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Danang - Miami of the East

  Having explored the north of Vietnam , it was time to move down South from Hanoi towards the more tropical climates. Danang, which is right in the center of the country was the next logical stop for us with its diverse geography containing vast expansive beaches to amazing hills.  Why Danang? Danang is one of the newest cities in  Vietnam with a large expansive waterfront skyline. It is fast catching up as a major tourist destination and has been coined as the Miami of the East. Along with amazing sunsets at the My Khe beach, one can also visit the nearby Bana hills to get a feel of the mountains. The city has some amazing bridges, water cruises, and in a way, it feels different from the whole of Vietnam due to its well-designed architecture.  How to Reach & Where to Stay? Danang is very well connected from all major countries through its International airport. The airport being right in the center of the city makes the commute times even less. One can easily book a grab under

Hanoi - The Pho Capital of the World

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Hanoi or as the world knows as the Capital of Vietnam.... well I like to call it The PHO Capital. This particular city took my heart more than any other city in Vietnam. It is the perfect start to your Vietnam expedition with all its rich cultural heritage, amazing food, old-world charm of the French Quarter & party scenes at the beer street in Old Quarter. You can easily expect yourself to spend 3 days here so plan accordingly.

How To Reach Hanoi?

Well, Hanoi is well connected across the world with its Noi Bai International Airport through multiple carriers. From within, it is well connected through railways, domestic flights and roads. I took my direct Vietjet flight from New Delhi, India which costed me under 50$ (One side) so yeah it's really affordable. I have already covered the visa procedure in my other blog, Click here to read. 

Where to stay?

Hoan Kiem Lake
In my personal opinion the best place to stay is in the Old Quarter adjacent to Hoan Kiem Lake as it is the epicentre of all major tourist destinations and beer street which is a very famous spot among the backpacker crowd. If you are into luxury stays, you can also consider staying in the French Quarter which is adjacent to the Old Quarter and boasts of wide roads, amazing ambience and architecture. I stayed at VBH hostel and Essence Palace Hotel & Spa and I loved the parties at VBH but the amazing service by the Essence Palace front staff was out of the world.

Things to do in Hanoi

Hanoi offers something to every traveller and you can never go wrong here. I spent 3 days in this amazing lively city and loved every moment of it. Some of the best things you can pick are:

Take a stroll across the narrow lanes of Old Quarter

Old Quarter Hanoi
People who say that to get a feel of a country you should start roaming around in their deep alleys are not wrong. Old Quarter has an old-world charm, its quintessential cafes to the amazing street food of Vietnam, it has it all. Visit the Hoan Kiem lake and take a stroll along its perimeter and play host to a lot of activities and markets around them. Also, visit the Ngoc Son temple and admire the ancient architecture it holds. Take a stroll around to visit the Perfume Pagoda and the Citadel and be amazed by the amalgamation of Chinese and French architecture.

Explore the Train Street

Train Street Hanoi
What if I told you that you can relax by the sides of a live track with trains running with your favourite coffee or beer... Sounds amazing right? Well, this lovely experience is available in Hanoi at a walking distance from the Old Quarter. This a complete market with even encroachments on the tracks but as soon as the train approaches, all the locals retract and let it pass. While some of you might call it unsafe, I prefer to keep in my list for its uniqueness. 

Party on the Beer street

Vietnamese Beer
Vietnam has an amazing beer culture and has one of the highest per capita beer consumption in the world. You can find a regular can of beer for about 0.78$ in convenience stores. Vietnam has also something known as the Bia Hoi which is their local brewed beer being served across street-side vendors and that amazing tasting brew can be yours for as low as 0.22$. Do try this along with the local brands such as Saigon Beer, Hanoi Beer, Halong Beer.

Try the Vietnamese Egg Coffee

Egg Coffee Vietnam
Ca Phe Trung or Vietnamese Egg Coffee originated around the year 1946 at a time when there was a scarcity of milk in the country. Some genius came up with the idea of mixing eggs and condensed milk and creating one of the best dessert coffee. The rich creamy texture is to die for. This should be on your bucket list while you visit Vietnam. The best place to try Egg Coffee is the cafe that started the concept "Cafe Giang" hidden in an alleyway on the Old quarter but always bustling with tourists and locals alike. It has various other options including coconut coffee, beer coffee. Vietnam has one of the best coffee roast in the world and the strong French influence is quite visible.

Take a Food Tour 

Hanoi is the "Mecca" for food lovers. There are more foods than you can even try. Hanoi is one of the cities that has been covered by the famous Anthony Bourdain. You can try the famous Pho ga (Chicken Pho) or Pho Bo (Beef Pho). Bun Cha is a very famous dish here with even the likes of Obama making sure he got that in his maiden visit. Banh Mi is one of the best Sandwich you can eat, loads of meat wrapped in spice inside a French Baguette. There there is Ban Xeo, Cam Tong and the list goes on and the best part is that all these are under 2$. Trust me, you can't go wrong with this one. I will make a detailed food blog with my favourite places and foods, stay tuned.

Visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and other array of Museums

Vietnam War Museum
Start your tour with a trip to pay homage to Ho Chi Minh who is the most important person in Vietnam, you will find him on the currency too. Post that, visit the Prison Lao museum to experience the prison lives in times of Vietnam War. Then there are a couple more museums in the vicinity such War Museum which can be explored on foot.

Watch the Water Puppet Show

Water Puppet Hanoi
This is truly one of the most unique experiences this city has to offer which you just can't miss. Head to Opera house in front of Hoan Kiem lake to experience this water puppet show which turned out to be a dark horse and mesmerized me completely. This is one of those skills that have almost vanished so watch it while it's still possible.

Take a trip to mountainous Sapa or magnificent Halong Bay

Not just Hanoi, you can cover Sapa which is a hill station at a few hours ride from it or Halong Bay which is UNESCO World Heritage Site. In my opinion, if you have time cover both or read my separate blogs about them and decide which one suits you better. 
This city is so full of life that you will be amazed. For me coming from India, it was normal to experience the amazing liveliness but that might not be the case with you but trust me you will love it. You just might have to struggle a bit to cross the roads.... no kidding😋

Perfume Pagoda


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