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13 Travel Tips for First Timers in Hanoi, Vietnam

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I love Hanoi. 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 an 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 in action 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 a plenty to see after the sun sets. 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 is an avid Trending Story, News and lifestyle blogger. He makes sure that the information she provides is not only reliable but also beneficial for the readers.

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Australia Ranked No. 1 in Big 7 Travel’s Survey of The Most Instagrammable Country

Satendra Kashyap

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Australia: The Most Instagrammable Country

Another feather in the hat for Australia. It is already ranked as the best country to settle in or to enjoy your vacation, but in today’s era being the most Instagrammable country is a prestigious award. As per the latest results of Big 7 Travel’s ‘World’s Most Instagrammable Countries’ is headed by Australia.

The decision or the ranking was on the basis of hashtag count, reader surveys and vote by the panel. The country scored 89.98% this is incredible, followed by Hong Kong at 86.99% and Canada stood third with 82.84%. Aqua S, Wedding Cake Rock, Icebergs Bondi Beach were ranked as Sydney’s top three Instagrammable locations.

The gold coast country is loved and if budget permits it is the most frequented country. The hashtags just speak of the incredible popularity this country has. Thus for year 2019 this country has won the title for World’s Instagrammable Country.

The locations to visit, like the beaches, reefs, gorgeous wildlife, cultural meets, turquoise water, pubs made it the choice. 

 

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Top 10 Most Instagrammable Countries 2019 List:

1. Australia

 

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2. Hong Kong

 

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3. Canada

 

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4. Indonesia

 

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5. South Africa

 

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6. Maldives

 

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7. India

 

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8. United States of America

 

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9. Dubai, U.A.E.

 

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10. Singapore

 

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6 Weirdest Towns On The Planet Earth You Should Add in Your Travel List

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Doing something different or being to places that are different is desired by most of us. Travelling has its own benefits and helps you to connect in a better way to yourself. However have you ever considered visiting weird places on the planet Earth, if not then make your travel bucket list and have these towns listed there.

The best detoxing and rejuvenating effect that you can have on yourself and your soul is just by a visit to these places.

The list of weird towns on the planet Earth is as follows:

1. A town Straddling 2 States

A state with two governments of different countries, Busingen Am Hochrhein is a German exclave in Switzerland. Thus it officially a piece of Germany but then financially it belongs to Switzerland, a remarkable difference in its being.

2. The city where no dies

Well, we would all want our near and dear ones to be there for a long life. The town of Longyearbyen, Svalbard is the world’s north most settlement. What you feel here is beyond the description of words. The town has a graveyard but it has remained unused for the last 7 decades.

The temperature is so freezing here that the dead bodies do not decay and attract the wild animals. Thus the ones who are on their death bed or are about to die are taken to Norway in a plane for their last rites.

3. A city which has more of dead people than the alive

Irony a city where no one dies and the city which has more dead than alive. The town Colma, California is home to 17 graveyards. The town has its aphorism is “it’s incredible to be alive in Colma!”.

Indeed it is as most of the graveyards from San Francisco were moved here and all the bodies were reinterred here. Thus the people in town are undertakers, flower vendors, and remembrance creators. Thus a town surviving on the business of dead arrangements!

4. A cave town

The underground houses in the town of Matmata in Southern Tunisia are still occupied. During the 1970s the surface houses were being constructed yet most of the citizens wanted to live in their old cave houses and thus the place is a matter of great interest for the Star War fans.

5. A town in rock

This town of Spain, Setenil de las Bodegas is a matter of great interest and curiosity for all. It is a result of gigantic basalt shake. The lanes over here have rocks hanging rather than the usual sky ion other towns.

It may be fearful for one as it may seem that it will fall but for centuries that are intact in their place.

6. The bluest town

The town of Chefchaouen in Morocco is a town that has painted itself in all shades of blue. This was a Jewish tradition as blue was considered to be consecrated shading for them. the Jews have gone but the tradition remains.  The town has its dividers, lanes, stairs, entryways all painted in blue.

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The Best Time to Buy Airline Tickets Online

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Buy Airline Tickets Online

Traveller community is always in search of better deals for cheap tickets. Air travel has been such fluctuating domain that the two adjoining seats may have different price tags. Frequent travellers have various tricks to make the travel booking experience cost effective. These are some of the most effective tips for deciding the best time to travel.

You need to decide which one can help you in getting a better deal during your next travel. 

Advance Booking

Many experts & avid travellers can suggest that you should book your tickets at least 3 to 5 weeks in advance, in case of domestic travel. Those who aim to travel internationally needs to ensure they book 12 weeks in advance. Travellers making their booking in advance can bag some bright deals & make the travel cheaper.

However, those who travel globally needs to be little extra cautious & look for the booking trend in the target region of their travel. Most of us have seen this drastic fluctuation in prices which runs on a simple rule of demand-supply. As in the initial period the demand for the flight is less, hence they are offered at a reasonable price.

With the increase in demand, the prices are also hiked. Some complex algorithms work in the background which determines the prices, hence the travellers’ needs to analyze the trend & make a booking in advance as much as possible.

Many times when the target destination is a hot location in a particular season, Airlines increase the prices to reap fruits & take advantage of the demand-oriented situation. We suggest strongly to be utmost proactive in making your travel plans accordingly to avoid such a situation.

Best Days to Book

Various Trend analysis suggests that the best days of the week to make a booking are Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday. Certain insider sources have confirmed that a complicated algorithm in the background decides the pricing of various seats. However, making an exact prediction of the lowest day for booking rates is very difficult to determine.

But, an accumulated study of numerous samples suggested that the mid part of the week will have a higher probability of getting a cheaper seat. Also, the marketing team in the background mostly decides to make a flash deal available. Hence, the combination of all 3 i.e advance booking, on a particular day of the week & managing to get it with a sale/deal incorporated will surely give you a lucrative price.

In case you are planning to book for a round-trip this trick may need a little twist. One good habit is to always search for coupon codes & promo codes for grabbing a better deal.

As the days of travel will be different & for the airline, this difference will have different cost implications attached. Travellers have advised t compromise f the booking of a round trip & grab a seat when it is the cheapest post taking into consideration most of these aspects.

Best Days to Fly

This one is probably known to all but many falter in adhering to. Make sure you avoid travelling when everyone else is planning to. Cautiously asses the trend for a destination & make adjustments accordingly in your travel. The seasonal & vacation driven rush will also add to the price hike mechanism & make it very difficult for the traveller to get a cheap ticket.

Always keep some buffer time from your professional & academic commitments & have the travel dates flexible in nature. Also, one can aim to go for less popular tourist destination for making sure that they save big on airfare & can invest in rest of the journey.

Popular travel destinations & dates near holidays & festivals will surely be very expensive affair while booking air tickets.

Low-Cost Carriers Can Save Big

Just in case you are not a very picky Traveller & have great regards towards value for money than this will surely appeal you. Here we are suggesting you check low-cost carriers individually on their dedicated own websites. The purpose here is to travel & reach from one place to another. You may come across some flash deal or flash discount going on their website & you might get lucky.

Most travellers feel reluctant to opt for these cheaper airlines with a prejudiced notion. But, if we think rationally the standard of the airline hardly matters as far as it takes us to our destination.

One must understand the fact that air travel is a small part of the entire journey. By opting for a cheaper airline you might end up saving big which you can invest in the upcoming expedition.

Game of Luck

Now this one is tricky but may get proved to be a masterstroke. Keep your travel plan flexible & refrain from booking ticket in advance. Here you are ditching the price hike when everyone else is rushing to secure a seat. Now is the day of your travel, reach to the airport & check if any last minute cancellation or drop-out has happened.

If you are lucky a seat will have your name, if not then better luck next time. We have seen many avid travellers choosing to go this way most of the times. The last minute window will have a lot of pressure on the airline crew as well to fly on full capacity.

For them this last occupied seat will save them from wasting it, hence they will give you a hefty discount merrily. So, in nutshell, one must not rush or panic to book Airline Tickets Online in advance & try such trick at least once to see if it works for him.

Though we have summarized almost all the most effective & useful guiding principles to make the air travel cheaper, the crux of the subject always direct us to be predictive & proactive.

Travellers can also Make use of Priceline Coupons to get a Further Discount. Wise travellers can actually be smarter in booking tickets & save upon overall travel budget efficiently.

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