How to travel responsibly in Hanoi

As people are starting to get more environmentally conscious, the demand for more eco-friendly products is growing. Small, local businesses are starting to emerge, some offering eco-friendly products and alternatives to plastic. You can especially see the change in Vietnam’s capital city. If you’re really dedicated and want to travel in a more responsible way, there are a ton of places you can visit in Hanoi which share your values. In this article, we’re going to recommend things you can do in order to travel more responsibly in Hanoi.

Eating in Vietnam

In a country like Vietnam that has such fantastic access to fresh vegetables and fruits, it’s even more important to shop locally. So if you’re thinking of shopping fruits or so, try to avoid the big supermarkets and always opt for local produce. If you want to go out and eat, why not check out Joma Coffee. They serve fair trade organic coffee and gives 2% of their sale to organisations such as Hagar International, which helps women and children who has survived human rights abuse. Besides coffee, they also offer a range of shakes, teas and sweets, which will fulfil your sweet tooth.

Tip: Bring your own reusable coffee cup instead when you do take away. It’s much better for the environment.

You should also pay a visit to Tropical Forest café. It’s a new plant-filled coffee shop that has been designed as a traditional greenhouse and aims to tackle the city’s pollution problems. Their communal tables are also made from sustainable woods.

Shopping in Vietnam

Fast fashion has never been as popular as it is right now, but it’s also incredibly bad for the environment. Instead of buying 5 new garments, why not invest in 1 that is timeless and that you can reuse. The best thing to do is pick garments that are made from natural fibers and has been dyed naturally as well. Check out these shops if you want to support sustainable fashion, while also looking really fashionable.


The owner wanted to create minimalistic and simple garments that can be used everyday. Every piece of clothing has been dyed naturally and therefore there aren’t any dramatic colors. Instead, you have soft earthy tones and some blue garments that has been dyed with indigo. Rustea makes sure that you can shop with a conscience while also looking good.

Kilomet 109

If you want to get something a bit more colorful, check out Kilomet 109, where designer Thao Vu has cooperated with women from different ethnic groups in Vietnam to learn how to dye and make her own fabric. The store itself is exceptional as well and will make your shopping experience even nicer.

Say no to plastic!

Think twice before getting that plastic straw. You also don’t need plastic bags for everything, especially when you’re going to buy fruits and vegetables. Buy a tote which lasts for years instead of getting several plastic bags (that will end up in the ocean). Skip the bottled water and buy a water bottle made of glass that you can refill instead. You’ll both save money and you’ll help to reduce plastic.

Hanoi Free Walking Tours

Consider taking a free walking tour in Hanoi. Not only will you be able to meet other tourists on this tour, you’ll get to walk with a local through Hanoi and learn more about the city and the history of Vietnam. Walking around the city is also much better than taking a taxi or motorbike.  Hanoi Free Walking Tours is run by students who show tourists their city, while practising their English at the same time. Although it is a free walking tour, this is usually the students only job and they live on the tip they get, so if you like the tour, it’s always nice to give a few dollars.

There’s a lot more you can do if you want to travel responsibly, but by eating and shopping responsibly and walk as much as possible instead, you’re already making a better impact on this world.

Make sure that you don’t forget to apply for a Vietnam visa before you travel to Vietnam. You can either get a Visa on Arrival, an E-Visa or go to your nearest Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate and apply with them. However, it’s the online options that are by far the most popular ways to acquire a visa because of how easy and fast it is. All you need is your computer and internet, and you can apply from wherever you are.