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13 Travel Tips for First Timers in Hanoi, Vietnam

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13 Travel Tips for First Timers in Hanoi, Vietnam

I love Hanoi (I experienced this in my last Hanoi trip). It’s one of my favorite cities in the world, and it has a very special place in my heart. Hanoi is a blend of ancient oriental style and elegant French architectural works centered around Hoan Kiem Lake. The city is full of color, light, and culture. The buildings are painted dusty yellow with orange rooftops, temples are seen in every corner. It’s easy to get helplessly lost in a maze of backstreets and you’ll be whipping out google maps in no time.

I usually get lost and end up finding a street food stall serving Banh Mi, Pho or Nem rolls.

1. See the Old Quarter

Please tell me the Old Quarter is the first place you plan to explore. Fall in amour at first sight with the small streets and cute small houses. The Old Quarter really comes alive at night at Ha Tien Beer Corner. See vendors and live music fill the streets, and get tipsy on insanely cheap beer. Don’t count on the beer quality, but it’s dead cheap and the atmosphere is freaking awesome!

2. Be Prepared For Unpredictable Weather

In winter, it could be horribly cold for a whole week, then heats up. Hanoi Summers can be brutal. Hot, humid and wet it gets me changing two to three times. I don’t know how the Hanoian’s can eat Pho all year round with most places without AC! Late afternoon it’s heavy rain and thunderstorms. I don’t mind much really. It feels a bit cooler. Like me, you’ll probably be seeking shelter in a chic cafe enjoying local Vietnamese iced coffee.

“Don’t let Hanoi’s fickle weather put you off! Don’t be surprised, be prepared!” 

3. Don’t Be Shy. Meet the locals!

I love mingling with the locals. It’s a great way to gain insight into the local culture. From my experience, the Vietnamese area tad shy but very curious and welcoming. Vietnam has many hidden gems clouded by tourist traps and having a local friend can be an invaluable source of information as they can advise you where to go and the best phở in town.

4. Watch Crazy Traffic From the Balcony

Hanoi is like the New York of rush hour traffic. If you can make it there, you’ll make it anywhere. No, really. It’s chaotic, crazy, noisy, fascinating, hectic, nightmarish, even makes veteran travelers feel anxious. Every time I make it to the other side, I feel grateful to be alive! “Stick with the crowd” locals say. Mimic the behavior of locals, and you’ll be amazed how quickly you assimilate to the chaos.

Want to watch the whole Hoan Kiem Lake and the bustling streets from a high viewpoint, I suggest you try City View Café. As the name suggests, this place offers a great outlook of the center of Hanoi on the fifth floor.

Where to see the traffic

City View Cafe –  1-3-5 Dinh Tien Hoang St, Hoan Kiem Dis, Hanoi

Skyview Bar- 14 – 16 Thanh Ha St | Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

5. Take a Stroll along Hoan Kiem Lake

The lake view has a peaceful atmosphere, no wonder locals frequent there. Hoan Kiem Lake is more than a place to relax: A little like the legend of King Arthur, King Le Loi had a magical sword which he returned to a mystical turtle in Hoan Kiem Lake. There are other structures such as the Temple of the Jade Mountain and the Tortoise Pagoda. The Ngoc Son Temple is the star attraction, reached by the bright red Huc Bridge.

There’s so much going on around the lake, you can find a lot of bars, boutiques, restaurants, local entertainment which can be fun and exciting for tourists to experience. Don’t be surprised to find yourself spending hours perusing all of the different stalls and all of the cute trinkets and lanterns.

6. Try local Vietnamese coffee. You’ll love it!

You should not leave Vietnam without trying the local coffee! Here, the coffee culture is everything. The classic iced coffee poured over with creamy condensed milk will leave your mouth with a smooth sweet taste and yourself coffee drunk. There’s so much variety of coffee drink combinations such as fruit, smoothies, chocolate, yogurt, and even Weasel poo!! (It’s very good).

Where to Drink Great Coffee

Xofa Café & Bistro – 14 Tống Duy Tân, Hàng Bông, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam

Giảng Cafe – 39 Nguyễn Hữu Huân, Hàng Bạc, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam

Cafe Lâm – 60 Nguyễn Hữu Huân, Hàng Bạc, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam

7. Watch a show at the Water Puppet theatre or Hanoi Opera House

The Water Puppet Show brings to life Vietnamese myths and traditional customs. There’s no English translation, but seeing the art form and colorful puppets inaction speak volumes about Vietnamese culture.

The Hanoi Opera House: A stunningly, beautiful building in Hanoi modeled on the Palais Garnier in Paris, is a must go. The interior is even more stunning than the exterior. And of course, you can also get tickets to ‘Lang Toi’, or ‘My Village.’ Check out acrobats, dancers, and jugglers bring a rural Vietnamese village to life on the stage as you hear live music on classic Vietnamese instruments.

Where to book tickets

GetYourGuide.com – Thang Long Water Puppet Show

LuneProduction.com – Hanoi Opera House

8. Explore Hoa Lo PrisonThe prison is a reminder of Vietnam’s dark past.

You can walk through the cells that where POW (locals and Americans) had suffered. The walls of some cells on the dark had been cut away and replaced with glass so that you can peer into the tiny, dark and even dirty solitary confined cells. It’s the site where Senator John McCain had been imprisoned in 1967 for 5 years. You can actually see McCain’s flight suit displayed along with many photos of his comrades.

Cost: 40’000 VND

9. Try Local Street Food

You probably have tried spring rolls and Pho soup in your hometown, but nothing beats authentic Vietnamese food. And it’s cheap! Dishes like pho and bun bo, you’ll not want to eat anything else! Find locals and travelers of all walks of life even President Obama sitting at a corner of a grubby open-air restaurant on low plastic stools, enjoying freshly made dishes with cold beers in hand.

“Most of the best dining in Vietnam is still done on the streets.”

While budget street eateries are found everywhere, Vietnam’s culinary scene has been jazzed up its local dishes taking it to the fine dining ranks.

Where to Eat Good Street Food

Bun Cha / Bun Cha Ta Hanoi -21 Nguyễn Hữu Huân, Lý Thái Tổ, Hoàn Kiem, Vietnam Also, head to 67 Hang Dieu for some of the best bun bo nam bo in town.

Pho – Two great spots for pho are Pho Gia Truyen (49 Bat Dan) and Pho Lam Nam Ngu (7 Nam Ngu).

Where to Dine

Hanoi Serene Cuisine Restaurant – 16 Bat Su, Hanoi

Duong’s 2 Restaurant – 101 Ma May St, Hàng Buồm, Hoàn Kiem, Hanoi

10. Discover Hanoi’s Vibrant Nightlife

There’s plenty to see after the sunsets. Lively bars and glitzy nightclubs are conveniently based around Hoan Kiem Lake in the Old Quarter, where you can enjoy all sorts of booze as well as mix and mingle with fun-loving locals and expats. However, a night out in Hanoi is not complete without sitting back on plastic stools and enjoy Bia Hoi (Vietnamese draft beer) along the bustling streets.

If you’ve got more energy after your day trip, there are several amazing nightclubs such as club Savage and Hero.  From eccentrically themed venues to exclusive clubs with Western pricing, you’ll find a bit of everything here.

11. How to Get Around

Use Grab App or uber for a cheap taxi ride. Don’t get ripped off by Licensed like Taxi Mai Linh, Taxi Airport and Taxi Van Xuan. Hop on a Cyclo. The Three-wheeled bicycle will give you front row seats to the charms of Hanoi as your peddler navigates you leisurely around the Old Quarter. You can also catch a local bus if you don’t mind getting lost.

12. Book A Tour

Use Hanoi as a base to explore Sapa, Ha Giang and other attractions, such as Halong Bay and Cat Ba Island. There are heaps of travel agencies in every corner begging you to book a tour with them. It’s alright if you don’t like tours. I mainly use them for travel advice.

13. When To Go

Hanoi has two main seasons: rainy (May-Oct) and dry (Nov-Apr).There’s not really a right or wrong time to visit Vietnam as most months of the year you will experience both sunshine and rain in varying quantities. You might actually have fun in such capricious weather!

Winter – November to April

The weather is cool but mostly dead dry. Temperatures average 17-22°C with the coldest months being January – March.

Summer – May to October

When hot and humid, the region experiences its highest rainfall. July to September are the wettest months of the year. Severe weather can delay tours in Halong Bay and other areas.

Siddharth Kashyap loves crafting content and sharing information about technology and business. Since the world mainly revolves around, business growth, and technological advancements, you can always find her delved into the digital world.

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This Young Couple Earns a 6 Figure Income by Travelling The World

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Nathan Buchan & Hannah Martin Earns a 6 Figure Income by Travelling The World

Meet this young couple from New Zealand, who chose a slightly different model for earning a livelihood. Well, their mode is not just different but also admirable. The couple took a lot of people with a shock when they left their previous career in order to pursue their new career, which is travelling. Who doesn’t want this life? It seems a nomadic one but every single day is exciting worth living. They don’t just travel for fun but they do earn a 6 figure income by their travelling.

And now they are sharing their secret of such a life and how they are taking it.

Nathan Buchan, 26, left his previous career and chose to be a travel blogger for earning a livelihood out of it. Later, his girlfriend Hannah Martin, 25, joined him, too. And the couple earns in 6 figures from their new job.

 

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Nathan worked as a plumber, he knew that this wasn’t his ideal job. He wanted to do something different. Something that would make him happier. It was three years ago when he decided to take up travelling as his fulltime job. He thought things over and started blogging World Nate.

“It was the middle of winter and it was so wet and started hailing. I was getting hit in the face with hailstones that were bouncing off the ground and I was lying in the mud. I never thought ‘screw this I want to be a travel blogger’ but I wanted to create a life on my own terms, where I could be my own boss. I knew if I could make a living online somehow I could travel more so I focused on that.” – Nathan

Also read: 21-Year-old American Girl Lexie Alford Becomes the Youngest Person to Travel to 196 Sovereign Countries

 

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Nathan spent some money on creating a blog and saved some for his trip to Vietnam.

“I thought if I could live somewhere cheap while getting it rolling I would be able to make it work. So I lived in a cockroach-infested hostel in Panama for a month, did a lot of activities around there and it paid off.” – Nathan

 

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“Numerous times I questioned what the f**k I was doing and I think most of my friends and family were wondering the same thing. My boss was angry when I quit but I just had to try something different.” – Nathan

Also read: 7 Awesome Female Solo Travel Bloggers Who Can Give You The Best Travel Advice

 

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His girlfriend Hannah Martin still had a year to complete her degree in accounting. After finishing the degree she soon joined Nathan. She says “As soon as I grabbed my pretty little piece of graduation paper I packed everything I could into a backpack and left.”

“Since then we’ve worked and travelled around countries like Ecuador, Bali, Colombia, Thailand, Canada, the states…the list goes on.” She puts on the website.

 

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Nathan explained how they make money “I make commission per sale I make for the company I promote these posts on Facebook and over time, I can make thousands per post.” The couple earns on based of commission they make via recommending a link of a company.

 

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Also read: 8 Top Couple Travel Bloggers To Follow On Instagram Right Away

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These are The 8 Countries You Should Choose from if You Plan to Raise A Family Abroad

Neetika Mahawar

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8 Countries You Should Choose to Raise A Family Abroad

Uprooting from our own country and settling into a new one is surely pain. It is even more difficult when you have a family to settle theirs all over again. Children’s school, wife’s job and a lot can cause trouble. But we believe what makes your decision even tougher is the hostility or unfriendly country that you are probably planning to settle in. According to a survey by the Expat Networking group InterNations, there are some countries that are best to raise a family in.

Also, there are some countries that are the least friendly to raise children. Check the list below

1. Australia

Australia to raise children

via:  Shutterstock

According to the survey, Australia is one of the friendly countries that you can raise a family. The country is very good to raise your children.

2. Turkey

Turkey for Kids

via: UNICEF / Noorani

The survey is based on 3000 families living abroad and according to them, Turkey is very friendly to kids especially.

Also read: 6 Parenting Mistakes that Hinder Growth of your Child

3. Greece

Expat says that the country is very friendly to newbies but in terms of educational needs it may lag behind.

4. Costa Rica

91% agreed over the friendliness of this place. Also, the place is loved by kids.

5. Thailand

Thailand is welcoming to the newbies

via: Weeboon

The country is very welcoming to the newbies with great and close to natural surroundings.

6. Mexico

According to the survey people in Mexico not only welcome the newcomers but also “Expat in general.”

Also read: Only A Single Child Can Understand These 7 Things That How It Exactly Feels Growing Up Solo

7. Uganda

Parenting in Uganda

via: Awamu

Wow, the survey says “Every single parent rates the friendliness of the local population towards children extremely positively.”

8. Taiwan

Taiwan has been rated as best for everything that has to offer. Be it quality or finance everything is in control which we call necessity.

Featured image source: Junction

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6 Best Things to Do in Atlanta When You Are On a Budget

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6 Best Things to Do in Atlanta

Atlanta serves many people with the beautiful life that they deserve to travel. With several buildings and magnificent architecture capturing the eye of many visitors and several tourist sites as a source of entertainment, there are a lot of things to do in Atlanta. While many people consider this as a toll on the pocket and an expense on the budget, there are many things that you can do for free.

Budget-friendly locations are undoubtedly the most popular ones and once you are in the aura of visiting this fantastic Georgian capital, do whatever it takes to have a free day. Eat, see and do activities for free and have the time of your life without diving deep in your wallet.

Top Best Things to do in Atlanta when you are on a budget

No money? No problem!

Here’s what you need to do

1. Art Walk in Atlanta

During the first Thursday and second Friday of the month, Atlanta offers a free art walk at the Castleberry Hill Art Stroll. The event takes place by introducing people to various art galleries in Atlanta. They allow visitors to take a stroll through various art galleries in Atlanta. The final art walk comprises of Castleberry Hill that represents the history and artwork of this famous district.

This is a fantastic way to get in contact with the momentous history of Atlanta. Not only this but, you will also find yourself wandering in some new and unexplored areas.

2. Olympic Park

The Olympic Park is a 21-acre park that acts as a living legacy of the Olympic Games that were hosted in 1996. Except for the history of the place, there is a lot to do and have fun. Don’t worry about what you will be spending in the park because all the activities, including lunch, music, and concerts, are free.

Every Wednesday the park hosts a mini-concert with a talented local musician; this is the time when you have to pay $5 upon entrance. Don’t forget to visit the beautiful Fountain of Rings when you are there.

3. Woodruff Park

Woodruff Park Atlanta

via: Wikicommons

Woodruff Park offers a lot of things to do within the boundaries that enclose this park. They do not charge you anything for all the fun activities like book-reading and indoor games. Value the newly opened “open-air” reading room that is readily open for the public from the start of blooming spring in April and continues to be available till the rustic autumn in October.

Indoor games like chess and table tennis are also available. Still, if you are looking to have a quiet time, this place is perfect for reading your favorite novel with a view (perfect for your Instagram!) Every Wednesday, the park caters to a free yoga class.

Also read: 8 Tips To Make Student’s USA Trip Safe & Fun

4. Atlanta Beltline

The newest outdoor area in Atlanta features more than 21 miles of abandoned railways around the center of town. Here you’ll notice some parks and green spaces, a skate park and many walks through the diverse communities of Atlanta. The Beltline is free to explore, and the activity schedule is filled with free wellness, meditation and walking tours.

The area is covered with markets and eateries but if you want to explore Atlanta at its finest, don’t forget to jump on the bus that drops you right outside the Beltline.

5. Atlanta Contemporary Art Gallery

Free art and culture by regional, national and international artists in the Atlanta Contemporary Art Gallery holds six to ten exhibits annually. After 2015, access to the gallery is available. Bonus: When you remain in town on a Thursday, you can go to an exhibition and attend a special event or show in the museum, called Modern Cocktails. The entrance is free, but a cash bar serving drinks every week requires another regional bartender.

6. Brewery Tour

Get yourself drowning in some of the best booze in the city or even the state! Throughout Georgia, there are many craft breweries so that beer lovers can taste their local produce throughout a few ways. Almost all of these tours are inexpensive and cost approximately $12, but that means five or more samples of around 36 ounces, including a pint glass of souvenir. The Second Self Brewery, the red hair pub, and Monday night brewing are some of the divisions to be tried out.

Also read: What Are The Forest Places to Visit in the USA?

Conclusion

There are a lot of things to do in Atlanta while you are there. In case you have a watch at your pocket, or you are looking forward to having a great time at the naturally exquisite sites in Atlanta, then there are a lot of places that can cater to your needs. While you are there, make sure that you make the best of your time by spending very little to nothing.

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