Sunday, 28 May 2017
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MY HANOICITY GUIDE

Things to do in Hanoi if you only have 2 days

Updated at Monday, 24 Apr 2017, 16:19
The Hanoitimes - If you only have 48 hours in Hanoi, bypassing some attractions is a must to make the most out of your stay in Vietnam’s capital city.
First day
Hoan Kiem Lake.
Hoan Kiem Lake.
On morning of the first day in Hanoi, start your day of sightseeing by making your way to Hoan Kiem Lake, where you can find locals jogging, enjoying a coffee. This peaceful lake surrounds Ngoc Son Temple, an 18th century pagoda sitting in on a small island that’s accessible via an ornate wooden bridge.
There are altars dedicated to military leader Tran Hung Dao, large bronze bust, some ancient artefacts including ceramics, and a preserved specimen of a giant turtle found in the lake weighing 250kg. Plenty of cafes and restaurants are found in this area, too.
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Ba Dinh District.
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Ba Dinh District.
Afternoon, Hanoi is a walkable city with many historical landmarks, cultural museums, colonial buildings, and war memorials, some of which are conveniently located in the Old Quarter.
Notable hotspots include Hoa Lo Prison (or Maison Centrale), Hanoi Opera House, and Saint Joseph Cathedral of Hanoi. If you’ve ventured outside the Old Quarter, One Pillar Pagoda, Temple of Literature, and Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Ba Dinh District are popular tourist hotspots.
Hanoi cuisine.
Hanoi cuisine.
On the evening, you can enjoy authentic Vietnamese Cuisine in Hanoi Old Quarter. Hanoi cuisine can be found within local restaurants along narrow alleyways and street markets in Hanoi Old Quarter. These dishes tend to be sweeter compared to the southern regions, comprising freshwater ingredients such as prawns, squids, shrimps, crabs, clams, and mussels.
Đường Thành Str., houses two local eateries offering arguably the best nem chua be (crabmeat rolls), bun cha (grilled pork with noodles), cha ca (white fish fillet seasoned with garlic, ginger, turmeric, and dill) in Hanoi. Another must visit is Xôi Yến along Nguyen Huu Hua Str., a legendary establishment serving sticky rice that’s topped with a variety of sweet and savoury ingredients.
Hanoi weekend night market.
Hanoi weekend night market.
After that, it’s time to indulge on some retail therapy and street food at the Hanoi Weekend Night Market. Located in Old Quarter, this bustling gathering of roadside stalls starts at 7p.m onwards, running from Hang Dao Str., to the edge of Đồng Xuân Market. Pedestrian streets and historical sites within the area are illuminated with decorative lights, making this a popular spot for travelling photographers. Shopping-wise, you will find inexpensive t-shirts, handicrafts, accessories, shoes, sunglasses and souvenirs.
The second day
Hanoi Egg Coffee.
Hanoi Egg Coffee.
On morning, after making a round of Hoan Kiem lake, you can take a quick break and enjoy of Vietnam’s most profitable exports is coffee. In the north, Hanoians take coffee to another level altogether. A particular type of coffee you must try while in Hanoi is Egg Coffee. Egg Coffee is unique blend of chicken egg yolk, coffee, sweetened condensed milk, butter and cheese.
Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre.
Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Hanoi, comprising 17 short sketches using traditional puppets within a one-hour performance. A Vietnamese orchestra accompanies each story, with musicians playing traditional operatic songs using drums, wooden bells, horns, bamboo flutes and cymbals.
You can drinking beer in Ta Hien Str..
You can drinking beer in Ta Hien Str..
Old Quarter is where you can find some of the best bars and pubs in Hanoi, all of which boast plenty of alcoholic offerings, local and international delicacies, and live performances of various music genres. If you’re on a tight budget, Bia Hoi Junction is an iconic roadside nightlife area that offers Vietnamese draft beers, while more proper bars are set around Hoan Kiem Lake. Due to strict laws, most nightlife venues in Hanoi close by midnight so be sure to spend the majority of the night at one that’s to your liking.
You can explore Hanoi beer. The Hanoi street beer scene is infamous. So with a trip to Hanoi, or Vietnam rather, would be incomplete without spending some time sitting on small plastic stools and drinking the cheapest beer in the world. The beer made of 50 percent rice to keep it nice and clear, and best of all it is preservative free. 
Mai Nguyen
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Hanoi Walking street - A look back after six months
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