Wanderlust takes people to places they never even heard of. If you’re like us, then traveling is intriguing regardless of where you end up. However, if you’d rather plan ahead, Hanoi Old Quarter in Vietnam should be on your bucket list.
Once a war-ridden nation, it seems almost poetic that Vietnam is now a place you can go to blow off a little steam. More so, Hanoi the capital city, is known for being one of the hottest tourist spots in the nation. In fact, Hanoi old quarter nightlife is as legendary as they come.
Why? Well, it’s such a welcoming place. You’ll be drawn in by the French colonial-style architecture that has a long and fascinating history. There’s also the vibrant food culture that seals the deal. In fact, the whole town is a ‘mood’. You can explore several of the numerous districts, but the hotspots are the Ba Dinh district, also known as the French Quarter, as well as the Hoan Kiem District (aka the Old Quarter).
In this article, it’s all about the Hanoi Old quarter nightlife. We’ll also fill you in on how safe it is. Get ready to immerse yourself in a soulful night on the streets of Vietnam’s capital. With an area this rich in culture, it’ll be hard not to go out exploring… especially at night.
Hanoi Old Quarter nightlife: What is it like?
If you’re looking to experience some excitement and a night full of good fun, there’s no better place to experience it than in the Hanoi Old Quarter. One big reason is the Bia Joi Junction which is known for serving up some of the best Vietnamese draft beer.
That aside, there are also plenty of other places you can be entertained. Everything from proper sit-down bars and restaurants to late night clubs with live bands and DJs is part of the mix.
If you’re traveling as a family, there are equally various family and kid-friendly activities to participate in. Some of these include the traditional water puppet show and a late-night market; with vendors selling souvenirs, food, and clothing items, at incredibly affordable prices.
Want to know the most popular nighttime activities? If so, we advise you to check out the following:
Bia Hoi Junction:
The Bia Hoi Junction is the classic spot to enjoy the nightlife in Hanoi. They offer visitors their famous draft beer for as little as 0.22 dollars. More so, there are several shops and stalls that sell a variety of snacks. There, you can find tasty treats like beef jerky and fried tofu.
Water Puppet Theatre:
If you’re up for some family-friendly fun, you’ve got to visit a water puppet theatre. This is an ancient Vietnamese art form that features sketches, live music, and a whole lot of artistry. The best place to attend a show is in the Thang Long Puppet Theatre in Hoan Kiem.
Hanoi Weekend Night Market:
The Hanoi night market is open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It starts from 7 pm in Hang Dao street to the Dong Xuan market. From fashion items to cheap souvenirs and delicious street food, you can find it all in the weekend night market.
Legend Beer Hanoi:
Located on the third floor in a downtown building in Hanoi, Legend beer offers a great view of the city and the Hoan Kiem Lake. This bar serves home-brewed beer as well as a range of German-inspired dishes like pork knuckles.
Infinity Club Hanoi:
No nightlife is complete without a club scene, and the Infinity club delivers just that. Ideal for partygoers, this club offers excellent lighting, affordable alcohol, and a host of local DJs spinning some of the best tunes.
Dragonfly Bar and lounge:
This venue is incredibly popular amongst the young and expatriate crowd who typically go there to drink, dance, and mingle. It offers a spacious dancefloor, cheap drinks, a hookah bar, and pool tables.
How Much are Drinks in Hanoi?
One of the fun parts of Hanoi’s nightlife is the drinking culture. The Old Quarter is filled with restaurants and pubs in the Bia Hoi junction that serves delicious draft beer. The best thing though about drinking in Hanoi is how affordable it is. A cup of draft beer can go for a very cheap amount, between 0.10 to 0.20 dollars. For a single bottle or can, you should be looking to part with around 0.50 to 1 dollar.
if you’re lucky, locals might invite you for a free drink on the streets. However, if you prefer the comfort that a bar has to offer, the prices could be higher, with drinks being served at around 0.80 to 3 dollars. Some bars even increase their prices on certain nights.
If alcohol isn’t really your thing, you can choose to relax at a tea or coffee bar in downtime Hanoi. It doesn’t hurt that is also quite affordable. A regular cup of coffee usually costs less than a dollar and is traditionally served alongside a pot of tea. Meanwhile, you can get a large bottle of water for around 0.50 dollars.
How Much is Food in Hanoi?
Hanoi has a wide variety of street food sold at very affordable rates. Most street foods in the Old Quarter average 1 to 2 dollars for a regular portion. But if you’re feeling hungry, more than one meal might be suitable.
To get multiple portions, you’ll have to cough up about 4 dollars tops. Eating at a sit-down restaurant is typically pricier, although the most you should be looking to spend, even at the fancier restaurants, is around 8 dollars.
Is Hanoi Old Quarter Safe to Visit in 2020?
It’s no secret that we are still amidst a pandemic, even though mandatory lockdowns and travel restrictions are slowly easing up. Embarking on any international travel during this period comes with its unique risks. But that doesn’t mean that you cannot travel at all. Nevertheless, visiting an active region like Hanoi Old Quarter can be tricky.
However, the good news is that Vietnam has been able to keep its infection levels low, with only 1040 confirmed cases as of August 29th, and over 600 recoveries within that figure. That said, there are still certain precautions you need to take to protect yourself from infections while you are there.
So, Is it dangerous to visit Hanoi at this time?
Although there are a little over a thousand recorded cases of coronavirus patients in Vietnam, Hanoi has only recorded 156 cases and 145 recoveries, with zero deaths since the pandemic started. This makes it one of the safest regions to visit, not only in Vietnam but in Asia. Besides, their numbers are much lower than in most countries, including the United States and many European countries.
Although the number of visitors in Vietnam has drastically reduced, a good number of tourists still visit some of the popular destinations like Hanoi and Sapa.
What are the Precautions to Take?
Just because the number of COVID-19 patients in Hanoi is low doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still take extra precautions to protect yourself. Before traveling, you need to ensure that you take a COVID-19 test and only travel if your results are negative.
Once tested negative, you can then start preparing for your journey. Note that there are certain items you need to carry along for your travel. First, you’ll need a box of medical masks. Washable masks will also do. More so, we advise you to bring your own masks along as the prices in Vietnam have been hiked.
As recommended by the WHO, washing your hands regularly, as well as using hand sanitizer is a necessity. So, include a couple of bottles of hand sanitizer in your luggage. Again, bringing your own supply is best, as sanitizers are hard to find in Hanoi and also quite expensive to purchase.
In addition to masks and sanitizers, consider taking an extra supply of multivitamins to boost your immune system.
What to Expect Upon Arriving in Vietnam in 2020
Although the number of cases in Vietnam is low, the Vietnamese government, as with most governments worldwide, are taking strict measures to eradicate the virus in their country. They have mostly kept COVID-19 numbers low by isolating visitors returning from abroad at the beginning of the outbreak and administered care until they tested negative. More so, the government also restricted flights to and from China and Japan.
Also, the pre-coronavirus Hanoi Old Quarter was usually packed with locals and tourists daily; however, since the outbreak, the government is now trying to limit large gatherings of more than 30 people. This is especially true in Hanoi, especially with popular activities like the weekend night market, and the water puppet theatre.
More so, social distancing measures have been put in place and it is now required for customers to sit at least one meter apart.
More than that, non-essential businesses like bars and night clubs no longer operating since July 30th, until further notice.
Hanoi Old Quarter Nightlife: To Summarise
The Hanoi Old Quarter nightlife is a fantastic place to see to engross in a new and exciting culture. This region has engaging activities for you to participate in, both during the daytime and nighttime.
That said, due to the global coronavirus outbreak, things haven’t returned to normal just yet. Certain restrictions are in place to protect people and reduce the number of affected patients.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t experience some good old fashioned fun in the Hanoi Old Quarter. There are still fun and safe activities for you to indulge in.
Let us know your thoughts and suggestions in the comments section. Also, make sure to share this article with your friends, family, and social media.
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