Vietnam’s energetic capital is bustling with great food, sublime architecture and enormous green parks. Hanoi is a hugely popular destination for backpackers and is frequently visited as a stop-over for a host of Asian and Australian flights.
Hanoi is the perfect base to explore Vietnam’s cultural hotspots. Less than three hours to the craggy mountains of Halong Bay and only a train ride away from the Sa Pa Terraces, a backpacking holiday in Vietnam will be an experience of a lifetime.
If you travel to Hanoi in October and November, then you should enjoy clear skies and temperate conditions. Offering great value for money and bustling with energy, here’s a few reasons why you should visit Hanoi this autumn.
Perfect weather conditions
October and November are the months Vietnamese pray for with average temperatures of 25C, making it the perfect time to explore the city.
Visit the ‘Vietnam Museum of Ethnology’
This popular museum is a must-see experience on any holiday to Hanoi. The museum focuses on the 54 recognised ethnic groups in Vietnam and includes tribal art, historical objects and sculpture. All the displays are labelled in Vietnamese, French and English.
You can find the museum in the Cau giay District, which is about 8 km from the city centre.
Explore the Hoan Kiem Lake
The “Lake of the Returned Sword” is a beautiful green oasis in Hanoi city centre. Buzzing with early morning joggers and tai chi enthusiasts, you come here to take a breather from the noise and excitement of urban life.
Hoan Kiem means “returned sword”, and the name was derived from the legend of King Le Loi, who was given a magical sword by the Gods. After driving out the invading Chinese, he later returned the sword to the Golden Turtle God in the lake.
Walk around the Old Quarter on foot
The Old Quarter is near Hoan Kiem lake and the area is famous for its independent artisans and merchants, including many silk and leather shops.
It’s also home to a popular night market, which opens every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening and has a spectacular range of clothing, souvenirs and street food on sale.
Have deep fried snake for dinner…
Food lovers on a budget may want to try something a little different in Hanoi. The popular local delicacy is regularly served as stir-fried snake, barbecue snake and sticky rice with snake meat. Snakes play an important role in Vietnam’s herbal tradition.
Snake wine is a popular choice amongst Vietnamese business classes and will be served alongside your meal if you’re brave enough to order…Snake meat is believed to strength your bones and joints and tastes very much like chicken.
Budget places to stay in Hanoi
Hanoi has some incredibly cheap hostels, where you can stay centrally for under five euros a night! If you want to save a fortune on your Vietnam travels, then book a room today to ensure you get the best possible price.
Header image by Simon Morris (Flickr/Creative Commons)