Hanoi Vietnam has amazing food like banh mi beef stew sandwiches, chicken pho noodle soup, vietnamese spring rolls, and yes even craft beer.
Hanoi is a bit chaotic at first, and faster than Chiang Mai. After settling into the chaotic traffic there is plenty of food and shopping to discover by walking around the old quarter.
Getting in and getting around
You can use Air Asia or Viet Jet air from Thailand for cheap flights from Thailand to Hanoi. You can use the Mai Linh taxis to get into town without worrying about getting ripped off. If you get a simcard you can use an uber to get around cheap and safely.
Hanoi feels safe and the people are friendly even though their english isn’t too strong they will try. The locals are hustlers and even Hanoi is slower than Saigon you can feel the energy of the people.
The currency is super inflated so you’ll get to work with currency in the millions or hundreds of thousands. When you convert things over you’ll find that the costs are lower than Chiang mai for shopping and food. Bring plenty of brand new US dollars to exchange for Dong there and get a local sim card at the airport.
Where to Stay
I recommend to stay in the Old quarter. I stayed at the Nova hotel, which was a great balance between comfort, location, and value. The hotel offered a solid free breakfast with choices between western and local dishes like Pho Gai (Chicken Noodle soup).
Where and what to eat
Nova hotel was a great location to start sampling the local food . There were plenty of coffee shops nearby where you can people watch and enjoy vietnamese coffee. There is a sample menu in the video. You can also buy bags of coffee to take back home with you and the many shops around the old quarter. You’ll find coffee varieties like Kopi luwak or arabica beans. Highlands coffee is a local vietnamese chain around town that you can depend on for decent coffee, wifi, and toilets. I found a nice trendy spot to enjoy Vietnamese coffee near St. Joseph’s Cathedral that you can see in the video.
I recommend doing a food tour. I used Hanoi food tasting tours for $25 US. You will get some insight into the local foods and find places you would never find on your own.
My personal favorite are the beef stew cheese steak sandwiches. You can these banh mi shops near the old quarter. I was also happy to see a craft beer scene. I went to the craft beer pub near Hoàn Kiếm lake and enjoyed some a craft beer flight for a decent price. Of course I recommend trying the local beer first as well before spoiling your palette.
I enjoyed sitting by the shops and eating fried cheese sticks with hanoi beer. Of course you want to try authentic vietnamese beef pho. If you’ve lived in Thailand for some time you will know that quality beef is harder to find and more expensive. In Vietnam it’s easier to find good beef at good prices. We found a nice hot pot spot that was very generous with the beef.
I was impressed with the co-work space. It had a pleasant and large atmosphere with 3 levels.
Filming the trip
I brought the DJI Osmo with me to film. It was my primary camera as opposed to my SLR in past trips. There are no drones allowed in Vietnam fyi. Osmo gave me the freedom to walk around the city with my girlfriend without taking a long time to setup for stable shots.It’s so easy to get up and film great shots I even let my girlfriend try it. Also the image was in full 4k resolution at aperture f 2.8. For stock footage purposes I was probably one of the first to be filming this city again in 4k resolution. Connecting my Asus android or ipad allowed me to use it as an external monitor to give me comfort I was getting great shots. You can get the osmo here.
That is an affiliate link where I get a small commission, but I am currently using the DJI osmo and fully recommend it for traveling and shooting stock footage in 4k. Check out some of the clips I filmed with the Osmo.
Plans to monetize on this footage
I produce this footage to license it on stock footage agencies. I actually earned about $130 US during this trip from my past trips. I took advantage of this trip to get some interesting footage in Hanoi like Halong bay. I will then publish these videos online to license. If you’re interested in learning more about this you can check out my free stock footage course.
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