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7 BEST THINGS TO DO IN HANOI


1. SHOPPING AT HANOI NIGHT MARKET

Around 5 pm a street in the old town quarter turns into a night market, where you can eat, shop and walk. I do have a thing for night markets. They are lively and are places, where locals and tourists meet. Even if you're not interested in buying something, I do recommend walking through the night market.


2. DRINK A COFFEE AT TRAIN STREET

Have you ever heard from a train that is crossing its path a few centimeters away from several cafés? That's in Hanoi! And honestly, the event itself was worth seeing. There's a fixed schedule, but the train somehow never crosses punctually. Once it's official that the train will drive through, the locals start shouting, organizing, and moving things around, just to make sure, that no one and nothing could be in the train's way. With a loud honk, the train finally drives through and yes, it's true, the train is only centimeters apart from where you're sitting. A unique experience you can't miss.


3. WALK AROUND THE OLD TOWN QUARTER

Hanoi, and Vietnam in general, was matchless and somehow different in comparison with other Asian countries. It's not all about beaches, small towns, and relaxation, more about culture, vivid cities, and architecture. Walking around the old town quarter was one of my favorite things to do in Vietnam. I'm not a specialist in architecture, but found the characteristics of each building interesting and took my time to look closely.


4. ST. JOSEPH CATHEDRAL

A long time ago, Vietnam was colonized by France and the St. Joseph Cathedral is a historical leftover from that time. It does look very similar to Notre Dame and looked European.


Right in front of the cathedral, there are some cafés and restaurants, where you can just enjoy your time and drink (how could you not?) a coffee.


5. WALK AROUND HOAN KIEM LAKE

While walking through the old town, you can't miss Hoan Kiem Lake. The lake is the perfect route for a chill walk and you can easily walk around in less than an hour. Also, on weekends, a lot is going on and almost every week there's a concert or a show. So, if you're in Hanoi during the weekend, make sure to visit this place.


6. HAVE A LOCAL DINNER EXPERIENCE AT KATZE VEGAN & VEGETARIAN

This was by far one of the most fun and unique dining experiences I've ever had. It's centrally located and the location itself was easy to find, but the restaurant was hidden inside a big apartment building. After walking inside the building and crossing living rooms and bedrooms, you eventually find the restaurant on the 2nd floor.


After managing the labyrinth and arriving at the establishment, you find yourself in a simply made room, with simple tables, and chairs waiting for the next customer and where a family prepares tasty authentic food. The owner has a heartbreaking story and does have this restaurant in addition to his two other jobs! They serve Vietnamese food only and surprisingly everything is vegetarian or even vegan. Also, after ordering your food, you receive an additional soup, some greens, and sometimes even more dishes. I bet that you won't leave this place hungry.


So, what makes this place unique? You don't have any idea what you order and it was kind of confusing when they put more and more stuff on our table without any explanation. The whole family barely speak English, so it was hard to ask, so I was forced to try and find out by myself. The atmosphere and the family gave me an authentic experience of Vietnam, that I had never experienced before. Loved my visit!


7. iVEGAN

Once arrived in Hanoi, I did, what I always do: look for good spots to eat, drink and chill. I have to admit, I was truly excited to read iVegan on the list. A vegetarian and vegan restaurant that serves healthy and fresh food and also has the macro displayed on their menu. Perhaps the restaurant sounds familiar to you and you're right, I wrote about it in my previous blog post about Da Nang, and was already in love with this place. For me a must-see in Vietnam, even though it doesn't have anything to do with Vietnam.






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