Life Of A Hanoi Expat: Weekend Getaway From The City

Living as a Hanoi expat, many feel lucky that they have found a home in this small tranquil city. However, no city can stand out of the lively working circle. No matter how much you love Hanoi, sometimes the urge to escape its daily busy routine hunts you down, when you eventually found yourself planning for a real “escape”. Well, not because you hate the city, but because the packed schedule tires you out during weekdays.

We, the team of some Hanoian and expats, have some evil suggestions for a weekend getaway from your favorite city – Hanoi.

1. Halong Bay 2-day-1-night cruise trip

Where would you hide after escaping from those noisy and annoying streets? Sea – emerald water below, sunlight above, snugging in a comfortable adirondack chair – you will want to immerse yourself in the peaceful sea. The North of Vietnam might not have some best beaches like the South but the region has a precious gift: the UNESCO World Heritage of Halong Bay that has been world famous for its natural beauty.

Bhaya-Classic-VII-2015-Overview (8)Although 3-day-2-night trip on a giant luxury cruise has been trendy recently, 2-day-1-night escape would be the best option for a weekend getaway. Choose a small boutique boat of 5-7 cabins if you love a cozy and private trip. After all, you’ve already got too much buzz, isn’t it the best to go for the small-cruise concept for more quietness? The new Premium Balcony Cabin has totally nailed it with a private balcony in every room, which gives you your own little space to just chill under the clear sky and sunlight, or read in the sweet sound of your cruise surfing on the water.

Bhaya-Classic-VII-2015-Deluxe-Twin-Cabin (1)However, if you’re more of an outgoing and sociable type, try some bigger cruise with a good crowd to network and be accompanied all the time. A cruise of 20 cabins with around 40 passengers creates and amazing community to blend in. Have some drinks in the bar, sit down for a chit chat with people from all over the world while enjoying the sea breeze on sundeck. Call it a day!

Bhaya-Classic-Relax-on-sundeck2. Road trip to Moc Chau

Have you ever dreamed of a heaven where lies a giant carpet of flowers and greenery? Well, that’s not a dream but the true heaven literally exist in Moc Chau. About 185km from Hanoi, the beautiful town is within the reach of a motorbike, which might take about 5-6 hours. In fact, there’s no better way to relish the scenery than doing a road trip to this famous highland. Feel free to make a short stop wherever you want since every single spot on the way is photography-worthy.

dong-cai-trang-moc-chauMoc Chau has different charm in different time of year, but all related to a certain seasonal flower. From January to March, during the loveliest season of spring, the town is lightened up with the pink blush of peach and plum blossom. Meanwhile, October is the peak season when every hills and fields are ethereally covered by blooming cauliflowers carpet. The fairy land attracts local photographers and backpackers as well as traveler-addicted expats from Hanoi. This scenery, I swear, is something you should revel in at least once in your entire life.

3. Day tour to Duong Lam Village

Duong-Lam-Ancient-VillageDuring your 2 precious days of weekend, you want not only an escape out of Hanoi, but somehow also wish to spend some time to rest at home. Prepare yourself for a day tour to some famous neighbor around Hanoi. One of the most favorite by local and expats is the ancient Duong Lam Village. Located just 40km outside of the downtown, Duong Lam Village is the hidden gem outskirt of Hanoi. A trip to Duong Lam Village is a special journey back to Vietnam traditional culture and architect. The typical ancient agriculture village of the Northern Red River is well preserved through the history. Hundred-year-old houses that were made of red brick are still standing strong, enough to cover a multi-generation family under its roof. The 8-hour-escape might be a splendid experience for you to go deeper into the rich culture of Vietnam

7 Days in Hanoi

Traveling around Vietnam is probably one of the most awesome things a person could do in his or her lifetime. As the tourism industry in this country has improved so much in the last couple of decades, cities like Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh City usually are the main destination stops for travelers. These cities serve as the main portals for them to be able to explore the surrounding areas and see the wonders that this country has to offer.

Hanoi in general is a big and busy city with millions of motorbikes raging from one road to another day in and day out. With so many options of what to do and where to go, it is actually hard to decide which ones are the best to choose as a first time visitor. So for our reader’s benefits, below are some of the many things you could do for a week in Vietnam’s charming capital.

Day 1: Get lost in the Old Quater

Hanoi Old Quater

Hanoi Old Quater

Ha Noi is very well known for preserving not only the old streets of the main area, but also the culture and traditions of being a true Hanoian. Walking around the 36 streets of the old quarter while getting lost in the traffic and in translation will definitely enhance your social skills as a first timer in the city. This is a great way to get to know the real Ha Noi and to get familiarized with its rich history.

Day 2: Devour in unlimited Street food

Hanoi Street food

Hanoi Street food

Another amazing way to experience Ha Noi is to immerse yourself fully with the local culture by eating and socializing like the locals do. Street food in Ha Noi is generally safe but again do not try it if you’re in doubt. Top picks like “Pho Bo”, “Bun Cha”, and “Mien Luon” are just some of the best dishes that you will have to try out while you’re here.

Day 3: Explore the Outskirts

Nhat Tan flower village

Nhat Tan flower village

Since Ha Noi is an enormous city in terms of size and population, you will definitely not run out of things to do during the day. You may visit the Bat Trang pottery village located just a few kilometers across the Red River and make a stopover at the Long Bien Bridge before or after your visit. Continue and end your journey back to the main area and relax in café or restaurantoverlooking Tay Ho, the largest lake in Ha Noi.

Days 4-6: Discover Halong Bay Vietnam

Halong Bay

Halong Bay

A trip to Northern Vietnam will never be complete if you don’t get to see one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. What better way to spend your next three days and two nights doing Ha Long Bay cruises and Ha Long tours. Just three hours outside of Ha Noi, Ha Long Bay Vietnamexudes a different side of the country that is breathtaking and spectacular. It’s the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city.

See more details at: www.bhayacruises.com

Day 7: Shop all you can

The perfect ending for your one week trip in Ha Noi; ranging from locally made products such as ceramics and silk cloths to branded electronics and clothesline, you will never run out of things to buy in Ha Noi. There are plenty of shopping places to go to like the Night Market in the Old Quarter and huge shopping malls located just around the city centre.