As the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi is a bustling and fast-moving city. There’s a lot of tourist attractions like museums, temples and shows to see and even more variety of food available. There’s food tours in the city you can join – come on now!
Like me, I think most tourists just stay in the Old Quarter. There’s enough here to feast your eyes on for days. One of the main things to do here is shop. There’s plenty of fake North Face and Nike products, making it a great place for me to replenish things that I have torn and lost throughout my travels.
I’m not the biggest fan of how the shops are set up though. There are streets dedicated for specific products. For example, there’s a shoe street that only sells shoes. There’s a street for sunglasses, backpacks, children’s clothing, men and women’s clothing, flowers, party supplies and so on and so on. It’s amusing at first, but when you actually have a list of things to buy, it’s not the most convenient.
A big reason for me to be in Hanoi is to purchase my motorbike. It was a bit of a daunting task, but turned out to be surprisingly simple. I actually went straight to a mechanic to buy one. I found working with a mechanic much easier than buying it from another backpacker, as they had different options for me to choose from and can alter and make small changes for me immediately. Check out my other post here on how I settled on my bike.
Aside from shopping, I checked out some of the tourist sites. I was hoping to visit a couple museums to learn more about Vietnam, but after hearing what a couple fellow travellers had seen at these museums and how amateur they were, I decided to skip them.
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
Dedicated to the former leader of the country, this mausoleum is an interesting place to visit. Lots of locals visit and pay their tributes too. The mausoleum is only open in the mornings until 11 a.m and the last entrance time is around 10:15 a.m. However when I went, they closed it off earlier than 10:15 a.m. and I couldn’t actually go inside..
There definitely is an indescribable vibe here.
Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre
I was itching to watch a live performance and had heard many people enjoyed this show. Unfortunately, this show didn’t meet my expectations at all. I thought it was a bit amateur, and for 100,000 vnd, an extremely expensive activity.