For many people, Hanoi is a troublemaker who makes them be in struggle with their job, their overcome. The old beauty of Hanoi is also forgotten. A distant friend of mine, intending to go to Hanoi, asked, “What is it out of Hanoi?” I want to say, “Hanoi is very attractive, just go ahead and feel it.” How? With my free Hanoi tour.
On a beautiful Saturday morning, I took my friend for this free Hanoi tour, where I was born, grew up and was a part of love that I couldn’t lack. Houses painted in golden color, dotted with green windows, red-tiled roofs have become an architectural symbol of Hanoi. People who are far away, seeing these roofs, feel like they have returned home!
1. Banh Mi Dan To – The most unique thing in my free Hanoi tour.
Actually, there are a lot of Banh Mi brands and popular stalls in Hanoi. However, maybe only Banh Mi Dan To keeps its own, different from many others, which you must try in a Hanoi food tour. Banh Mi Dan To open from 3:00 am – 8:00 am, mainly for employees, so its price is very reasonable, ranging from 15,000 vnd to 20,000 vnd (~ $1). The owner is a middle-aged couple. Hanoian call it a “shop” but actually a sales trolley, people mostly buy and take away.
Especially, ingredients of the restaurant are very special. All ingredients such as eggs, sausages, pate are mixed on a pan and sandwiched with hot and crunchy bread, without dividing like other shops. The chili sauce in the restaurant is also homemade, spicy taste is different, color is very beautiful and bread is delicious. My friend did not want to eat, but when she ate it, she didn’t expect it was good like that.
Reaching more delicious foods of Hanoi with Fine dinning Hanoi!
2. Coffee at No. 39, Ta Hien Street.
After having breakfast, I took my friend to try Hanoi coffee. Watching the peaceful beauty that seems to be defeated by the economic whirlwind. But no! That hidden beauty of Hanoi is just shown for who live slowly in this busy capital. When coming to Ta Hien, many people think of beer, but no one knows that this No. 39 Coffee is a amazing greatness. This coffee shop open very early, most of its customers are uncle or old ladies who went to exercise early and drink a morning cup of coffee.
There are many options for you, not just coffee. Copper drinks cost only 18,000 VND (< $1). My friend drank a cup of iced milk coffee, coffee flavor mixed with a wonderful milk flavor. Sipping a cup of coffee, watching the road still empty. The neighborhood is almost quiet, the peaceful beauty of Hanoi is here. You also can make for yourself a local cup of coffee by joining a Hanoi cooking class.
3. Visiting around Sword Lake.
As a familiar routine when coming to Hanoi, you will not be able to ignore to admire Sword Lake. With people who are attached to this land, Sword Lake is like an old man, clear blue water, rows of ancient trees shining down. It has become a part of daily life of Hanoi people.
Then, we walked around Sword Lake’s shore, people were running exercise, fan dance performances, old ladies’ exercises became an unique “specialty” of this Lake area. Afterward, sunlight began to pour down the street, honey yellow of the sun made pruning flowers around Sword Lake suddenly become full of energy to welcome a new day.
Around the Lake is mobile cars selling goods. Colorful cars parked and don’t think it’s boring. Just a photographer has this mind, you will have a pose for life. My friend said, there is nothing nice in the background. But then she laughed when I shoot for her beautiful photos with very simple backgrounds.
Let’s see an old Hanoi by your eyes with Hanoi one day tour!
4. Visiting around Old Quarter a fulfill free Hanoi tour.
Next, stop visiting Sword Lake, we started to look back to Hanoi’s past. The most ideal place is Old Quarter, where time stops behind the door frame. Although there are many luxury apartments built to replace old apartments in Hanoi. In Old Quarter, those old apartment still exist, there are families who live through generations. How strong is their relationship to stick together!
In Old Quarter, groceries are also smaller. If you ask owners of those shops, you will be surprised to understand that many shops from time of “grandparents”. The owner can be the grandson of the true owner. Walls are often in golden yellow, characterized by Hanoi.
Sometimes, there are families that maintain their ancestral houses, without repairing. Wooden doors that are worn out over time, moss-like walls, stripping away unneeded bright appearance, truly leaving the nature deep inside.
5. Place embraces the whole Hanoi.
In order to see Hanoi from a very high place, many people choose high-rise cafes. However, we chose roof of an apartment building to see Hanoi from a very different angle. Hanoi is now gradually changing, high-rise buildings grow more, obscuring the previous buildings. The wind blew, the blue clouds hung in the sky.
If you feel tired of life pressure. These places are for you, give you a calm mind. Hanoi always contains safe shelters, welcomes tired people, protects them.
Exploring Hanoi in the most impressive view with Hanoi free tours!
6. Final steps of my free Hanoi tour – Sunset on West Lake.
If you are immersed in the wide sky, the cool breeze. Above all, West Lake is an ideal place for you. West Lake is much bigger than Sword Lake, so wind is much more devastating. Around the lake including cafes and villas with the lake view. Coming to West Lake in the afternoon, don’t forget to take photos of the glowing sunset.
West Lake’s scene makes the sun-reversed photos much more soulful. Beside the lake, there are many stalls where you can enjoy street foods such as boiled snail or spring rolls, jackfruit yogurt,…. We “ambushed” at the lake from 5 pm to prepare for the sunset. Who said sunset of city was not charming?
As a result, ending one-day Free Hanoi tour with my friend from far away to explore Hanoi’s land. I am sure that she will no longer wonder, “What’s more to see in Hanoi?”. Please slow down to receive the simplest, the most subtle things, you will find Hanoi extremely beautiful. Hope I will have chance to take her to join my other Vietnam free tours!
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