Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam is a great city to just wonder and take in the sights. Many of the things you can see will cost nothing, but will make your journey more memorable.
Here are a few ideas on where to go.
- Wonder through the lakes of Hanoi. In the central area there is Hoan Kiem Lake, a beautiful and shady area to wonder around this city. Get there early in the morning to see locals out doing their morning exercise and practicing Tai Chi.
Further out of the city to the north, is West Lake, Hanoi’s largest lake and next to that is Truc Bach Lake. Splitting the two lakes is Thanh Nien Street. Following this street you will be able to visit Tran Quoc Pagoda, the cities oldest pagoda. West Lake generally has fewer travelers and fewer street vendors selling postcards etc.
- Markets are also a great way to experience the local culture and to get a feel for a city. Hanoi is no different! There are some 50 markets around Hanoi, the largest being Dong Xuan Market. A number are also located in the Old Quarter making them easy to reach. Other great markets include 1912 Market on Hai Ba Trung Street and the fabric market on Pho Hue St.
- If you’re into Art them Hanoi is a great place to wonder through the galleries and check out the local talent. Many art shops have popped up along Hang Gai and Hang Bong Street, along with the streets running of them. Check out the Vietnam News Paper (English) or local mag’s such as Oi Magazine and Asia Life for local exhibitions in the city.
- It really goes with out saying, but just walking the streets and lanes of the Old Quarter is a great experience. You will get lost, but that’s have the fun! Make sure you take your camera; you’ll some amazing shoots of buildings, people and markets.