Hanoi: The must-try local experiences

Have you already walked through the Old Quarter and West Lake? Are you looking for something different to do on your trip in Hanoi? Then you must read on to find out what the must-try local experiences are! The capital city of Vietnam is one of the most exciting, fun, charming and cool places to be in the country so make sure you spend a few days and nights here. There’s everything from landmarks, museums, huge malls, restaurants, hipster cafés and a great nightlife. It takes some days to really get into the vibe of the city, but once you do, it’s difficult to leave. But before you leave Hanoi, make sure to try some of these local experiences.

Join a Vietnamese dessert cooking class

Unfortunately, not many people try the local Vietnamese desserts (well, beyond the grilled bananas). There’s plenty of delicious desserts in Vietnam such as “che” which is a name for traditional sweet beverages that’s usually filled with fruit, glutinous rice, beans, etc, and is often topped off with coconut milk. Does that sound too strange for you? Don’t exclude it before trying! It’s tasty, really cheap and it’ll guaranteed make you want to try all the different kinds of “che” you can get hold on. Once you’ve tried the local desserts, why not try to actually make it yourself? We’ve all heard of the cooking classes, but what about the dessert cooking classes? You can learn to make your own sugary desserts and bring home the new skills of yours so you can continue enjoying the amazing Vietnamese desserts.

Calligraphy class

Although the Vietnamese language is written with latin words, there’s still plenty of people who practice calligraphy to maintain the culture and history. The Chinese introduced it to the Vietnamese as one of many cultural exchanges that shaped the culture in Vietnam. In the calligraphy classes, you’ll learn calligraphy in either the Vietnamese language or English, sometimes both. It’s a chance for you to get creative, get away from the hustle and bustle of Hanoi and relax in the quiet and calm settings.

Bat Trang Pottery Village

Bat Trang pottery village just outside the Hanoi’s old quarter about 15 km. When you visit the village, you will learn more about pottery and its history, as well as participate in some workshops led by local artisans who have been in the pottery trade for many years.

If you’re visiting the place on your own, your best bet is to rent a motorbike and drive all the way to Bat Trang. You can also hire a taxi going to the place or take the public bus, which is the cheapest option.

Visit Van Phuc silk village

Located about 10 km southwest of the Old Quarter in Hanoi is the Van Phuc silk village who’s known for their traditional weaving techniques and premium quality silk products. Not only will you find the best silk in Vietnam here, you’ll also be able to visit this ancient village with their communal houses and banyan trees, and get to appreciate another part of the north of Vietnam. Life here moves a bit slower, everything’s peaceful and calm, making it the perfect getaway from Hanoi. Visit one of many silk shops in this village and bring home a few souvenirs for your loved ones. It’s a great opportunity to get high quality silk.

Drink Egg Coffee at Giang Café

It’s impossible to include a list of things to do in Hanoi without mentioning the food at least once. If you’ve never heard of egg coffee, it’s about time you do. Egg coffee was founded by Mr Nguyen Giang in 1946 and has since become a hit. Since milk was scarcely available, he used egg yolks instead as a substitute, which is how the egg coffee was invented. It sounds a bit strange, right? But it really tastes like a dessert. The egg yolk is mixed with sweetened condensed milk, butter and cheese, and is then put on top of the black drip coffee. Although there’s plenty of cafés that sells egg coffee, the authentic one is sold in Giang Café for the incredible price 25,000 VND.

Are you not on the visa exempt list or wishes to stay for longer than 15 days? Then remember to apply for a Vietnam visa before you arrive to the country. The visa process is easy and quick, you just need a computer and steady internet connection to apply for an online visa. If you’re planning on flying to Vietnam, you can either get a Visa on Arrival or E-Visa, if you’re from one of the countries that are allowed to apply for an E-Visa. If you intend on arriving to Vietnam by land, you must go via the Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate and apply with them.

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