As though Hanoi’s Old Quarter isn’t exciting enough during the day, with its ever-busy streets and bustling cafes and eateries, the entire district transforms into a wonderland of sorts after dark, where locals and tourists alike come together for a good time.
If you’re up for some gastronomic treats and entertainment, we’ve pulled up a list of fun things you can try in the Vietnamese capital’s Old Quarter at night:
Try Street Food
You just can’t miss Hanoi’s street food! Extremely affordable and undeniably addicting, street eats in the city will satisfy your foodie soul in every possible way. Order some nem lui (meat skewers) or nem chua ran (fried minced meat) with French fries, which locals dip in soy sauce and mayonnaise (don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!). Have a go at authentic banh mi, too, which is practically sold everywhere!
Hit The Night Market
For cheap finds and souvenirs, hit the Hanoi Night Market. From Vietnamese flag tees to factory overruns to collectible toys, this shopping spot offers a plethora of knick-knacks that won’t put a dent on your travel budget! And the best part? You can still negotiate some of the prices, so put your bargaining skills to a test here!
Grab A Cold One
Once you’ve ticked all the items on your shopping list at the market, sit down at one of the bars along Ta Hien Street, which is known as Hanoi’s beer street. This place is always, always packed at night, but you’ll be surprised by how quick the bar staff will get you a table (a small one with stools for you to sit on). Grab a few beers and order some accompaniments that range from peanuts to German sausages.
Take A Stroll Around Hoan Kiem Lake
Strolling around Hoan Kiem Lake is an experience. Whether you’re making your way back to your hostel or just taking a leisurely stroll, it’s impossible not to marvel at the lake’s beauty, with its now-dark emerald waters mirroring the lights of its surrounding areas. You will also spot people dancing or exercising on the side of the lake, like it’s part of their daily routine.
Locals will tell you that this is a very touristy thing to do, but hey, they’d recommend it anyway. Why? Because it’s fun! Learn about Vietnam’s folk tales and take a glimpse into their vibrant theater scene by catching a water puppet show. If you’re hungry, you can even avail of a ticket that comes with a dinner pass!
Which among these activities are you excited to try in Hanoi?