If you asked me what is the one thing I like doing in Hanoi, I’d say walking around in Hanoi’s Old Quarter at night. The daytime in the city is so manic and crossing the road gets me all sweaty. Sometimes I’d rather get coffee drunk on 3 cups of coffee in a small cafe or nap in my hotel than face Hanoi’s concrete jungle.
Unveiling Hanoi at Night
After a long and tiring day of sightseeing, I still have the energy to walk around Hanoi’s Old quarter without being badgered by vendors.
While the streets at night are bustling and packed with locals and expats, there is a sense of calmness that makes you feel at ease and comfortable even being in this chaotic city.
On weekends, the whole area becomes a Walking Street, a more hospitable place to walk around without having to worry about getting run over by a grab motorbike.
Cars, mopeds, and all transportation (and the endless honking) are prohibited. You’ll be lucky enough to arrive in Hanoi at the weekend, so make sure not to miss the Walking Street because there are plenty of activities from traditional dances, live performances by singers, and night market stalls set up on popular roads etc.
There is something happening in every street, in every crooked alley and in every small space in between.
Students enjoying the view of Hoan Kiem lake.
I really enjoy coming to Hoan Kiem Lake at night. For me, it’s a relaxing escape from the chaos of the Old Quarter. All I needed was a low plastic stool and freshly made sugar cane drink to enjoy the scenery. The shimmering glassy waters on the lake set off the city lights beautifully, further enhanced by more lights around the lake wall and the surrounding buildings.
As I stared at the Huc Bridge brightly illuminated by red lights, I heard a camera shutter go off and giggles behind me. The lake looks tranquil but is never peaceful. As night falls, locals gather here at night to unwind after a hard day’s work.
Young girls were taking selfies, couples were walking their dogs, and some were barbequing sweetcorn.
Spending the night in Hanoi? Then you must check out Bia corner near Ha Tien St. Affectionately known as Beer St, this place is no shortage of watering holes that cater to those looking for good-value beer. Hundreds of plastic stools are occupied by tourists (backpackers) and locals sipping away until they figure out where to go next.
If you’re wondering where else to go in Hanoi at night, then why not check out the Quang Ba Flower Market?
The flower market at night-time is a lively place reaching its peak right after midnight, around 2 am in the morning.