TOP TIPS FOR TRAVELLERS BEFORE VISITING HANOI, VIETNAM

TOP TIPS FOR TRAVELLERS BEFORE VISITING HANOI, VIETNAM

          Ha Noi is a beautiful, peaceful capital and one of a paradise of street food in the world. There are many destinations which you should visit in Hanoi. Tourists are attracted by Hanoi beauty, friendly people and Hanoi cuisine. If it is the first time you visit here, you shouldn’t miss some highlight destinations such as Ho Chi Minh complex, Hoan Kiem lake, Hanoi Temple of Literature, Long Bien bridge, etc as well as try Hanoi street food in local small restaurant. About the time to travel in Hanoi, it depends on your destination. Hanoi is also a place to take buses to all of provinces in the north of Vietnam.
To explore Hanoi, you can travel by yourself or book a tour which is offered by tour companies or free tour clubs in Hanoi. Vietnam Eco Travel will give you some information and top tips to explore Hanoi in the best way!

1.    Travel around Hanoi by yourself

        Travel around Hanoi is easy, you can go around by foot, bus, taxi, motortaxi, bicycle, etc. In Vietnam street, we walk on the right side and sometimes you have to walk on the street because the sidewalk is small and full of motorbikes so it doesn’t have any space to walk. 
Some tourists feel scary when they across the street in Hanoi but don’t worry, you won’t have any accident here with it. Just move, vehicles will turn around you although they won’t stop when you across the street. Don’t be surprised when you see some motorbikes run into the red light!
You can spend your specious time to visit Hanoi Old Quarter (Hanoi 36 streets) : Visit Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son temple, white horse temple, Vietnamese ancient house, Dong Xuan market, Quan Chuong gate, Long Bien bridge, etc. Especially you shouldn’t miss to try Vietnam cuisine in Hanoi Old Quarter such as “Pho”, “Bun cha”, “Banh mi”, “Banh cuon”, “egg coffee”, etc. 
Beside Hanoi Old Quarter, you should visit some tourists attractions in Hanoi such as Ho Chi Minh complex, Hanoi Temple of  Literature, Hoa Lo Prison, Vietnamese woman museum, etc. Some old pagodas near West lake: Tran Quoc pagoda, Tay Ho temple, Quan Thanh pagoda. 
You just download google map or use Hanoi map find your destination. In Hanoi, we just have free wifi near Hoan Kiem lake and some streets in Hanoi Old Quarter. If you have any problem, feel free to ask locals, they’re very friendly and help you will all their heart. 
Some things for tourists to avoid: 
-    With some taxi brands, driver will take you to your destination by a further distance so they can charge you more money. Therefore you should check your google map to make sure driver is going with the right way or pick some good taxi companies such as mai linh taxi; thanh cong taxi; group taxi; etc. In Hanoi, uber and grab taxi are very popular so if you have Vietnamese sim card and have internet outside, you can book a car or motorbike in uber or grab taxi. They’re cheaper and you can see the price before you decide to book a taxi.
-    Vietnamese money is complicated with a lot of zero: The smallest Vietnamese money now is 500 VND and the biggest one is 500.000 VND so when you pay for something, be careful to make sure you take a right money because there are some bad sellers know that you don’t know about Vietnamese money and take you a bigger money. 
-    Some street hawkers or street vendors who sell pineapple or banana on 2 baskets, they carry baskets by a bamboo stick and carry on their shoulder, if you see them try to give baskets and bamboo stick on your shoulder to advise you take some photos with it, don’t do it because then you will have to buy fruits for them with expensive prices, they won’t let you go until you buy one for them.
-    When you buy something in Vietnam, you should bargain especially if you buy it from street vendors.
-    Keep your valuable things carefully such as wallet, mobile phone, camera, etc. Wearing bag and always have to keep your eyes on it because when you walk in crowded street, pickpockets will crack your bag and take your valuable things. Or don’t go too late at night in empty street to avoid meeting bad person, robber or someone drive motorbike and take your bag suddenly.
-    You should respect Vietnamese political rules.
Before you visit Vietnam, you should read some travel blog or travel website to know good attractions or restaurants and try to learn some basic Vietnamese words .
2.    Travel around Hanoi with a tour company
         It is much more easier for you to explore Hanoi. With a day tour in Hanoi, they will guide you to some famous historical places in Hanoi, introduce you about Vietnamese history and culture. It depends on your budget, you will go with a big group, small group or a private tour. It will be a fix itinerary and move around  by bus, van or motorbike. In Hanoi Old Quarter, there are cyclo tour or electric car tour to guide you go around Hanoi old quarter but they don’t have tour guide.
Book a tour with a big group, you won’t have chance to talk with tour guide or locals. Just see, listen and remember.
There are some good tour company which offer Hanoi city tour such as APT travel, Vietnam Eco Travel, Wati travel, etc.
3.    Travel around Hanoi with a Hanoi free tour club
          Nowadays, more and more Hanoi free tour clubs are established. They are non –profit organizations and members of them are students from universities of Hanoi who can speak English fluently and have a passion to be a tour guide. 
Tourists coming to Vietnam will have the chance to talk, make friends with locals so you could have a deep understanding of our country. it is also useful for you who first visit Vietnam to travel around Hanoi without worrying about getting overcharged, lost. Locals from universities in Hanoi need to be more fluent in English, have multi-national thinking. So they start to learn more about our history, culture… to gain more knowledge to explain many tough questions from tourists. So it will bring tourists and locals together. 
Especially they love sharing all things about Vietnam through young’s eyes so it will be great when you can talk with Vietnamese young people and know more about vietnam as well as their life.
They will offer you a private tour and guide you to your favorite places so their itinerary will be flexible. Although they’re unprofessional tour guide, they’re very friendly, helpful, knowledgeable and enthusiasm. You will have more time to talk with them and have a good Hanoi trip. They do the tour for free but you will pay for the entrance ticket, food or transfer and if you enjoy your tour, you can tip for them a little to donate for their free tour club in the end of tour. 
Some good Hanoi free tour club: Hanoi kids, Hanoi free local tours, Hanoi free walking tour, etc.
            I hope that some my tips can help you a little bit to have a wonderful trip in Hanoi and get unforgettable experiences here!
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