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Half-Day Hanoi Home Cooking Class and Cultural Tour
"The tour starts from your hotel and after a short drive you will arrive at the the awesome property that features a peaceful atmosphere on the Red River bank. The hosts will warmly welcome you and introduce their members and begin exchanging culture bargain and to spend the local currency “VND” in the market.You then begin a 5 minutes cycle or walk to the local market. It’s great chance to buy local things by yourself and experience a variety of foods from all the groceries such as: herbs spices vegetables meats fishes
From $49.00
Hanoi Explorer Private Photo Tour
"Hotel pick-up.  We start the tour on historic Long Bien Bridge Yen Phu Street.  After introductions and a brief look at the story behind the bridge there is an overview of camera settings.  We then head up to Long Bien Bridge to shoot the Establishing picture.  Time now to move into Long Bien market Hanoi's biggest wet market to learn how to shoot Relationship pictures.  Our focus is on how to take naturalistic photos of people at work and play.  In Dong Xuan market we continue with Relationship pictures.  The market was originally built by the French in 1889
From $160.00
2-Day Halong Bay Signature Cruise from Hanoi
"Day 1: Hanoi - Halong (LD)7:45am - 8:15amPickup and transfer to Halong Bay.12.00pm Arrival transfer to Signature Cruise.12:30pm You will be welcomed aboard and greeted with a complimentary drink. Check into your cabin and freshen up.1pm As we begin to cruise through the bay a special lunch of fresh seafood and an assortment of appetizi extraordinary limestone karst landscapesOan Lagoon Teapot and Monster Head Islets. Explore Vung Vieng Village by local rowing boats or kayaks to discover the interesting daily lives of its inhabitants. Signature Halong Cruise will stay close to Drum Cave for the evening.6:00pm Join Vietnamese cookingL)6:00am The nicest time of the day on Halong Bay is the morning. Head to the upper deck to participate in our daily Tai Chi sessions. Relax with an early morning cup of tea
From $383.00

Street sellers Tips (14)

Don't pay too much!

It cannot be said often enough: Street vendors in the Old Town take prices that are up to ten or twenty times as high as what Vietnamese would pay. Although a higher price is reasonable (it's still cheap for westerners), this is far too much! Paying VND 30,000 for some small bananas when you can get them for 1,000 outside the Old Town isn't fair anymore. So beware of the vendors and buy your stuff outside the Old Town.

Unique Suggestions If you cannot be talked out of buying your stuff in the Old Town at least start bartering...

Fun Alternatives Regarding the shopping for fresh fruit, there are plenty of alternatives: Hanoi is full of markets selling fruit. A good area is the middle part of Hue street, around Tran Xuan Soan market. Fruit vendors are everywhere and the prices are relatively normal.

King_Golo's Profile Photo
Jul 14, 2014

Hanoi - be aware of street sellers

I was in Hanoi recently on a business trip for a few days. My colleagues and I walked around the old quarter where they sell a lot of tourist goods. I got caught just after I had crossed the road, a lady carrying 2 baskets on a pole bumped into me by 'mistake' and within seconds I somehow ended up carrying the pole and wearing her hat. My colleagues thought it was hilarious and took the opportunity to get a few photos. The only way I could get her to take it back was to buy some bananas from her for 2 dollars.

Down another street a young lad - maybe 15 or 16 years old and carrying a small tray of zippo style lighters and some leather wallets asked if I was interested in a lighter - which I was - and when I asked how much he told me 400,000 VND - about 18 USD or 11 GBP. This wan't a bad price - the lighters were quite attractively decorated with various designs and were solidly made.

Anyway, one of my colleagues interjected before the transaction and told him to sell me it for half that price. He tried to haggle but my colleague was having none of it and told him half-price or nothing and suggested we walk off. We did and the lad followed us along for a while until finally agreeing to the half price.

Unique Suggestions It's a choice, you can just say no, walk off and ignore them if they follow you. They'll give up when they realize you're not interested. For me, I didn't mind. They're poor people and you can't blame them for trying - the couple of dollars I paid the fruit seller meant nothing to me but a lot to her and I've got a couple of decent photos and a funny story for the rest of my life out of it.

I actually feel bitter about my actions with the lighter and wish I hadn't listened to my colleague. The poor kid selling them was a skinny as a rake and almost looked tearful when he sold one to me for half price and although he remained polite and thankful, I could see that he was gutted. The lighter had been a bargain for me at the price he had originally quoted and I wish I'd have paid him that. The additional few dollars he made out the deal would have meant a lot to him. For all I know, it might make the difference between him eating properly or going hungry.

Like I say, if your not interested then say no, you have a choice. If you are interest and decide to haggle, try to keep in mind how relatively well off you are compared to them before you bargain too hard.

Oct 05, 2013

Street sellers

If you stop and show interest in what the ladies carry they will talk you into buying there goods.Even if you dont really want it .

Unique Suggestions If you dont want what they have dont show the slightest interest as do seem to sell you somethign you dont really want

Fun Alternatives Just keep walking if you see then and if you want to look wait till they arent lookign at you

Tattugran's Profile Photo
Jul 05, 2009

Beware of Women Carrying Fruit!!

As you travel through Vietnam, you'll definitely notice women carrying produce using an apparatus that looks like the scales of justice -- a long wooden pole across the shoulders dangling two trays loaded with (hopefully) equally weighted bundles. THis was a common sight in rural areas and not uncommon in downtown Hanoi -- and most of these people just want to carry their load to its destination and be done with it!!
However, we encountered a few women near Ho Kiem Lake who were carrying the poles just for show. Once they saw a westerner, the rushed forward, dressing him with a hat and carrying apparatus and demanding a money-for-photo exchange. This happened several times, resulting in me getting pushed by an old woman once. Finally, Phil relented and I got this picture -- for 50,000 dong!! Almost 4 dollars!!

AKtravelers's Profile Photo
Oct 27, 2008
Sponsored Listings

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58 Hang Dao Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, 00844, Vietnam
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Vendors - in case you dont wanna deal with

Many women sells babanas, pineapple on the streets, but they just bring a few bananas on their two baskets. They may want to invite you to have their conials hat on, and taking the 2 baskets as they do, and you will pay 1 - 2 USD/time like that.
Know it in advance, and willing to pay, then everything will be OK.
For some thinks that the hospitality and friendliness of the vendors, you are wrong. Just so you know, and dont be shocked when they ask you about money.

hientonkin's Profile Photo
Feb 04, 2008

innocent-looking fruit sellers

Yes.. these innocent looking fruit sellers are really preying on tourist...
They'll come up to you, throw their traditional-looking hat on your head and get you to carry their stuff... so that your partner will whip out a camera and shoot as you look funny...

Then you'll feel obligated to get something from them... and they charge you exorbitant prices for pineapples...

If you're on a budget trip and hate to be ripped off, gently remove their stuff and thank them...

Unique Suggestions If you love a funny photo opportunity and do not mind spending... what the hell... just pay a for the fruits... and take it as an interesting experience overseas...

wiskiz's Profile Photo
Oct 27, 2006

Tourists Get Overprice Charged

The most annoying situation in Hanoi and the rest of the country is “OVERPRICE CHARGING.” It happens all over the country, no matter how big or small and how westernized the town is!! Tourists get everything about 3-times more expensive than the locals, I think if they just charge 20-30% extras it’s acceptable, but this is 300% way too much. Nothing else you can do but to fight back (not a real fight, I mean bargaining) just don’t give up easily, first ask for a half-price discount everything's possible over here!! If you’re not pleased with the price just pretend to walk away, less than 5 seconds they’ll call you back and “OK Ma’am.”

Unique Suggestions Just walk away and don't ever look back. Just ignore them.
If you're cheating then we won't by it from you, someday when they realize that we're not silly, maybe they'll quit doing this.

Fun Alternatives For groceries and dried food, there's a supermarket near the water puppet theater and another one at the mall by the other end of Hoan Kiem Lake.

WaRPer's Profile Photo
Jul 12, 2006

Fake watches!

I bought a Gucci watch knowing it was a fake. Even though it was really cheap I would have prefered if it had last longer than a week. I now have a "GUI" watch because the two letter 'C's have fallen off the watch's face. Still makes me laugh whenever I come across it, maybe I should throw it away because it is no use. You aren't gonna fool anyone with a GUI watch! :)

Unique Suggestions Don't know if I was particulary unlucky with the life of my watch. You may have more luck, perhaps they aren't all as bad as mine.

TonyBagnall's Profile Photo
May 30, 2006
bpacker's Profile Photo


"The Adventure Continues in Hanoi ! Hanoi !"
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"Good morning Hanoi !"
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King_Golo's Profile Photo


"Hanoi - City of the Soaring Dragon"
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"Hanoi - City of Absorbing Sights and Sounds"
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Steet vendors along Hoan Kiem Lake

While walking along Hoan Kiem Lake, you will invariably be approached by a street vendor selling you tourist maps, postcards and other souvenirs. Do not buy from them. Just shake your head and continue walking. Unlike the Chinese in China, the Vietnamese will not harass you and will leave you alone.
I was without a Hanoi map so I bought one from the street vendor at 30000 VND having bargained it down from $3.
At a local bookshop at the northern end of Hoan Kiem Lake, I discovered that the same map was being sold for 11000 VND.

Unique Suggestions Do not buy from street vendors.

Fun Alternatives Buy your postcards from bookshops around Hoan Kiem Lake - they cost 6000 VND for a stack of 10 cards. A foldable tourist map costs 11000 VND. Alternatively, there is a tourist booth in front of the statue of Emperor Ly facing the lake.

aukahkay's Profile Photo
Mar 06, 2006

Photo Me ?? or You want to try carry this ??

Beware of street sellers who offer themselves to be photograhed. They will pose with their baskets of wares balanced on headtops to be photograhed or they will pass you their pole with basket of wares for you to carry and be photograhed. After that, they will ask you to pay them a fee for taking their photo or using their equipment for photograhs.

Unique Suggestions Be aware that you need to pay a fee for all these. Ask permission before photograhing and check if there is a price tag.

Fun Alternatives If you need to photograh such a street scene, be discreet about it or else just buy a postcard off the shelf.

myspices's Profile Photo
Feb 09, 2006

No Photo, please!

Some of the street vendors - especially the women carrying the sticks with baskets attached - ask tourists to carry their stuff and take a picture. Or they ask you to wear their hat and take a picture of it. Whatever they ask you, many of them become angry if you don't pay for it! The usual price is $1 or 2 and in my opinion this is too much for a forced picture!

Unique Suggestions Just don't react if they try to convince you of taking pictures.

Fun Alternatives If you ask kindly, some of the vendors will be gladly photographed. Others will still say no - respect this!!!

King_Golo's Profile Photo
Aug 23, 2005

Becareful of street sellers

A lot of street seller with carrying pole on hanoi streets, especially in old quarter. Have to be extra becareful when you purchase anything from them. They take any opportunity to fraud.

A foreigner I met said the street seller give her wrong amount of money ( less) and then pretend to be very busy and run away.

Similar to my experience, I bought a 5,000D mineral water and pay 100,000D. Once the lady saw the 100,000D, she grabbed and kept in her pocket. Later she pretended that she didnt have so much money to give me back. Ended up both of us shouted at each other with different languages, until she give me back the right amount.

Now think back the situation, feel a bit funny.

yuet29's Profile Photo
Nov 29, 2004

Things to Do Near Hanoi

Things to Do

Indochina Junk

Indochina Junk ran our tour to and of Ha Long Bay. We took the Dragon Legend tour, which is one night. It began with pick up from our hotel (also arranged by IJ) in a luxury van at 7.30am - we were...
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Things to Do

City View Cafe

Having visited Hanoi 5 times,i generally like to visit City view Cafe on the 5th floor over looking Hoan Kiem Lake with a nice Bia Hoi. Sadly over the years i feel the standard of service has gone...
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Things to Do

Ngoc Son Temple

You can reach Ngoc Son Temple by crossing this bridge with the very strange name. The bridge is red and is a favorite place for people to have their photograph taken. It is particularly beautiful at...
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Things to Do

Women's Museum

This interesting exhibition on Hanoi’s street vendors was on display, upstairs, at the Women’s Museum and is well worthy of a visit even if the main museum part, downstairs, isn’t! It exhibits many...
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Things to Do

Old Quarter

In the Old Quarter you will find many ladies with their carrying yokes, especially near Dong Xuan Market. They will wander the streets usually selling vegetables and fruit, often sitting down at the...
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Things to Do

Perfume Pagoda

About a 2hour or 70ks drive from Hanoi, it gives you a chance to see the countryside, and perhaps, breathe in a little cleaner air, although there is smog still here. At the town of Ben Duc, you...
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Getting to Hanoi


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