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Vietnam – 5 Fun things to do in Hanoi

Vietnam - 5 things to do in Hanoi

Vietnam – 5 Fun things to do in Hanoi

Where? We stayed at the Movenpick Hotel Hanoi

Exactly? Hanoi, the bustling capital city of Vietnam

 When? January 18

Why? As part of my winter tour of Asia I decided to tag on few nights stay in the vibrant and buzzing city of Hanoi.

Movenpick hanoi hotel

Where We Stayed? The Movenpick Hotel Hanoi

This beautiful colonial style hotel is situated perfectly in the centre of Hanoi, a short 20 minute drive (traffic dependant) to the International airport and a five minute walk to all the tourist attractions in the city centre and old quarter.

The five star hotel has 154 modern, business style rooms and boasts an excellent fine dining restaurant for lunch and dinner. The breakfast buffet is something of an event too.

There is a well equipped gym with all of the latest machines and weights and there’s also a spa to rest your weary body after all the sight seeing.

the style traveller Movenpick hanoi hotel

Original colonial features remain in the building, after a recent refurbishment. They are highlighted and celebrated much like this opulent original chandelier, framed by this trendy new circular window in the main restaurant.Hanoi movenpick where to stay in Vietnam

The rooms are sleek, modern and have everything you need, from powerful rain shower, hair dryers, wifi to wide screen TVs. The beds are super comfortable and cosy too.

Hanoi movenpick where to stay in Vietnam restaurants

The restaurant has been refurbished and given a great new menu featuring traditional Vietnamese cuisine, Asian and European dishes.

Vietnam - 5 things to do in Hanoi bonnie style traveller

We visited at New Year so got to enjoy the gorgeous grandeur of the giant Xmas tree.

Vietnam - 5 things to do in Hanoi bonnie Rakhit

Five Fun Things To Do In Hanoi

1 Visit the Old Quarter and Hanoi Lake

Located right in the centre of the city is the traditional and picturesque Old Quarter. Filled with colonial style buildings, traditional temples, pretty shops, bars and cafes all surrounding the central lake, the Old Quarter is a bustling area, definietly worth a visit.

We wandered around the lake and viewed the bridge, temple, water features and also had a mooch around the busy shopping areas, with shops as varied as bootleg fake goods store, to International high street shops like Aldo, right through to an expensive modern mall filled with designer shops like Rolex, Louis Vuitton and Dior.
Vietnam - 5 things to do in Hanoi bonnie style traveller x



Me posing by the lake temple

wedding photography vietnam

a wedding photo shoot we walked past.

Amidst the busy commercial areas the city also houses several places of worship like this beautiful tranquil temple below.

Bonnie Rakhit style traveller what to do in VietnamBonnie wears red wrap dress by Silk Fred.

cafe_cong-vietnamese coffee2 Enjoy a cup of delicious Vietnamese coffee

Although coffee was introduced to Vietnam by the French colonists, a morning ‘ca phe’ has becomes something of a national obsession. The flavours are delicious and the Vietnamese like to experiment with ingredients, including ice cream, condensed milk, yoghurt, fruit and even eggs!

I particularly loved the egg coffee!!  Head to any number of side street or boutique niche coffee shops, or try a Cong Coffee at one of the trendy chain cafes and chill out with the Vietnamese hipsters.

cafe_cong-outside vietnam3 Indulge in a Full Body Massage

When in Asia and specifically in Vietnam it would be rude not to pop into a massage parlour and indulge in an insanely affordable full body massage. Price range from 3/4£ for an hour (which is insane) through to European boosted prices at posh hotels.

I went to a cute chic looking establishment and got a one hour massage for £11. For me it was worth paying a nominally higher fee for a cleaner and nicer experience. But massage parlours are a dime a dozen round these parts so you can take your pick!

vietnam spa treatments

Porte d'anam hanoi restaurant where to eat4 Enjoy the amazing Vietnamese food on offer

Eating and drinking in Hanoi is a real treat, if you know where to go. I would steer clear of the touristy back packing areas, it is super cheap, but it’s also really hit and miss and the quality of the food can be poor.

Instead we tried out a few cute little traditional yet trendy spots we in the old town and loved them. We had dinner and drinks at the bijoux and atmospheric Porte D’annam restaurant. The food was excellent and the ambience romantic and stylish (and very Vietnamese). It was so good, we decided to try out their sister restaurant Madame Hien for lunch the following day, pictured below.

Where to eat in Hanoi best restaurants madame Hien

Both restaurants are really centrally located, with Porte D’annam just off the main Hanoi Cathedral square. I highly recommend both options for a Style Traveller dinner or lunch in the city.

Above: Bonnie at the French colonial style Madame Hien restaurant and below: typical Hanoi dishes that we ordered.

Madame Hien restaurant vietnam

Hanoi night market fake bags church

5. Visit the Night Market

Hanoi streets are filled with wall to wall shops selling literally everything. But a visit to the night market is something a little more interesting. The stalls at the night market have managed to make a fine art out of selling fake goods to 100’s of tourists every evening.

I’m not condoning the behaviour (it is illegal after all), but I do get asked the question ‘where can I buy the best fake goods?’ all the time. And my answer dear reader (apart from Patpong market in Bangkok) is The Hanoi Night Market. Open from 6pm till around 10.30pm the streets are filled with stalls down the road and hotels and restaurant around the outside. It’s a total tourist trap but interesting to visit.

Hanoi night market fake bags

That’s all from Hanoi, next stop London.

For more of Bonnie’s Asian adventure click here.

Until next week, Bon Voyage xx

Hanoi where to hang out

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59 Discussions on
“Vietnam – 5 Fun things to do in Hanoi”
  • Looks like you had a great time in Hanoi. I heard about the Vietnamese coffee being awesome. I need to find a place here which can do good a one. A visit to Hanoi is definitely on my bucket list.

  • Wow! A one hour massage for £11 is practically unheard of in the UK so I think it is incredible that you managed to have such a cheap luxury massage. On the other hand as someone who does like Vietnamese cuisine, I am yet to try the ‘egg coffee’ but I would like to as I heard that it is a treat! And how magical to watch a wedding shoot in Hanoi as well!

  • I don’t think I’ve ever seen a place so colorful. This looks like the stuff of Pixar movies. Even the food looks too cute to eat! I’m such a purist when it comes to coffee, though, that the idea of an egg coffee is kind of weirding me out right now. Was the texture as gooey and strange as I’m imagining it to be?

  • what a fun place! I have always wanted to visit Vietnam. My school goes every year so I am hoping to go one year with them. I heard the cuisine is super unique and you must try it. Thanks for sharing these suggestions. I am definitely saving this post for when I go visit :)

  • Vietnam is really high on my To Do list – my partner and I would like to go teach there one day! Hanoi looks like a wonderfully vibrant and colourful city, and sounds like theres a surprising amount to see and do! (The egg coffee sounds wonderful!)

  • It looks like you had an amazing time! You have certainly provided a beautiful virtual tour and an education – for me, at least. I had no idea there was so much luxury and beautiful architecture and scenery in Vietnam. It’s nice you were able to enjoy so much of it with varied experiences, from sightseeing to cuisine.

  • Omg how frickin cute is your first dress x hanoi looks great, i would love some pictures by the lake. Also 4 £ for an hour massage is unbelievable!

  • Looks like you had an amazing time in Hanoi. You look beautiful and all of the places look fun and inviting. I really love the lake next to the temple. It just seems like such a serene spot. And the night market seems like a lot of fun as well.

  • Vietnam is a simple yet lovely and exquisite place. I’ve stayed there for more than a month and discover how healthy lifestyle they can offer – the ambiance, the walks and other activity and specially their food. I find this place simple and peaceful. And I won’t hesitate to visit again.

  • I have never been to Vietnam but I always wanted to visit. Such a wonderful place. I’ll definitely go here one day with my family.

  • I would love to visit sometime. The view looks amazing and I love the colors of the room and hotel. I think it would be amazing to see in person.

  • Wow what an amazing experience, the hotel looks so lavish and elegant. I would love to experience Vietnam and I am hoping to travel there first then eventually make my way down to Bali.

  • You had me at one hour massage for £11!! Such a bargain. It looks like you had so much fun. I absolutely LOVE your red dress too, gorgeous!

  • Wow, that hotel is gorgeous. There is no doubt that it would be a comfortable stay. I like the colors. You look like you had a great time. I will have to remember that coffee is extra special here.

  • Wow! There are so many things that I adore about Hanoi after reading your post. I adore massage and a fab massage in a upmarket establishment for €11 is unheard of in Ireland. It costs about €45-€50 here for an hourly massage. I think I am sold on Vietnam for the massage alone. I loved the night market and must admit I have a weakness for the designer fake bags!!!!

  • i never went to hanoi, so you’re information about it was really helpful. in the future, i will travel there.

  • Lovely Hanoi! Witnessing the wedding photoshoot would have been an awesome moment I believe. The food and coffee are indeed something one needs to indulge while in Vietnam! We’re going there in march and plan to keep your tips in mind.

  • Your pictures are beautiful! I especially love the ones of the Old Quarter and Hanoi Lake. It looks like you had a lot of fun (: thanks for sharing your travels!

  • Amazing write up about the place. I have lived in Vietnam for three months and leaving next week. I have enjoyed a lot of my time here and made some good local friends. But that being said, I feel a foreigner will never be truly welcomed here, perhaps I’m expecting too much, probably disappointed I wasn’t able to connect with people as I wanted. I really love the floral dress you have on.

  • Vietnam is so popular right now! So many people I know have headed over there to travel or to live and work. I am going to send this post to them. I cannot wait to go to Hanoi. It looks wonderful. And the food sounds amazing.

  • Oh my! Everything about that hotel is dreamy and gorgeous! I would definitely pay to stay there! Your list of things to do in Vietnam/Hanoi definitely sound like my kind of place to visit. Lol I couldn’t pass up the massage, that’s for sure! But visiting a night market?? I’ve never done anything like that and it sounds like such a fun experience! You surely painted an awesome picture for a visit that I hope to be able to take one day!

  • The hotel you stayed in looks dreamy . I love luxury hotel rooms at reasonable price . And all you outfit on your trip looks beautiful too. Specially the lace one you wore on spa day.

  • Egg coffee sounds strange to me. Even adding fruit would still be strange. I’d go for the regular add-ons (ice cream, condensed milk, even yogurt) instead. Anyway, I think Hanoi is a place worthy to visit. Loved your outfits too!

  • Hanoi is an impressive place… LOVE the buildings! they’re so elegant and sophisticated looking. Great photos as they really capture the Hanoi spirit : )

  • We were once in Vietnam for a stopover but couldn’t manage to go out and explore. Vietnam is such a beautiful country and I can see from your experience that you had a superb experience. I have recently started eating eggs so I think I’d like to try that egg coffee someday! Love your pictures and that hotel looks great too.

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