Hanoi is an absolute favorite city among most of the travelers because it is one of the cheapest cities of South-East Asia. This city is a visual candy store. A city that has emerged out of the war so gracefully.
In a very low budget, this city gives you a fascinating experience of food and culture. Hanoi is Asia’s most characterful city that delivers all the swirling mayhem of a busy Southeast Asian hub, with the unmistakable grace and confidence of a thousand-year-old city. The personality of this city is really charming which attracts a lot of backpackers but why?
1. Photographer’s delight
This city is full of scenic beauties. It is the most beautiful and colorful city not only in terms of its landscape but also the people who are as charming as the city. The city is full of historic buildings with very attractive architecture.
The old rusty charm and surprises around every corner make it more fascinating. It’s an extremely photogenic city.
2. The Food
The divine food is influenced by a luscious mix of Chinese and french food.
The finger licking food is irresistible. And where there is food there is crowd because who in this world doesn’t want to satisfy there taste buds.
Each block has dozens of cafes, with diners spilling onto sidewalks littered with tiny plastic chairs of almost every color of the rainbow with similarly sized chairs.
The scrumptious Vietnamese food can be a turn on for any food lover. Here a are few famous dishes:
Pho: It is the most classic Vietnamese dish, which is rice, noodles served with beef or chicken, onions, garlic and cilantro in a sour and tasty broth.
Bun Cha: This dish is only served in Northern Vietnam. It’s pork fatty meatballs, grilled over a fire, and served in a soup with rice noodles and green vegetables.
Banh Mi: It is a sandwich made on a French Baguette and loaded with tons of vegetables, meat and Vietnamese spices.
Xoi: Xoi is glutinous sticky rice served with additions such as hard-boiled eggs, pork, chicken and more.
They flavor the glutinous rice with green mung bean paste and lots of chicken fat. Hanoi sticky rice is a true guilty pleasure.
Banh Xeo: It’s a crispy crepe made with fried rice flour batter filled with pork belly, shrimp, green onions, and bean sprouts.
Coffee: The aroma of coffee pervades some of the streets of Hanoi.Ca phe chon, or weasel coffee is the expensive brew is a winner in the upmarket cafes.
Egg coffee is also very famous and yes it is made with eggs. This coffee is prepared with egg yolks, sugar and condensed milk.
3. The Art
Every corner of this city is a surprise as you will roam around the city you will explore beautiful artwork: giant paintings, ornate trinkets, soft silk scarves, impressive graffiti, even the buildings are wonderful.
There are also some charming corners and streets to be found if one dares to wander off into tiny alleys.
This city is actually a mix of China and France, which anybody can tell just by the look of it. Things have changed very little there.
The buildings are as it was, decayed and deteriorated without any repair which is actually good because it looks like an artistic structure made by God himself without any human intervention.
Hanoi is now officially included in the list of the cheapest cities of South-East Asia.
Budget hotel prices – You can find a room for as low as 200,000 VND per night. Hostels prices are also affordable, Dorms start at 80,000 VND. A few hostels also include nightly free beer in the evening.
Average cost of food – Street food is extremely cheap, with many dishes for less than 201,000 VND. 85,000 VND is enough for a decent meal in a casual restaurant and inexpensive meals at cheaper restaurants can be as low as 50,000 VND. The price of Domestic beer is also very cheap.
Transportation costs – Local bus fares will cost around 1,000 VND. You can rent a cycle to get around (especially in the Old Quarter) for around 200,000 VND per hour. For intercity travel, buses and trains are the cheapest options.
5. Cultural Ride
The best thing is that you will experience so many different cultures in one place. The History of this place is somewhat confusing. Mainly the roots of this city are of two origins Chinese and French.
It can be seen everywhere in everything, be it the architecture, temples, food or people. This city has been ruled by many colonial powers which has influenced Vietnamese culture to a great extent. All traditional art forms co-exist here.
Compared to the other capital cities in SE Asia, Hanoi is among the least advanced and developed city which is a good thing.
The culture and the old touch is preserved and is not wiped out like other Asian cities. A city worth visiting.