24 hours in Hanoi, Vietnam

I arrived in Hanoi after midnight because my flight was delayed. With blurry vision, I stumbled over to the visa counter to get the visa sticker thing. It was pretty painless and after a stamp, baggage claim, airport pick-up, and sim card purchase – I arrived at my hotel a little after 2 am. I only had one day in Hanoi so I made sure I didn’t sleep in too much the next day. Hello, five hours sleep! After my hotel brekkie, I was out the door into the steaming pits of hell a.k.a Hanoi in summer.


  1. Hoan Kiem Lake & Ngoc Son Pagoda

I was overwhelmed stepping out into the Old Quarter. It was loud, hot, and crowded. I headed for Hoan Kiem Lake straight away because I knew it would be a little more peaceful and I was right. Had a yummy first Vietnamese coffee looking over the lake at the island after walking around for about 30-minutes.


2. St Joseph’s Cathedral

Next, I headed to St. Joseph’s Cathedral and it was beautiful. The street leading towards the cathedral is also worth a visit. Lots of trees, cute cafes, and popular restaurants.


3. Vietnamese Women’s Museum

After grabbing a quick mango juice from a cute café, I headed for the Women’s Museum. It’s a wonderful collection dedicated to the history of the Vietnamese women and a great gift shop where I picked up some awesome presents (for myself).


4. The Hoa Lo Prison Museum

No rest for the wicked! I was exhausted by the heat but headed to my final destination of the morning, Hoa Lo Prison Museum. It’s a great museum and I couldn’t recommend it enough. They’ve put loads of effort in to make it as informative as possible. Definitely not to be missed.


5. Giang Cafe (not really)

After an hour break at my hotel, I was back out in search of an egg-coffee. My original plan was to go to Giang Cafe where it originated but it was too busy without AC. Not going to happen. I ended up going to a Cong café which was cute but HOT.


6. Themed Streets of Old Quarter/Railroad

Tracking down a cool spot to view the famous railway proved quite difficult and it made me a little underwhelmed by the end of it. There are so many tourists and it’s littered with trash. Worth a stop but don’t dedicate hours to it.


7. Dinner Time in Old Quarter

Dinner was some spring rolls while being interrogated by locals on how I travel by myself. They were completely shocked and terrified for me. Such a cool interaction with the locals though.


How to get around Hanoi

I walked everywhere and never once took a taxi. Personally, I like to see places on foot and I saw how small/doable this was so I went for it. It’s extremely hot in summer and you do tire pretty quickly. There were other places I wanted to see but I literally hit a wall at around 6:30 pm. I also had a 6:30 am start the next morning to Sapa so I wanted to save my strength.

Would I recommend Hanoi?

Absolutely, but only for a day or two. It’s quite small and there are other places to explore, but I feel like I would be ready to move on after two days. It’s loud and chaotic but I understand if you wanna party because that’s the vibe at night for sure. I am returning to Vietnam in December but it will be down south, however, if I ever return to Hanoi I would love to see them:

Dong Xuan Market

The Ancient House

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

The Temple of Literature

Excited to bring you Part 2 of Vietnam with my Sapa experience!

Love from,

Lamb xx

One Comment

  • chantal

    August 10, 2019 at 01:12

    Yes, I still read your blog. I’m glad you enjoyed Vietnam. We spent several weeks there in February. When you go back, it’s a little hard to travel the South. Busses are irregular, and Grabs are unreliable. Get a scooter, it’s easy and safe and it provides you with a world of freedom. I enjoyed DaNang, but on scoot, and Hoi An was lovely as well(a lot of tourists), but the Spanish Ancient town was really beautiful. Try get a place with a pool, the Ocean doesn’t cool you down much.
    What travellers do is buy a scoot, scoot Vietnam and sell the scoot to a backpacker wherever you finish.
    There are also companies that have basis in Hoi An and Ho Chi.
    Definitely do the Chu Chi tunnels and the Mekong Delta in Ho Chi..Yes touristy, but well worthit. The war museum is very informative, but very graphic.
    Enjoy Vietnam


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