Looking at so many foreign travelers traveling Hanoi, a schedule of 10 to 9 seems to stay nearby Hoan Kiem Lake , take a day tour to Ha Long Bay one day, breakfast or lunch at "Pho Gia Truyen," also known as the most famous pho restaurant, and beer on the in the evening on the Tha Hien street. When I went to Hanoi on a family trip 10 years ago, I traveled with the same schedule. But now, 10 years later, I introduce my friends to a slightly different course. This course provides a glimpse of the life of the local Vietnamese.
Traveler's Hanoi vs Local Hanoi
If you want to feel Hanoi for locals, I recommend you to go from Lotte Tower to the opposite direction of Hoan Kiem Lake. The National Theater of Vietnam and Hanoi National University are also located opposite Lotte Tower. If the district from Lotte Tower to Hoan Kiem Lake is a kind of traveler's boundary, the opposite is where the locals' living.
You can feel the scent of Vietnam just by walking or riding a motorcycle early in the morning or around Kim ma Street in the evening without going to a specific place. Just like travelers traveling Buddhist countries, get up early to see morning air, if you want to see the morning appearance of Vietnamese locals, they can go near Lotte Tower early in the morning to see variously dressed people(ao dai) spread out to schools, workplaces, and markets. To give you a tip, I recommend you go up to the overpass and take a picture while watching a motorcycle. Compared to taking pictures on the road, the photo can be captured in a three-dimensional way.
A local restaurant
The next restaurant I will introduce is located beyond this Lotte Tower. This place, which is not far from Lotte Tower and can go on foot or use a taxi with the basic fare. it usually open to Vietnamese locals, so the price is not too expensive and the amount is abundant.
The first restaurant is one that is almost impossible to see foreigners. The restaurant, located on the other side of the National Theater, serves a Cha ca la vong made by freshwater fish. The price 10$(200,000 Dong) is more expensive than other Vietnamese food, but it is a hot place where daily dishes are presented with neatness and harmony that are rarely seen in local restaurants. I'm a person who introduces this restaurant as the must-have restaurant in Hanoi. Cha ca la vong is a dish where freshwater fish is marinated in seasonings, stir-fried with various vegetables and special sauce, including dill, and then dipped in peanut sauce or shrimp paste sauce, which is very like or dislike according to taste and boiled rice noodles. The delicacy of this house is tau hu, which is served as a dessert after all the cooking is done. After adding ginger to sugar syrup, it is eaten with lotus tofu, which has an amazing effect of calming the stomach after eating Cha ca la vong.
The second restaurants are those with no specific address. It's something that tourists who are just preparing for a trip to Southeast Asia may wonder, but daily restaurants for the local people. Simply put, street vendors are the main characters. There are countless street vendors in Hanoi, not all of which are delicious, but most restaurants are cheap and well-received, compared to restaurants nearby Lake Hoan Kiem. Like the pictures below, there are places where they do business by only using one machine, and blue plastic chairs and tables. These are places that sell thoroughly to Vietnamese locals. If a foreigner goes there, he or she may suffer from a barrage of questions, such as which country he or she is from and whether he or she lives in Vietnam.
How to find your Good restaurant in Hanoi
A tip to find a delicious local restaurant in Hanoi is to find a restaurant without a clear door. If you want to find a local restaurant with a sign, it's very simple. The places that have a person's name attached to the name of the food are restaurants that sell food to local people.
Relaxing with a cup of coffee
If you want a cup of coffee after finishing your meal at the place you want, why don't you visit a place that feels a little more local than a place like Starbucks? The method of finding is very simple. You can go to the place where a sticker is attached to the door. You don't have to worry if you feel a little dark and humid when you enter. It is showing you entered the right place. The "cong cafe" is a popular place to enjoy Vietnamese coffee and other raw fruit juices and coconut milk at a slightly lower price. I was introduced by my Vietnamese girlfriend for the first time, but it tastes better than I thought. I am looking for it often. Rather than a particular restaurant, you can look for a place where a sticker says "Cafe" in front of the door or where coffee is written on a billboard that looks like iron. Recommended menus are Vietnamese-style ice coffee (Bac Xiu Da). On a hot summer day, this iced coffee will give you the strength to endure the hot Vietnamese summer. If you don't like coffee, sugar cane sold on the street is also one of Hanoi's summer delicacies.
Simple curiosity and a little courage
If you want to get a glimpse of the lives of local people other than food, you need a little courage. It's not the courage to go to dangerous places, but the courage to do things you've never done. There was a time when I was living in Vietnam before I joined the army when I was attracted by simple curiosity and left my precious head to a street barber. After about 20 minutes of work, completed hair satisfied me, and I once went to a language institute with a new look. I still remember hearing my story and saying, "You've crossed the first gateway to become Vietnamese." I think that crossing over the walls of locals and travelers is created by a small challenge that starts with curiosity. If you're going to travel abroad someday, I hope you can challenge yourself if things are making you intrigued while you stay in Vietnam
"Travel is a glimpse into the lives of local people." My name is San Lee South Korea who has been traveling overseas for 10 years in 24 years life. The reason why I write after each trip at this point maybe because of the influence of those traveling books I read in my childhood, or because of my love of text more than video.
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