A Celebration Of Hanoi'S Finest Traditions
The Old French Quarter is a maze of crammed narrow alleyways that are still named after goods that were once traded on there. With the charm of a bygone era, Hanoi is home to a myriad of roadside cafes and bars, where the traditional beer (“Bia Hoi”) flows freely accompanied by some remarkable cuisine. Wide, bicycle filled boulevards and faded but elegant architecture dominate the landscape as the industrious city people go about their daily lives. The ancient art of water puppetry continues to this day in this historic city where Ho Chi Minh’s monumental mausoleum is housed. The streets of Hanoi are a carnival of colour for visitors, with wonderful shopping, dining and people at every glance. In short Hanoi is a microcosm of Vietnamese culture.
Busy shopping street
The best thing about shopping in Hanoi is that you can do it all on foot, with many streets dedicated to specific trades. This is particularly true in the Old Quarter, where Silk Street and Silver Street still retain their particular trades after hundreds of years. Whether you are looking for souvenirs such as Vietnamese farming hats or a hand-made silk evening gown, Hanoi can provide.
Taste the City
It's hard to have a bad meal in Hanoi. Almost every ethnic food variation is well represented in the city -- from Italian, to Indian, to vegetarian options, to familiar Western fare. Years of brutal colonial rule by the French left many resentments, but no amount of anti-foreign revolutionary zeal could overcome Vietnamese culinary traditions borrowed from their one-time oppressors. The baguette lives on, and the legacy of fine French cuisine can be found in every quarter. Also, don’t forget to try PHO!
All night long
Please do stop by Ma May street – the Lan Kwai Fong of Hanoi. Old Quarter contains most of Hanoi's Western-style bars and this is a good place to meet other travelers at the end of the day. There are also some vibrant clubs here where it is possible to dance until the small hours. Also popular with music lovers is Minh's Jazz Club, where people gather to listen to live sets from local musicians.