People of Hanoi
When you are in Hanoi, especially at the Old Quarters area, you will see lots of local people going about their daily life e.g. riding motorcycles, shopping, eating at the roadside stores, relaxing at the park etc. Generally the people are laid back and the pace of life is not as fast as major developed cities. Also, if you are shopping, you will discover that you will not be able to bargain much unlike in China. Here, the most that they can reduced the price is about 20-30%. Please visit the travelogue section of this VT page to see more photos of the people of Hanoi.
The Mysterious and Amazing HaLong Bay
You must leave 2-4 days to go to the amazing HaLong Bay. I cannot reccomend this place enough. The scenery, people, swimming, beaches, and excursions are excellent. For some more HaLong Bay picts see my Haiphong page.
Hoa Lu handicraft
Like a Vietnamese craft museum, with 1,000 sqm showroom. All the products from famous trade village are here: ceramics, lacquerware, bamboo & wood products, silk, embroidered paintings, bronze and stone statues large & small.
They also have showroom at Noi Bai airport
I would recommend on foot, but if you want, motorbike taxis are all around to take you to sites of interests. It's one of the most common ways to get around. Bargain, it's probably around 5,000 (for locals) but you can get them for 10,000.
In the streets!
It is in the streets where the best culinary (and social) flavour of Ha Noi can be found!
The small restaurants on the sidewalk definitely offer the best food in Ha Noi, because it is fresh, various, has real taste, is eaten with all sorts of people around you, and, if you do not speak Vietnamese, it is not a problem, the people (customers or restaurant staff) help you to choose and just show you what to eat; and there is lots of choice in some of them! So, when you feel hungry, go to a place where people seat on the small plastic stools in front of very low plastic tables, go inside the kitchen/serving room and choose (or let someone help you), and enjoy! Some have even beer, and if they don’t have, get a green tea. Just wonderful food, I cannot give the name of all I ate, but all was good! (Does the name matter if its good?) People told me to be careful with Montezuma, or alike possible disagreements, but I must confess, I am lucky I never had that sort of problem where ever I ate on the streets on the five continents. Don’t look at the dishes or the way they are “cleaned”, just look at the food and enjoy!
Lunch for 1-4 US$