“Have you been to Vietnam yet?” Most often, when I asked a group of people this question, they would answer me “No”. Vietnam is not a very popular tourist destination as they believed that Hongkong, Malaysia, Korea and Japan are a more enticing country to visit.
I would totally disagree with that and here’s why.
- Flying to Hanoi is not that expensive as you think
You can fly to Vietnam for a price cheaper than Korea and Japan. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you can even get a ticket through airline promotions or Piso fare. We flew to Hanoi through an airline called Vietjet Air. The fare is around 3,000 baht round trip and that was the cheapest during that time. It was our first time to use this airline but we learned that most of their flights are from Vietnam to Thailand, China, Hongkong, and Korea. Our plane was small but we arrived safely so size really doesn’t matter after all.
- Hotels and Hostels are everywhere in Hanoi
Hanoi is like the tourist hub of Vietnam. This is where most tourists would go and stay so booking for accommodations is rather an easy step. They are pretty cheap too. The hostel we stayed was a good one and we pay around 700 Baht/ night for the room with free breakfast of egg, bread, milk or tea. If you’re traveling by group, you can definitively save more for your accommodation.
- Cold Weather
I would say another important factor why I liked my travel in Hanoi was the cold weather. We went there during winter on December. It didn’t snow but it was pretty cold. It was also raining almost every day. As I have lived my whole life in a tropical country, I always longed for a cold weather and going to Hanoi was like a dream come true at that time. It was my first time so it felt amazing to be wearing a jacket, coat, and boots suitable for the weather.
- Great food
Vietnamese food is more or less still Asian. They have noodles and rice. The fresh lumpia is also popular in Vietnam. Eating Pho was perfect for the weather.
- There are great places to visit
You can already do a lot of things for a few days of your stay in Hanoi since most of the recommended tourist attractions are just within the city. We were given a map from our hotel showing all the attractions you can go to. You can go by foot, take a motorcycle or ride a taxi. Since we are frugal travelers, we opted for walking. I remember getting lost quite a few times but it’s part of traveling, right?
Where we went?
Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son
Hoa Lo Prison Museum
Vietnamese Women’s Museum
Municipal Water Puppet Theatre
Temple of the Jade Mountain
Hanoi Opera House
Bach Ma Temple
- A perfect place to make friends
The part of the trip that I really enjoyed was during our boat tour to Halong Bay. Halong Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Basically, this bay features thousands of beautiful islets. There are cruise tours and junk boat cruise available for you to choose from. What we chose was the cheapest for 2 days/1 night. Part of the tour was to visit Thien Cung Cave which was also a spectacular view. We also went for kayaking in the cold water and did a Vietnamese cooking lesson while on the boat.
You will be mostly staying in the boat for days of the tour, what a good way of meeting new people from different countries! That is how I met new friends who until now I chat and follow in social media.
This is why Hanoi is one of my favorites and if I have another chance to visit this place, I would definitely love to.
What do you think of visiting Vietnam?