Top 7 things to do in your first time in Hanoi (Part 1)

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When it is your first time in Hanoi, choosing what to do or where to go first can sometimes be overwhelming due to the myriads of delightful surprises the city has to offer. If you are stuck and couldn’t decide which, let me share with you 7 of the things you should do that will let you unravel the secrets of Hanoi from all its hidden corners and beyond.

>>Guides to enjoy street foods in Hanoi

Explore the Old Quarter

Hanoi Old Quarter (via Visions of Indochina)

The Old Quarter is Hanoi’s most touristy district. I can even go on saying it is the city’s very heart and soul. And why not? Its 36 streets are home to not just the gorgeous French Colonial architecture but to a rich history and cultural heritage which showcase the timeless beauty of this stunning city. No wonder it’s packed with travellers and backpackers of different race and colors from all corners of the world. This is the best place to be whenever you are in Hanoi. So no matter what your business is when you visit, the Old Quarter is not something you would want to miss.

Go on day tours

Day tour from Hanoi (via AproTravel)

Hanoi serves as the gateway to other beguiling jewels the northern region of Vietnam has to offer such as the Halong Bay and Perfume Pagoda and the best way to discover them is going on day tours. Day tours are suitable for travellers who are a little pressed with time but are still adventurous enough to save a day seeing some scenery outside of Hanoi in a span of 12-15 hours which normally kicks off early at 5AM and gets you back in the city no later than 8PM. Although doing the tour on your own gives you more flexibility and freedom, going on organized tours however opens you to the opportunity of meeting new people from different walks of life bringing you brand new perpectives which you can ponder and learn from in the process. Plus it could save you the hassle of planning the tours yourself which could sometimes be frustrating especially in a foreign land you barely know anything about. For as cheap as $18, you get yourself one fulfilling day that you can cherish for a lifetime.

Get a glass of ice cold Vietnamese coffee

Hanoi Coffee (via Kenh14)

Coffee is an essential part of the Vietnamese culture and it plays an important role in their lives. I probably haven’t seen any other place (well I’ve only been to one country apart from mine) where people have so much love for coffee. Unlike us Filipinos who love our coffee warm and aromatic, Vietnamese have this intricate way of brewing their coffee and serving it cold with ice cubes mixed with sweet milk. And I gotta say as much as I love the coffee at home, Vietnamese coffee didn’t make it so hard for me to fall in love with its distinctive taste so addicting that I had it as many times as the locals have it when I was in Vietnam. So if you are about to get started with your adventure in Hanoi, the best way to begin is sipping a glass of cold Vietnamese iced coffee.

(To be continued)

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