Foodie's Guide to Hanoi's Signature Dishes

Food is definitely an important factor that can either make a vacation a success or an absolute failure. Foodies need not worry about Hanoi, though, as the street food culture here is well established and you can almost always find a dependable café or roadside stall to satiate your appetite!
1. Pho Bo / Pho Ga

The most iconic of foods that originate from Vietnam, pho is probably the signature dish that locals will be proud to introduce you to when you arrive here. It is a soup dish comprising rice noodles topped with a generous serving of herbs and meat – either beef (pho bo) or chicken (pho ga). After trying both dishes, I will definitely recommend the beef version as the meat is much juicier and tenderer than the tough chicken. 

I originally planned to visit the restaurant below as it was highly recommended by many tourists and also offered various options to suit different preferences in tastes – rare steak and flank (tai nam), rare steak (tai) and well done steak (chin) at …

Hanoi Day Trips: Exploring the Countryside at Ninh Binh

Ninh Binh Province is approximately 90 kilometres south of Hanoi. Nicknamed Serenity, the province indeed sheds light on the more rural areas of Vietnam and the citizens’ peaceful livelihood primarily on agriculture, evident from the miles and miles of rice paddy fields. 

I signed up with Klook, which linked me up with Wati Travel that organised this day trip striking south of the capital. I would definitely recommend that you join one organised by a tour agency because Ninh Binh is located in a rural region which is rather difficult to manoeuvre (they only have dirt roads here) – rather than worrying about getting lost, why not sign up with a tour which will take care of everything for you and conserve your energy to explore the attractions?
Hoa Lu – Temples of Dinh and Le Dynasties Entrance Fee: VND 20,000
Hoa Lu was the ancient capital of Dai Co Viet in the late 10th century. The palaces erected here sat on a strategic location with great natural defence, as they were surrounded by …

Hanoi Itineraries: Tracing Uncle Ho's Footsteps (Western Circuit)

If you are planning to walk around the Hanoi district just like I did, you may wish to note that the Western Circuit will involve the longest walking distance out of the Old Quarter (approximately 25 minutes). You may wish to take this journey early in the morning as you will be able to avoid the massive crowds that will be visiting the tourist attractions you will be exploring in this circuit. Trust me, you will want these places to yourselves to capture the best photographs. Let’s start tracing Uncle Ho’s footsteps!

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Ba Dinh Square
Opening Hours: 0730h – 1030h (Tue – Thu), 0730h – 1100h (Sat – Sun)
Entrance Fee: Free

Possibly the most symbolic icon in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum contains the embalmed body of the esteemed Vietnamese revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh who died in 1969. Early in the morning, large crowds of Vietnamese form up in front of the mausoleum to pay their respects to Uncle Ho whom they very much respect, as he is recognised as the most si…

Getting Around Hanoi - Wheels or Heels?

I was really impressed with how easy it was to get around this sleepy capital city in one of the last communist countries in the world. Here's some tips on moving around here!

Getting to the Old Quarter
Upon touching down at Noi Bai International Airport, you may wish to take the airport shuttle (Bus No. 86) that plies along the route between Hanoi's city centre and the airport at a modest fare of VND 30,000 (S$1.90) per person. You will be able to find it near the left end of the taxi stands upon walking out of Terminal 2 (International Terminal).

Just hop onto the bus, drop your bags at the standing area and grab a seat if there's any left. Else, you can just stand around like me and enjoy the air-conditioning and the WiFi to let your family and friends know "I'm in Hanoi!" as the bus journeys down south to the city centre.
Once the bus heads out, the bus conductor will collect the fare from you and hand out the tickets, so there's certainly no rush to p…

Introduction to Hanoi - The Motorcycle Capital

In this series, I will be sharing with all of you about my ventures in Hanoi during my visit in October/November 2017. Hopefully, my experiences and itineraries will be able to help those of you out there who are planning to visit this charming little city with its unique kampong feel.
First Impressions

Hanoi is located in northern Vietnam and is the capital of the one of the last communist countries in the world. Also the capital of the former socialist state of North Vietnam, it is not difficult to see that communism is deeply rooted in the heart of this city – with the worshipping of their late leader at the symbolic Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the statue of Lenin erected in the centre of the city and the stereotypical crimson red banners with familiar communist imagery.

Founded in 1010, Hanoians are celebrating their home’s vibrant history of more than 1000 years as we enter this new millennium. While this city may not be as famous as Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) which is commonly mistake…