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#1 chut

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Posted 25 March 2004 - 09:34 AM



am flying into hanoi for five days in april. would love any suggestions on cool restos, shops, galleries, bars, clubs, buildings, neighborhoods, etc. it'll be my first trip to vietnam so don't hold back and show me the good stuff.
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#2 xcoldricex

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Posted 25 November 2006 - 08:49 PM

damn no one's been to vietnam?

i'm going there soon too so this old ass thread gets a bump.
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#3 darknworn

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Posted 25 November 2006 - 09:10 PM

PM m@t at the other SF. He's an Aussie working in VN.
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#4 xcoldricex

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Posted 25 November 2006 - 09:26 PM

cool thanks.
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#5 poly800rock

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Posted 25 November 2006 - 11:16 PM

hanoi is beat compared to saigon. unless chilling by the lake all day and night is your idea of a good time. a ton of stuff closes down by 10pm and if you're there to "party" i'm not sure thats the best place in vietnam. Saigon is a baby bangkok, with tons of shit always happening, and that was 3 years ago since I've been to Vietnam. Hanoi is more of a tourist thing and the model for Vietnam's "communist" state. They do have some different fashion sense up there though. If you need anymore help coldrice, let me know...but again, as in the 3rd world, shit changes SO FUCKING FAST that what I would suggest 3 years ago, might not even be around nowadays.
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#6 xcoldricex

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Posted 25 November 2006 - 11:56 PM

yeah not going so much to party- i can do that in bangkok- so i'm there to eat lots of good food and just chill/see shit. planning on taking trips to sa pa and hoi an... not sure what else, only have about a week there. what'd you do while you were poly?
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#7 sufu1

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Posted 26 November 2006 - 12:10 AM

i'm looking for a ticket from tokyo to sydney this week and noticed that vietnam airways just started this route and its way cheaper than any other airline - ¥60,000 [$US550] AND for 4 month open...which is unusually good deal for a ticket from japan. it stops in hanoi so was thinking about checking it out for a day or 2... maybe around dec 3/4...? i've never been either. usually always do bangkok instead. but heard hanoi is getting much cooler.. when are you there??
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#8 jakie

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Posted 26 November 2006 - 02:02 AM

just check the lonely planet. i went in march...was pretty good
theres tonnes markets with heaps and heaps of fake shit.
go to a big indoor market listed in lonely planet, forget the name tho....heaps of clothes, fake dior / LV etc, and heaps of nice material for suits and selvedge that you can take to tailor's and get nice stuff made up.
i got a nice suit and some shirts tailor made for like $US50 all up.....the quality isnt saville row, but is still quite respectable
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#9 xcoldricex

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Posted 26 November 2006 - 02:10 AM

damn wayne, it'd be dope to meet up but i'll be there during xmas, 21st-28th. but yeah go ahead and stop in hanoi and let me know what you find ;)

i'm going because its only $100 roundtrip from bangkok on airasia!
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#10 Analyst

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Posted 26 November 2006 - 09:03 AM

Vietnam is definitely up and coming. With the coup in Thailand a few months ago and all the political bullshit with the late PM, tons of foreign direct investment is going into Vietnam. Went to Saigon for a long weekend about two months ago and had a lot of fun. In my opinion, it's a completely charming city. THe first thing I noticed was the air was much much cleaner than Bangkok, and also the weather was much cooler. Everyone is on motorcycles and crossing the street can be quite scary at first.

At night the city comes alive. We checked out Catwalk, which is similiar to a lot of the lounges in BKK. Apocalypse Now, a famous expat bar, was extremely crowded and played some cheese techno. Even though everywhere closes early ~2pm, you can find some afterhour places. Some local girls took us to one hip hop club about this hotel which goes to around 4-5am.

Lots of art galleries around downtown Saigon. And the pho at Pho 24 is excellent, although Poly800 could probably recommend a better joint. Definitely try the Vietnamese coffee while you're there. And if you're brave, try the "barbershops" out on Dien Bien Phu......
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#11 poly800rock

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Posted 26 November 2006 - 06:17 PM

yeah not going so much to party- i can do that in bangkok- so i'm there to eat lots of good food and just chill/see shit. planning on taking trips to sa pa and hoi an... not sure what else, only have about a week there. what'd you do while you were poly?


Food wise, there are some good places. Off the top of my head, its a bit blurry. Pho is only ok in Hanoi, its more of a personal preference though, as I've been raised on the Southern blend/taste. However, other soups are very tasty there. Banh Cuon is very good up in Hanoi as well as many other area delicacies. Any guidebook should have some places to go, but personally I always end up just eating off the street anyhow, which always ends up better in the long run anyways. Sapa is very nice from what I hear, weather should be kind of cold (maybe not Michigan cold) in the North around winter time, so dress accordingly. Hanoi is cool for like handicrafts stuff and neat paintings (I bought a few) but as far as shopping brands, save that for Bangkok or Saigon. I personally didn't do much up in Hanoi, waited around a week for a new Visa and went out to Ha Long which was ok. A lot of people really like the charm of the Indochina Hanoi, and I can see that, but I'm really biased towards the south. As far as old French buildings go, Phnom Penh is on par if not better than Hanoi in architecture. Saw Uncle Ho's mosuleum when I was up there. Hoi An is very nice, (a bit far from Hanoi though Coldrice) and again is an old world throwback. Tons of handicrafts, very relaxing place. Amazing handmade hanging lamps. Picked up a few of those when I was over there. There is one dish that is amazing in Hoi An, check your guide, I'm sure they have it listed, as I forget the name.

Again, as analyst mentioned, Saigon is booming, but Hanoi was (3 years ago) still grasping onto the old communist model. Its a front, and I'm sure there are things to be found, so you can easily make the most of your time there. Every person I talk to who is not of Vietnamese heritage, loves Hanoi, and I'm sure you'll have a good time. Hit me back again if you need more info
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#12 Cue

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 12:14 PM

i was there a month ago, was not a massive fan. there is a jazz bar that was pretty fun, other than that it is like spending all day in a giant frogger game dodging scooters. try and get a cheap flight down to hoi an, way better, or head out to halong bay which is amazing
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#13 superdupersang

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 02:26 PM

whats hot in hanoi?
alliteration
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#14 wombtang

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Posted 09 December 2006 - 05:52 PM

chut, definitely take the lonely planet guide. the restaurant section is fairly on-point. Brothers Cafe near Lenin Park has a ridiculously opulent lunch buffet in an old converted buddhist temple.

the shopping district right next to the lake is fun but not the best for actually buying stuff. tons of bootleg everything, but like a particular shoe will only come in one or two sizes. the streets around St. Joseph's Cathedral are where the nice stuff is-- lots of hip, local designers and good eats. some great hotels around there, too (but beware the "sister hotels").

if you're near it, go to the Tamarind Cafe on Pho Ma May in the Old Quarter. the girls at the tour booking desk were unbelievably cool and could totally hook up with fun places to go at night. if you have time, book a trip to Ha Long Bay with them. Unreal boat trips. Highly recommended. You won't have time for Sapa, unfortunately, because it takes too long to train there. Next time!

absolutely do not miss out on bia hoi (beer brewed daily!). there are tons of places to find it, and they are guaranteed fun.

lastly, make sure to visit some touristy stuff. hanoi has a fascinating history. temple of literature (there is also a great fair-trade shop near here), "hanoi hilton", opera house, ho chi minh mausoleum, etc etc. rent a scooter or hop on someone else's and do as much as you can. man, i could go on for days. i wish i was going with you. you will love Viet Nam.
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#15 xcoldricex

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 04:47 AM

wombtang basically broke it down as far as my experience went and has some good recommendations. hanoi doesn't have much happening. being a tourist there kinda sucks too - you have to take day trips to see one thing (sitting in a crowded tourist bus and on boats) - i was really upset about going to the perfume pagoda (which took 7 hours of travel to see something for 15 minutes that was unimpressive) - it wasn't even a "pagoda" (and the rock carving of the girl of the story of the perfume pagoda in chongqing, china is much more interesting than the actual place). should've taken the trip to southern vietnam but i thought i'd save that for another time.

highlight of the trip was going up to the china/vietnam bordertown, sapa - the train ride was freezing though and they didn't provide us comforters for the trip there (but did on the way back?? so bring warm clothes if you're going in the winter months). trains are dirty (dirtier than china) - seems like they didn't change the sheets - there was some dried blood on the wall, on the sheets, and it was generally dirty (i normally wouldn't comment on this but i think the blood pushed it a bit far..). if you've got a fat wallet you can take the super deluxe train, the victoria express, if you're staying at the victoria sapa luxury hotel.

Ha Long Bay is another thing you shouldn't miss. I usually do not like signing up with tour groups but it seemed sort of necessary in hanoi (if you don't speak any vietnamese) - since most of the things are day trips out of the city and require multiple forms of transportation (you can do everything in the city in about half a day, if you hire a driver for the day). i had a bad experience with the travel agency my group took to Ha Long Bay - tourist bus to the boat was overcrowded, they picked us up an hour late, the lunch provided was terrible and they were splitting up families/couples to accomodate for their own space issues... etc.

the water puppet show was apparently good too- i was too tired and fell asleep though. i wouldn't recommend renting a scooter- traffic in hanoi is insane- i only saw maybe 2 traffic lights in the whole city and there doesn't seem to be any traffic laws... when crossing the street do not run for your life, take it easy... and you should get across alive.
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#16 poly800rock

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 05:00 AM

wow, sounds like an interesting time at least...doesn't sound like you had the greatest time. vietnam is probably the most tourist unfriendly place (by this i mean, people will go out of their way to rip you off and have no problems with it) in all of southeast asia, and i'd say that north vietnam was a bit sterile/boring for me. But don't let the north dissway you from visiting the rest of the country...south is the bomb..
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#17 xcoldricex

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 05:21 AM

yeah, sapa was great though - people were friendly there and it was funny having old ladies trying to sell you blankets then asking if you want marijuana.

oh i also went to bobby chinn's restaurant near the lake - a higher end fusion restaurant - it was a nice place to wind down at and smoke hookah after a decent meal (nothing especially groundbreaking - but good nonetheless).

maybe south vietnam in the summer if i'm in asia? :)

oh if it helps anyone - stayed at the flower hotel in hanoi ($30 a night for a big double room, free wifi, very clean, good location, breakfast included), bamboo hotel in sapa ($30 a night for a big double, very clean, breakfast included, but no heat(i don't think anyone has heat in sapa though). prince hotel on cat ba island (ha long bay) - included in the tour package - (breakfast and dinner included and were very good for included hotel food, satellite tv, big and clean).
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叉冷饭叉 fine goods:
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#18 steven

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 08:32 AM

where my viet peoples at??!?
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#19 groovbusta

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Posted 28 March 2007 - 05:22 PM

Can anyone recommend a really nice boutique or mid-size hotel in Hanoi? The 5 star chains are very affordable, but looking for something a little more unique, either architecturally or design-wise. Most of the "boutique" hotels I've seen on the web have been closer to the 2 or 3 star range.

I'm heading to Hanoi & northern VN for about 11 days during Japan GW... only have the flight booked so far. Planning to do kayaking in Halong Bay and some hill trekking in Sapa.

Do you think I'll have time to check out Hue or Hoi An if flights are available? Or should I just kick it in Hanoi and soak up the local scene?
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#20 DJ_Flame

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 10:04 AM

nvm.

Edited by DJ_Flame, 24 July 2012 - 12:31 AM.

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