Hanoi is a bustling city with so much to do and see. Yet, sometimes people miss some of the best things Hanoi has to offer whilst ticking off all the major tourist attractions. Here is a list of the best hidden places in Hanoi you may not know and are definitely worth a visit!
1. Phung Hung Art Project
The Phung Hung Art Project is a collaboration between Vietnamese and South Korean artists in celebration of 25 years of diplomatic relations. These beautiful paintings leading up to the famous Long Bien Bridge depict traditional and modern life in Vietnam. The aim of the project is to create a space for locals and tourists to enjoy. These beautiful pieces of art have revived a once dull looking wall on the outskirts of the bustling Old Quarter into a vibrant and interactive attraction.
2. Quang Ba Flower Market
Away from the tourist hub of the Hanoi Old Quarter, you’ll find an area called Tay Ho. This area tends to attract all the expat teachers living in Hanoi. However, right in the center of Tay Ho, you can find the bustling wholesale flower market, where majority of Hanoi flower sellers source their produce. However, there is a catch to experiencing this market in all its glory. The flower market is actually pretty quiet during the day but is most active and vibrant in the early hours of the morning, before the sun rises. Between 2am and 5am, where cyclists and motorbikes line up along Au Co to snatch up the lushest and freshest blooms.
If you are looking for some tours that take you to the hidden places which are less touristy, I highly recommend you these tours below. The local female guides are so friendly that you shouldn’t miss.
West Lake Hanoi Half Day Tour
Duration: around 4 hours
3. Truc Bach
Truc Bach is a quiet area right next door to the bustling Old Quarter. The Old Quarter is known to be the best place to view the mixture between the French colonial buildings and the Vietnamese culture. However, Truc Bach is the perfect setting to do the same but with less people, bikes and chaos. Additionally, the bright and beautiful Cua Bac Church can be found in Truc Bach, which can be found at 56 Phan Đình Phùng. As you step outside the church gates, you’ll find yourself on a road lined with beautiful old trees and traditional French buildings. Additionally, the Trac Bach Lake has great relevance within the Vietnamese War, which you can read all about in the Hoa Lo Prison.
4. Ceramic Wall
Although the Ceramic Wall is not exactly hidden, its sheer length is the part that people miss. This World Record breaker extends for approximately 4km’s and displays different periods of Vietnam’s history. The aim of the wall was to brighten up the dilapidated area that runs along the Red River dyke. It has certainly succeeded in doing so as the sun glistens off the brightly coloured tiles whilst you drive along the main road. We suggest taking a walk along the wall to experience it in all its glory. However, be careful of the zooming traffic right next to you!
5. The Blockhouse
The Blockhouse is a makeshift cafe run by a Vietnamese family right next to an old war blockhouse. They have placed straw mats on top of the blockhouse, which overlooks West Lake, over which the sun sets. You can order anything from fresh fruit juices to coffee to beers. As the Blockhouse is situated in Tay Ho, where many expats live, customers are a mix between locals and expats. It’s so hidden that there are very few photos available that accurately depict this place.
6. Local Exercise Around the Lake
Join the locals in the early hours of the morning as they practice their Tai Chi around the lake, jog through the streets and cycle around the city. The Vietnamese are early risers and enjoy being active before the heat sets in. As a tourist, a nice and easy place to witness this is around the Hoan Kiem Lake, in the Old Quarter. Feel free to join in and get your daily dose of fresh air and movement in.
7. Tay Ho Flower Valley
This beautiful garden is filled with hundreds of flowers, which are most beautiful between September through to March. This stunning garden can be found at Nhat Tan, Tay Ho, Hanoi according to Google. The gardens are a lovely place to escape the hustle and bustle of the Old Quarter.
8. Street Art
Hanoi isn’t exactly known for its street art but you’ll be pleasantly surprised to know that there are some beautiful pieces of street art around the city, often in places you don’t expect. As you take a stroll along the railway tracks on Train Street, you’ll find some very interesting pieces dotted between the various cafes. Yen Phu Street is home to a beautiful piece of a young woman and you can also find another piece along the road adjacent to Truc Bach Lake, named Truc Bach Street.
Hanoi is a fascinating city that we urge travelers not to miss! This list of the best places in Hanoi you may not know will guide you to having a more interesting and fun trip.