Home Culture and Etiquettes How to enjoy Hanoi to the fullest, Vietnam

How to enjoy Hanoi to the fullest, Vietnam

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, established since at least 3000 BC, though constantly damaged by Northern Chinese colonization, French invasion and the Vietnam war, remains the heart of this dauntless country. But nowadays, after nearly 40 years of freedom, Hanoian are not only proud of eventually safeguarding their land but also the beauty and sophistication of a rich culture.

Hanoian. To be able to enjoy Hanoi to the fullest, one should learn Hanoian perspective to see and do things. Although today, people from different parts of Vietnam flock to Hanoi, among the colorful, vivid motion of vehicle streams flowing through out the city, some slow pacing, far-away looking, deep and mild voice are still the eye-catching image of Hanoian. They do not necessarily need to be good looking or try to brag aloud, but it is their elegant appearance and insightful talking that brand themselves. It is true they seem to enjoy a slow living lifestyle, take time to perceive things with all senses, respect the surrounding beauty and somehow naturally absorb all that into their existence. They do not talk much to convey their thinking but their words are condensed packages of knowledge, morals and sensitiivity. These essences of Hanoian are secretly reserved and passed on from generations to generations in old, humble looking houses along aged streets of Hanoi, for examples, Hang Ngang, Hang Dao,……

Hanoi food and drink. Take the Hanoian manner in contemplating food and drink to climax your senses. The key is take time, use all your senses to explore all the deliciouness. There are two things you can not miss in this city: Pho and coffee. Hanoi Pho is unique for its crystal clear, aromatic broth of cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and verum. It baths thinly sliced, soft boiled curls of beef on the fluffy white handful of noodle. The clean, small bowl is topped with some green onion, fresh basil and a tough of lime. Though the portion may not be a perfect match for a hungry passenger but scoops by scoops of little noodle and beef dipped in the clear broth and chewed slowly certainly guide you to the verge of satisfaction over and over again. Nowhere in the world can serve you authentic Pho once you have a taste of it in Hanoi Pho places along Bat Da, Lo Duc,…The second delicacy here is coffee. Hanoi is not the city drink the most coffee in the world but it may be considered the most time taking place to brew a tiny cup of coffee. Civet coffee, type of coffee beans digested by civets before further roasting and brewing, is a unique kind of coffee you would want to try. The grounded civet coffee is pressed and pearmeated through by hot water, drops by drops. This never ending process is an effective way to extract all the smoky flavor and bitter sweet essence of the coffee and also promise a fulfill reward for the patient food worshipper. Small corners aloof from the noisy outside along Nguyen Huu Huan, Le Van Huu,… are ideal for this kind of pleasure.


Hanoi beautiful scenes. Asides from old architectures of the Opera house, Long Bien bridge, and old streets which have become so popular to foreigners… Hanoian are always expecting moments of blossoms all year round: Faded pink of January cherry, flaky white of Febuary dalbergia, spotted red of March bombax, euphoric white of April lilies, nostalgia violet of May myrtle, delightful yellow of July sunflower, naive daisy of October, wind blowing yellow fields of December mustard… But it is the lotus of June at Western lake that is well-savored by Hanoian souls. It lays out summer’s liveliness with the vibrantly pink over green leafy smoothness, drape a home brew cup of tea with a flowery, refreshing aroma and its seeds are the perfect cooling medication from the summer heat.

Though Hanoi is not a big city but it is the sophisticating Hanoian that will be remembered and Hanoi beauties which have been scrutinized and customized by its strict people will last forever.


/// Written by Yen Nguyen, Vietnam