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Hanoi - the 3 "must sees/do's"

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Leeds, United...
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Hanoi - the 3 "must sees/do's"

Planning on hitting Hanoi in 3 weeks and due to our itinerary we only have two evenings and one full day there. I have already got an idea of the few things we can probably fit into our one day there but would like some advice on the 3 best things to see/do from the TA family and then we can decide once we have some other opinions.

Thanks!

Llanbrynmair...
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1. Re: Hanoi - the 3 "must sees/do's"

So difficult. One person's "must see" is another's "bleaugh".

Just about everybody agrees that the Old Quarter deserves every second you can give it, not just for the chaos and the architecture (you have to raise your eyes above street level to appreciate the latter) but because the street life is endlessly fascinating to observe.

With just one day in Hanoi you could easily fill your time by wandering around the Old Quarter, the Cathedral District and Hoan Kiem Lake, with browsing in small shops and coffee at pavement cafes thrown in. However if you do want to squeeze in a museum, for me it would be a toss-up between the Museum of Ethnology and the Women's Museum.

leicester
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2. Re: Hanoi - the 3 "must sees/do's"

Definitely allow a day to wander the old quarter. Get to Ta Hien street where Bia Hoi corner meets, pull up a plastic chair and watch the madness that is Hanoi. Anything else is dependant on what you like to do and you interests but don't feel you have to DO anything...wandering those streets, stopping for a meal or a drink, watching it all happening is as interesting as most of the other sights. Look up Hanoi Kids as that's a great way to see the area and give you a good introduction. HCM mausoleum is worth a visit even if only to walk around the huge building outside. A walk around the lake at half five in the morning is fascinating. Hanoi for a lot of people is far more about the vibe and the madness than the museums and the landmarks. Don't miss it.

Melbourne, Australia
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3. Re: Hanoi - the 3 "must sees/do's"

A walking food tour

A cyclo ride around the Old Quarter

Sitting on a little red chair at a BiaHoi enjoying a beer and the excitement and atmosphere

Boston, MA
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4. Re: Hanoi - the 3 "must sees/do's"

Aside from wandering the Old Quarter and making sure to sit and have both a ca phe sua da and a bia hoi, my biggest must-sees would be to walk the whole way around Hoan Kiem lake, and to tour the Temple of Literature. Both, to me, are calming and restful places that offer beauty and a respite from the amazing chaos.

Italy
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5. Re: Hanoi - the 3 "must sees/do's"

I second the Old district and the Ethnology Museum, definitely not to be missed.

Leeds, United...
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6. Re: Hanoi - the 3 "must sees/do's"

Thanks everyone - I think the Old Quarter was def on our agenda and a wander around the lake but will check out the Ethnology Museum, looks very interesting.

Thanks again!

Sydney, Australia
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7. Re: Hanoi - the 3 "must sees/do's"

I also vote walking around (and eating around) Old Quarter and visiting the Ethnology Museum, Women's Museum is also very good.

Edinburgh, Scotland
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8. Re: Hanoi - the 3 "must sees/do's"

Number 1 on my list the next time we return is to stay at the Sofitel Metropole. We did 2 nights before a Halong Bay cruise at a local hotel (Gia Bao Grand Hotel) and then 2 nights after the cruise at the Metropole in a historical wing grand luxury room. It was fantastic and although expensive by Vietnamese standards was great value compared to equivalent hotels elsewhere.

Walking around the Old Quarter and taking photos was also a highlight.

We didn't visit the Ethnology Museum so remain curious as to why everyone on TA recommends it so highly. We did wonder if it is well air conditioned as we walked around Hanoi's major outdoor sights dripping in sweat!

Llanbrynmair...
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9. Re: Hanoi - the 3 "must sees/do's"

"We did wonder if it [the Museum of Ethnology] is well air conditioned as we walked around Hanoi's major outdoor sights dripping in sweat!"

About two thirds of the exhibits (full-scale, explorable examples of ethnic minority buildings and some cultural artefacts) are outside the museum building, so sweat can certainly be expected from April to mid October or thereabouts!

10. Re: Hanoi - the 3 "must sees/do's"

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