Asia Vietnam

Underground Hanoi: What the tour guides won’t show you

January 10, 2017

Drinks & Music at The Doors Cafe

11 Hang Ching, Hang Buom, Hoan Kiem

Often passed by travelers this bar near the center of Hoan Kiem district they play an eclectic blend of music and have themed nights ranging from Nirvana to The Beatles.

Shopping at Underground Market

Hang Da, Cua Dong, Hoan Kiem

Hidden underneath the predominant 3 story Hang Da market in central Hoan Kiem you can find various goods from second hand t-shirts dawning American high school logos, somehow forgotten in time in this strange market. Walk a few more feet you can buy 2nd hand shoes, and a bit further you will find buckets of crabs and fish.

Chilling at Lotte Tower 

54 Lieu Giai Street, Ba Dinh Towering above the skyline in the Ba Dinh district you can catch an amazing sunset over the city (assuming the smog isn’t too bad to not see it). DON’T GO TO THE OBSERVATION DECK. GO TO THE BAR LOCATED ON THE TOP FLOOR. You are charged 200.000 dong for just the view while at the bar you get a complete panoramic view and drink for the same price.

Drinks at Beer Club

Grab a beer tower or two or three…. at one of the many themed beer clubs around the town.

Hanoi’s Art Scene 

Check out one of the local art gallery’s such as Hanoi Creative City, The Zo Project, hit one of the events that are put on at Spacebar like Art Night for Grownups hosted by Phlerp Designs, or check out one of the many events found on

Rooftop Cafe (Cafe Pho Co)

11 Hang Gai, Hoan Kiem

Another gem hidden among the cramped quarters of Hoan Kiem you will find the best view of Hoan Kiem Lake. Under the sign walk through a small alley/doorway, through the few vendors that almost block the entrance and you will walk in to an atrium like area. Order your drink (I suggest a ca phe sua da, an iced coffee with condensed milk, stir well before drinking) and make your way up the various staircases to the rooftop for an amazing view.

Quang Ba Flower Market

Quang An, Tay Ho

If you came here during the afternoon you would only see what looks like the remains of the Saturday market. But every night after 10pm until the wee hours of the morning, it explodes. Over a hundred flower vendors and street food joints come to life serving thousands of locals every night. Walk through the insanity and the attempt to take it all in with a late night snack and a beer.

 Hanoi Rock City 

27 Ngo 52 To Ngoc Van, Quang An Tay Ho

In the heart of Tay Ho you will find a unique mix of art and music. Here you will see dj’s spinning a variety of music from drum and bass, down tempo, deep house, 80’s throwbacks and more from sunset til sunrise, every night. Just a few feet from the crowd the hangs outside downstairs you will see art workshops that often vary depending on the theme of the night. A must hit nightlife spot.

Quest Festival

Son Tinh Island Son Tinh Island, Dong Mo lake, Son Tay, Hanoi

If your lucky enough to be in Vietnam from November 4th-6th, make your way to Quest Festival. It’s an annual music, art, and cultural festival that takes place on the outskirts of Hanoi once a year. Activities range from film contests, live performances, dj’s, and workshops.  Get more info at

Unfinished Apartments

(roughly) 21 To Ngoc Van, Tay Ho, Hanoi

Only a few buildings down from Hanoi Rock City (on the same side of the street) you will find the tallest building in the district, an incomplete apartment building. Head there after you stumble out of HRC (Hanoi Rock City) to catch the sun illuminating the city. You will need to climb over a 3 or 4 meter tall fence and then quietly ascend the stairs as the lower half of the building has squatters living in it and may demand money from you. NOTE: as there is no real address of the building the above address is an estimate. You may need to ask a local in HRC about the exact location. Also, this is trespassing so tread carefully.

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