Continue our journey in Vietnam, here are new things to be written in your to-do list in Vietnam.

3.     Do a food tour on foot in Hanoi

Vietnam is a real paradise for food lovers, and Hanoi will be the royal palace in that paradise. Hanoi’s food is well known for elegance and creative when Hanoian has its flavors and also learns from other areas to improve itself. The street foods in Hanoi are diversity and genuinely delicious. At first glance, most of the foreigner travelers will hesitate because of the cleanness and the safety. But if you choose a reliable street vendor, which gathers many local people, and end with some robust local wine, then you are good to go.

Vietnam is a real paradise for street food lover with many delicious foods

Talking about foods in Hanoi, recently, you will hear the most about “pho” and “banh mi.” They are great and delicious but to make the represent for Vietnam’s food, and it would be too much for them. There are many others thing that could be much more delicious and authentic when talking about the food of Vietnam. You can try a different version of “pho” – the rolling “pho” at Ngu Xa Street. “Bun Thang,” which has more ingredients, would be a good alternative for “pho.” “My Van Than” will be a great example for learning from Chinese food and make our version. And there are many other things you can find to replace the spot of “pho” and “banh mi.”

Moreover, you don’t need to be at the Old Quarter to taste the real street food of Hanoi. It’s only convenient for you because many vendors are gathering in there. The best street food can find at any local street, and each of them has its flavors to keep attractive all walking-by-guests.


4.     Take a rowing boat trip in Trang An

Trang An is promoted to be “Halong Bay on land.” But in my opinion, Trang An is much more beautiful than Halong Bay. You can get so closed to the limestone and feel the real size of them; the air is still fresh and much quieter than Halong Bay. Of course, you need to go on the low season, which avoids the time from 01st Feb to 30th April because this is right after Lunar New Year and local people gathering there for worship and pray.

Trang An is truly deserved the name “Halong on land” (Photo by Asitimes on / CC BY)

In 2017, after the movie “Kong – the skull island” was filming in Trang An, this place has become more popular, and the local people still maintain the set to make it a sightseeing and photo-shoot place. Vietnamese government also put a lot of money to invest in Trang An but still preserve its original.

The rowing boat trip in Trang An is peaceful, and you can see how the local people can row the boat with their feet. It takes about 2 to 3 hours to complete the boat trip, which let you go through some small caves, visit a lovely temple and hearing many interesting stories and myths about Trang An.

5.     Watch the traditional performance of singing on a boat in Hue

For the last five years, when people talk about the center of Vietnam, the most mentioned place will be Son Doong Cave – the largest cave in the world. This cave is genuinely fantastic, and if you can get there, then nothing can compare to this cave. But the truth is, it’s not easy for everyone to visit this cave. The tour price is ridiculously high, and it’s also limited. So when I read many lists which put Son Doong Cave into a must do things in Vietnam, I found it nonsense.

To be a real thing to do, I would instead to visit Hue city instead because you can genuinely go there and experience everything Hue can offer. Speak of Hue, and you will know that this city is famous for the Imperial Citadel and many king’s tombs. The government has done a lot of things to preserve, and I’m proud to say that this is the most protected area in Vietnam.

King’s tombs in Hue are unique to each other and worth to visiting (Photo by Dave_B_ on / CC BY)

You will visit the Imperial and some king’s tombs when you visit Hue. You might also visit Thien Mu Pagoda and makes the boat trip on Perfume River. But besides all of those typical things, I strongly recommend you to spend a night to watch a traditional singing on a boat on Perfume River. There are some others performances in the citadel but I found the one on a boat is more authentic and closer to audiences.

I see that most of the tours for local people will include this activity, while tours in Vietnam for foreigners, the travel agents usually skip this exciting activity. Live performance always offers you a special feeling, even when you don’t understand the words, the sound, and the atmosphere is still high. You will be amazed by how they use two cups as an instrument and how sweet and beauty of the local woman. As a young man, at first, I thought this would be boring and wasted time because it’s quite similar to other traditional art forms in Vietnam. But right after they sang the first note, I was entrained entirely by them. So go ahead for it.