8. Stroll around Hanoi's lakes4 PM to 7 PM: Unlike Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi is quite good when it comes to lakes. There are more than 3 of them making it excellent neighbourhoods for locals and the tourists alike to walk around, admire and witness Hanoi's growing skyline.
Hanoi to cover –The historic Opera House (it still runs with shows on most days). The night time view is vivid with the Viet traffic, noises and lights. Beside the Opera house you can see the actual Hilton Hotel and opposite it is the Hanoi stock exchange. Walk towards the Hoan Kiem lake from the Opera, on Fri and Sat the whole barrage of Hoan Kiem is closed for vehicles and reconstructed into a public recreation area with artists, talent groups, kids and parents taking part in various activities. We found this super amazing band of 4 youngsters who killed it on the instrumentals! As you approach OQ, head to the pub street Hàng Buồm where you should be lucky to find a place. This street runs long with many bars, pubs and eating places.
We stayed in Central Hanoi. So, we got to experience the street culture at its best - from restaurants to tiny street food joints serving traditional Vietnamese food, apparel stores, stationary, tourist markets, etc. It was a colourful experience altogether. A walk around Hoan Kiem Lake will give you glimpses of Hanoi's urban culture.
The Old Quarter, near Hoàn Kiếm Lake, is said to have the original architecture of the city. It comprises of almost 40 streets filled with households and street markets. Each Street originally had merchants specialized in a particular trade and the street was named after its chief trading commodity. Today you can simply walk around these lanes to distinguish the fine traditional layout of the city and spend some serene time by the lake.