Top 6 Things to do in Hanoi, Vietnam on a Budget.

Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, has a history dating back over a thousand years. The name "Hanoi" has its origins in the Vietnamese language and is a combination of two words:

  1. "Ha" (河): This word means "river." Hanoi is situated in the Red River Delta, a region characterized by its network of rivers and waterways. The Red River flows through the city, and historically, the river has played a crucial role in the city's development and economy.

  2. "Noi" (內): This word translates to "inside" or "interior." The term "Hanoi" was used to distinguish the city as the capital and the political center of Vietnam, as opposed to other areas in the country.

Together, "Hanoi" can be understood to mean "the city inside (or near) the river." The name reflects both the geographical location of the city and its significance as the capital of Vietnam. Throughout its long history, Hanoi has served as a cultural, political, and economic hub of the country, making it a city of great importance to the Vietnamese people.

As a backpacker on a budget, Hanoi offers plenty of exciting and affordable experiences. Here are the top five things to do and see:

  1. Explore the Old Quarter: Wander through the bustling streets of the Old Quarter, a historic neighborhood filled with narrow lanes, traditional architecture, and vibrant markets. It's a great place to immerse yourself in the local culture, try street food, and shop for souvenirs without breaking the bank. 

  2. Train Street (Address: Ngo 224 Le Duan): This unique street in Hanoi is a must-visit for backpackers. It's a narrow alley where a train passes through just a few feet from houses and shops. The experience of seeing the train pass by at close proximity is a memorable and budget-friendly attraction. Note that the train schedule is subject to change, so it's best to check local information for the current timings.

  3. Visit Hoan Kiem Lake: This picturesque lake in the heart of Hanoi offers a peaceful escape from the city's hustle and bustle. Stroll along the shores, join the locals for morning tai chi sessions, and visit the Ngoc Son Temple situated on an islet in the lake.

  4. Experience the Night Market: Head to the Hanoi Weekend Night Market (open on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings) in the Old Quarter. Here, you can find an array of affordable items, from clothing and accessories to souvenirs and street food.

  5. Explore Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Complex: While entrance to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum itself is free, exploring the surrounding areas, including the Presidential Palace, One Pillar Pagoda, and Ho Chi Minh's stilt house, offers a glimpse into Vietnam's history and culture.

  6. Enjoy Bia Hoi and Street Food: Don't miss out on trying Bia Hoi, a local draft beer sold at street-side establishments, which is not only delicious but also budget-friendly. Indulge in the city's diverse street food scene, where you can savor Vietnamese specialties like pho, banh mi, and various noodle dishes at affordable prices.

With its rich history, vibrant street life, and delectable cuisine, Hanoi provides an exciting and budget-friendly experience for backpackers seeking to delve into the heart of Vietnam