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.
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.
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!
2. 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.
Moc 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
During 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