out our full review of Hanoi Street Food Tour here.
To book your tour, head over to TripAdvisor | Hanoi Street Food Tour
|Prices from $35 per person|
Taking part in a home cooking class with Vietnam Awesome Travel was actually our favourite part of our travels to Vietnam. This is an authentic adventure which involves cycling to a local market to barter for food, preparing and cooking Vietnamese food and then settling down to enjoy your creations.
Check out our full review of Vietnam Awesome Travel here.
To book your tour, head over to TripAdvisor | Vietnam Awesome Travel
Hanoi Cuisine Walk
|Prices from £15.40 for a Superior|
We were pleasantly surprised by our stay at Hanoi Serenity Hotel 2, the location is fantastic - within walking distance of everything you need, the wifi is super fast and the breakfast was one of the best we had in SE Asia. The rooms are kind of damp, but as far as we can tell this is a given with any room in Hanoi.
For up-to-date rates and availability compare prices on TripAdvisor | Booking.com
|Prices from £8 for a shared room|
Although we didn't use AirBnB in Hanoi, we have used it numerous times in Asia and Europe, including in Saigon, and we've always had a great time. AirBnB is particularly great for people who've been on the road for a while and want to use a kitchen and a washing machine!
If you're an AirBnB newbie, we can give you a £20 AirBnB discount
VATC Sleep Pod Terminal
|Prices from £20 per pod|
If you've got an early flight to catch from Hanoi Airport (or like us are landing from a super late one), we recommend staying at VATC Sleep Pod. Initially we really regretted that we'd booked a room: these pods are near impossible to find as there is no sign (though once you know it's on the third floor it's easy), AND the staff were pretty inept, nowhere to be seen (actually found sleeping in one of the pods), with no idea we'd booked online. When we got there Hanoi Airport was empty, with lots of empty benches to sleep on, for free, initially we wished we'd just broken our 'don't sleep in airports' rule and slept in the airport.
So why am I recommending it? Because WE SAW A RAT IN HANOI AIRPORT. A big fat squeaky rat. EUGH!! So we were glad that we were safe in a pod.
AND once we'd finally found the pods and finally been let into one, we got a good night's sleep: the beds are comfy, the wifi is fast and they even supply water and cakes.
For up-to-date rates and availability compare prices on TripAdvisor
If you're like us (from the UK or Germany) you can stay in Vietnam for 15 days without a visa, but if you're from most other countries (like the USA and Ireland) OR if you'd like to stay longer, you will need a Vietnam Visa.
In addition to being travel bloggers, we are also YouTubers! We make daily YouTube videos on our channel: Travelling Weasels. Here is our playlist of our time in Hanoi, starting with the journey up from Saigon:
More of Vietnam
There are so many things to do in Vietnam! Sadly our trip there was too short to do too much, but luckily our good friend Janet from Journalist on the Run has a list of 50 Unique Things To Do in Vietnam. Check it out!
The only thing we wish we could change about Hanoi is the amount of time we spent there. It was so pretty and the food was so delicious, we could have easily spent four weeks there, not four days.
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Over to you: Have you been to Hanoi? Did you love it or loathe it? Tell us why in the comments below!
We're Laura and Tanbay, a British/German couple who have successfully weaselled our way out of the rat-race and want you to do the same! We also want to make it clear that we sometimes use “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we use personally and believe will add value to our readers.