For 91 Days in Hanoi

Adventures, anecdotes and advice from three months exploring Hanoi

For 91 Days we lived in Hanoi, capital of Vietnam. We had just spent the previous 91 days in South Vietnam, and couldn’t leave without dedicating the same amount of time to the north. With some of the most bizarre nature we’ve ever seen, a fascinating culture, and incredible food, Hanoi and the northern half of the country provided us plenty of adventure for three months.
Whether you're planning your own journey to Vietnam, or just interested in seeing what makes it such a special city, our articles and photographs should help you out.

After One Month in Hanoi

Hanoi is a city in which first impressions can be totally inaccurate... especially if you've just come from South Vietnam. The relaxed and friendly demeanor of Saigon is nowhere to be found here, and the initial feeling we had wasn't positive. But after a month, we started to understand the city on its own terms, and not just in comparison to Saigon.

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Văn Chương, West of the Train Station

The majority of visitors to Hanoi probably have no idea how large it actually is, because they never leave its core of Hoan Kiem Lake and the Old Quarter. Tourism goes from critical inside this sphere, to practically non-existent just outside it. By any reckoning, a neighborhood like Văn Chương should at least have some foreign visitors, even if it's just those who have gotten lost. From a map, it's still in the dead center of Hanoi! But nope. We didn't see a single one, despite spending an entire day here.

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The Ho Chi Minh Museum

Opened in 1990 on the occasion of his 100th birthday, the Ho Chi Minh Museum in Hanoi is found within the same complex as his mausoleum. The museum is heavy on symbolism and does an excellent job introducing and celebrating Vietnam's most famous historical figure.

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The Forging Village of Đa Sỹ

Hanoi is surrounded by hundreds of so-called craft villages; communities which have historically dedicated themselves to a particular craft. Though they've lost much of their prominence in the modern age of industrialization and mass production, and many have been consumed by the expansion of Hanoi, some of them are still plugging away. One such place is the forging village of ?a S?, thirteen kilometers to the southwest of the capital. This wasn't the first craft village we'd…

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