Hanoi in Vietnam – 7 differences according to foreigners

Hanoi is the capital of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and also the capital of many kingdoms in Vietnamese history. Therefore, the history of Hanoi is associated with the vicissitudes of Vietnamese history following the different eras.

Hanoi in Vietnam

Hanoi is located in the heart of the Red River Delta where the land is very rich. Hanoi has quickly become a center of politics, economy and culture since the beginning of the history of Vietnam. In 1010, Ly Cong Uan, the first king of the Ly Dynasty, decided to build a new capital in this country with the name of Thang Long or Dragon taking off. During the reign of Ly, Tran, Le, Mac Dynasties, Thang Long was the center of culture, education and commerce of the country. When the dynasties of Tay Son and Nguyen controled the kingdom, the capital was moved to Hue in the center of the country (See: Hue Forbidden City).

Thang Long has become Hanoi in 1831 under King Minh Mang of the Nguyen Dynasty. In 1902, the French people chose the Haussmann style to build the capital of the Indochinese Federation (Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos). The city was seen as the Little Paris of the East at this time of 1902 - 1954. During the wars, Hanoi was the capital of the north and of the unified Vietnam until today.

After the vicissitudes of history, political movements ... Hanoi managed to preserve its charms which reside in the mix of Oriental and European architectures, shaded streets, natural lakes, ancient streets with the animation without stops...

Hanoi is today one of Vietnam's tourism centers. Travelers have the opportunity to see here a Vietnam with the turmoil of the past, current developments and the future of a country in South - East Asia.

Drinking beer on the sidewalks, enjoy coffee in tiny bars, participating in traffic in a forest of motorcycles ... There are interesting things that CNN, the renowned television channel in the United States wrote about Hanoi.

You have spent your time to travel in Southeast Asia and, finally, you have similar impressions. You will not see the differences if you do not go to Hanoi.

Vietnam's capital is like a cool breeze. Hanoi is a charming work between the French and Chinese culture, but the Vietnamese people managed to preserve their own style. Here are the differences we love that make Hanoi stand out from all the other cities in Asia.

Hanoi in Vietnam

Hanoi - You need to keep the faith while crossing the street.

If you cross the street in Hanoi, you should know that it is totally different compared to other countries in the world. We can say it is almost like Bungee (jump with the rope in ankle). When people tell you that "Come on, everything will be ok," then you trust in them although your instinct doesn’t advise you to continue like that.

Once you leave the pavement by placing the first steps in the street, you have no way to go back; you have no chance to retreat. You can just keep walking and hope motorbikes will avoid you instead of crashing.

But everything is always ok. Traffic in Hanoi is crazy but the chaos is organized and in one way or another, pedestrians always find a solution to cross the street.

When walking, it's time to test the faith with human beings when you fall into this crazy world of motorcycles. But believe that the bikes will avoid you when you cross the streets in Hanoi. It is not you who avoid these bikes.

When you get on a motorcycle, it is like jumping into the river through rocks, waterfalls ... in an unstable, precarious, lame, limping manner ... and a surprise to death.

Hanoi in Vietnam

Draft beer in Hanoi. 

Hanoi is also known for its beer, which is produced each day that the local people call "draft beer or bia hơi in Vietnamese language."

The official beer of Hanoi is manufactured daily by the Habeco brewery. This beer is fermented during the day. This is why the taste is different in each pub, depending on the quantity being sold. But believe that when night falls, it will be empty.

In Hanoi, you can drink beer in any corner, any alley ... and is often served with food and sometimes the customer can also enjoy classical music of ABBA and Boney via the karaoke machine which projects on the television screen.

For foreign tourists, the most famous beer can be found in the heart of the old city of Hanoi: the Bia Hoi Corner pub at the intersection of Ta Hien and Luong Ngoc Quyen Street.

Hanoi old streets: 

In Hanoi, the old streets are not only figurative terms. It is a labyrinth of at least 36 streets in the region pinched between the famous Hoan Kiem Lake or Lake of the Restored Sword, the Red River and the walls of the old ruins of the ancient citadel of Hanoi. The old town has more than 1000 years old and will continue to exist.

As one of the oldest places of Vietnam, the old town has become a shopping center where artisans are grouped in 36 goods (silk, silver, bamboo hat, potatoes, safe, brine, raft, shoes, thread, fish, drum, paper, hemp, sail cloth, salt, pottery, comb ...) and every street in the old city of Hanoi is characterized by a kind of good.

Hanoi in Vietnam

Teams of skilled artisans who practice their crafts between incredible density of tourists, motorcycles, bars, shops selling Zippo lighters ... However, many temples, pagodas and other public houses and monuments still keep old aspects of Hanoi in the past.

Today, the emblematic of the old town are houses in shape of tube, thin but all tall. Come to number 87 of the street of Ma May and 38Hang Dao to see these characteristics.

To differentiate the old French villas with houses on stilts hidden by commercial surfaces, you only have to look the roof because it generally retains its original state.

The old streets of Hanoi city, the heart of Vietnam, were the cradle of resistance movements under the French colonial era.

Hanoi with the war associated with the Pop music: 

The anti American war in Vietnam was marked by the crimes and also by the anti-war movements abroad. Therefore, the pilgrimage to Hanoi is an important part of Americans veterans who participated in the Vietnam War.

Those who grew up with anti war songs of Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones can not forget the war associated with the rebel movement in the 1960s and 1970. This war had many influences on American youth’s culture for decades and continued to broadcast the culture of pop music around the world.

To find traces of American bombs in Hanoi, visit the Long Bien Bridge or the old bridge of Paul Doumer on the Red River to connect the transport of goods from the port of Haiphong. Or you can visit the ancient Hoa Lo prison that US prisoners often called Hanoi Hilton.

Hanoi in Vietnam with its peddlers: 

Hanoi is the capital of tourism, but it is surprising that Hanoi is lack of large shopping centers. Instead, you will find the most interesting things: Stores of all colors on the shoulders of women or men.

Hanoi in Vietnam

So, you can find all to buy in small bamboo baskets dancing on the shoulders of street vendors. This is both a store and a means of transportation that peddlers sneak by feet into the crowd of two wheels vehicles in Hanoi. Do not worry! You recognize them easily because they usually wear conical hats. They are the endless inspiration of foreign tourists.

Buy a few things: A bowl, basket, mangosteen, a bouquet of flowers or household ... and you'll have many pictures of the always radiant smiles of the Vietnamese people in the lively capital of Hanoi.

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi: 

Hanoi is the unique city in Southeast Asia which still preserves the body of the leader - President Ho Chi Minh. Every day, thousands of people who come to the mausoleum - The place keeping the body of President Ho Chi Minh - are covered by emotions when being in front of the hero who has liberated Vietnam from foreign domination.

Hanoi - Coffee with the French style on the sidewalk:

The Vietnamese people do not abandon the colonial legacy of the French era, especially the old villas in Hanoi that are the ideal place to enjoy the French aesthetic taste mixing with the hospitality of the Orient people.

Hanoi in Vietnam

The art of coffee was started under the French colonial period. In Hanoi, the coffee served still keeps the French style, so if the street is a theater, the coffee bars are sieges for spectator. But the feature is that customers often sit on small plastic or rattan chairs only a few tens of centimeters above the ground.

The mixture France - Vietnam is felt most clearly in the cuisine of Hanoi. People put paste, vegetables ... in the French bread to become delicious and nutritious.

How Hanoi is extraordinary!