Hanoi is a city of living history. With a number of historical sites such as the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, which houses the preserved body of Vietnam’s most popular leader, Ho Chi Minh, as well as pagodas and other such attractions. However, this city is not living in the past, as modern day Hanoi can provide you with some fantastic experiences.
Throughout the day you can fill your time with exciting attractions such as the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, which is only a short walk from many other important sites, such as the aforementioned Mausoleum. This citadel is a popular tourist destination, due to its age, with many relics having been found there that date back to the 6th century.
If you fancy some peace and quiet, you can visit Hoan Kiem Lake. This is an excellent place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. You can visit the Ngoc Son Temple which is perched on an island in the middle of the lake, or simply sit by the water and watch the sun go down. This lake is also filled with turtles, making it a place where hours can be spent just sitting and watching.
There are a number of ways to get around Hanoi, from the usual taxis and buses, to the constantly developing train system. You will always be able to find a way to get from A to B. If you feel like being more adventurous, then you can always take a boat or a motorbike taxi.
After nightfall in Hanoi, everyone takes to the streets, to have food, drink and enjoy each other’s company. This “pavement culture” is very popular in the city, with street food stalls being packed with people grabbing a bite to eat. This enables you to really immerse yourself in the culture of Hanoi, and meet new people. However, as far as the gay scene goes, it is rather underdeveloped. There is only one gay bar (GC Bar), but because of this, it attracts a huge crowd and is therefore a great place to meet new people. The friendly atmosphere makes up for the lack of variety, and once the bar closes the locals will be happy to point you in the direction of the best place to go.
The friendly nature of this city makes it an interesting destination for anyone, you can happily spend days floating around the city, meeting new people and seeing the sites. Although the gay scene leaves a bit to be desired, you will have no trouble finding ways to entertain yourself.