Take part in a Hanoi cycling tour to discover the city in one day
- 9 months ago
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Exploring something new is always a great experience for every traveler when going to a new land. However, taking part in your own self-exploring tour is even a way more exciting feeling. Do not worry if you are where you have no clue about because guides have always been a good help. If you are having your journey right here in Vietnam and are wandering around the citadel in a few days, it should be a super cool idea to take a Hanoi charity tour to discover every corner of this amazing place.
1. How do you travel?
In general, compared to Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi is not a big city and sometimes, people are whining about having gone to every entertaining spot in the city such as all the cinemas, cafes, amusement parks, and famous recommended destinations. Some people have even been fed up with the city because there is nothing left for them to discover for Hanoi is such a small citadel. Of course, this is true and at the same time, not exactly true. We think the most exciting part being around Hanoi is that there are so many hidden places such as small alleyways, shared houses of people living in the Old Quarter, and places that are historical sites but have never been mentioned before. And all of them are such fantastic destinations to be added in the bucket list of a Hanoi cycling tour. It is good to take a look through a travel guide but it does not harm if you have come up with a whole new idea for your own self-exploring tour. However, in the meantime, if you have not got any cool idea just yet, this will be a great help.
Beautiful Phan Dinh Phung Street at day
Personally, we think the best vehicle to travel around the city is bicycle because the city is not so big and traveling by bike will help you to catch a clear and full view of the city. Motorbike can sometimes be troublesome because you will need a license (international driving licenses are now valid in Vietnam) and helmet, of course. The thing is that usually, even when you do have a license, you will probably be stopped by a funny “Pikachu” (some of us Vietnamese use this word for a traffic police. However, do not call them this way when you meet them or you will be in big trouble!). They will sometimes ask you to show them your license and relating documentaries; sometimes you can be fined for some crazy faults that fall down from the sky but as people say: “Our land, our rule” so you still somehow have to accept the fact.
Obviously, it is not that bad traveling around by a motorbike but most foreigners do this only when they have been familiar with the city. Therefore, a cycling tour in Hanoi will be the best suggestion that we give this time. Of course, if you register for a tour to travel in the city, most of the case will resort to walking on foot around the Old Quarter. However, when you travel by yourself, bike is a great choice because you do not need any license, you can discover many places in just a short time if you have a detailed itinerary, and it will be the most ideal even if you go alone or with your loved one.
2. Where to get a bike?
People have always fancied the idea of taking a Hanoi biking tour because it is such intriguing and mobile with either fixed or unfixed itinerary of their own. However, the most controversial problem for most foreigners who crave for a self-trip in Hanoi is where they can get the vehicle. Of course, it will be great if you have some Vietnamese friends who are Hanoians and they have just the vehicle you need to offer.
However, the fact has never turned out so well because those vehicles, for example, bike is probably not a suitable kind to use. This is when you will need the help of vehicle rental stores. It is quite funny because as we see, most tourists going to Vietnam travel on foot or use the taxi. When you have such a nice view and a great city to explore, do not just waste the chance by sitting by the taxi’s window. The question now is: where to find those vehicle rental stores? Below are some great places that we have sorted out for you.
VBIKE is a really cool and good bike rental operator that you enables you to rent your bike with a very very cheap price. There are many bike lots of VIBIKE, where you can find to and rent for a bike there. If you have done using the bike, you can go to the same spot and give the bike back. The bike lots open daily from 7.00am to 22.00pm every day and so does the hotline.
Tel: (+84) 24 3993 8186
Price: 3.000vnd/hour/single bike (35.000vnd/day – 150.000vnd/month)
5.000vnd/hour/double-seat bike (50.000vnd/day – 200.000vnd/month)
12.000vnd/hour/mountain bike (100.000vnd/day – 500.000vnd/month)
(Renting fee is not charged from 22.00pm to 6.00am)
Bike lots: Café Mỹ Lan, 44 Quốc Tử Giám Street, Đống Đa District, Hanoi
Electric Power University, 234 Hoàng Quốc Việt Street, Hanoi
University of Labour Social Affairs, 43 Trần Duy Hưng Street, Cầu Giấy District, Hanoi
Alley 36, Tạ Quang Bửu Street, Bách Khoa Ward, Hai Bà Trưng District, Hanoi
Hanoi cycling is the second choice in this list since it has quite a good service and an ideal location near the West Lake. Therefore, if you live near the lake, you can easily walk here and rent for a bike to ride around the lake or any other places that you want with daily rental price ranges from 50.000vnd – 100.000vnd.
Address: 24A lane 81, Lạc Long Quân Street, Tây Hồ District, Hanoi
Tel: (+84) 975 908 227
Price: 50.000vnd (5.00am – 13.00pm and 13.00pm – 21.00pm)
100.000vnd (all day)
3. One-day itinerary for biking around Hanoi
Getting yourself some exercises at the park
Probably, the first thing you would like to do on such a short Hanoi cycling tour around Hanoi is getting up really soon! 5.00am will be an ideal time to catch the whole view of the sunrise in Hanoi. Believe us, it is such a great sensation to see the city slowly opens its eyes when the sun appears at the end of the horizon. It somehow gives you a positive energy and open-minded way of thinking and therefore, your day will be way better. Especially if you live in West Lake area, it will even be more amazing.
Inside Thong Nhat Park
However, do not be sad if you do not because every corner in Hanoi is equally beautiful. Besides, you can always spend some time to have an exercise, most Hanoians, especially the elderly do so. There are a few parks here in case you live near the place and want to go there for a walk. A better way to enjoy the morning is probably walking around your neighborhood and see a different side of this lovely and busy city at day. One more thing, this should only take from half an hour to an hour because you have lots of work to do for the whole day!
- Thống Nhất Park
Address: Đại Cồ Việt Street (main entrance), Hai Bà Trưng District, Hanoi
(Please note that you do not have to pay any entrance fee)
- Cầu Giấy Park
Address: Thành Thái Road, Cầu Giấy District, Hanoi
(Free entrance fee)
- Hòa Bình Park
Address: Phạm Văn Đồng Road, Bắc Từ Liêm, Hanoi
- Indira Gandhi
Address: 16 Láng Hạ Street, Hanoi
(Free entrance fee)
Go rent your bike
After getting done with your exercise, it is time to go rent your bike. At this time, it should be 6.00am. If you attempt to rent for a bike at VBIKE as we mention above, this will be impossible because they open from 7.00am. Therefore, in case you start your Hanoi cycling tour at such an early time like this, Hanoicycling will be a better choice, despite it can be a little bit fall from where you stay. So you can grab a cab, call for a taxi, or book a Grabbike with the Grab app and they will be at your place within a minute. In addition, remember to bring your ID to rent the bike because they usually ask you to put the ID there and deposit money as a guarantee that you will give them back their bike later when you have done using it.
So the fun part has finally started! After you have done with all the renting, plus the time traveling from your place to the rental store, it should be by 7.00am now. So it is breakfast time! Well, the first dish that we will recommend here is definitely Phở! We all know that maybe you have eaten Phở before, but what about Phở Bát Đàn, Phở Thìn, and Phở Lý Quốc Sư? Have you ever heard of them? Because they are really famous Phở brands in Hanoi and have been here at least for hundred years. Both Thìn and Lý Quốc Sư can be found in the Old Quarter, there are also other locations so we will put them all here. You should jot down that these phở restaurants are usually very crowded in the morning, so you should order really quick to get a good seat. In some cases, waiting is happiness!
The delicious Pho
In case you have got enough of Phở, you can always change to other dishes such as sticky rice (Lộc Sticky Rice is really popular), bún chả, rib gruel, bún đậu mắm tôm, bánh mỳ, bún riêu, and so on. You can easily find these dishes at the markets such as Đồng Xuân Market, Bách Khoa Market, Thành Công Market (this is the heaven of food in Hanoi), Mơ Market, etc.
- Phở Thịnh
Address: 39 Tôn Đức Thắng Street, Đống Đa District, Hanoi
- Phở Thìn
Address: 61 Đinh Tiên Hoàng Street, Hoàn Kiếm District, Hanoi
- Phở Lý Quốc Sư
Address: 10 Lý Quốc Sư Street, Hoàn Kiếm District, Hanoi
- Phở Bát Đàn
Address: 49 Bát Đàn Street, Hoàn Kiếm District, Hanoi
Exploring the ancient house in the Old Quarter
Having done with your breakfast? It is time for some adventures! The first destination in this Hanoi cycling tour will be the ancient house 87 Mã Mây in the Old Quarter. Just in case you have not known about this place yet, this will be a great chance to explore it. The house has been for us for hundred years and it still remains great proof of typical Vietnamese architecture. The place until now is in great preserving state and is used for visiting and tourism. After your breakfast, it should be 8.00am or 8.30am so you should take about half an hour exploring and taking pictures of the house. Since the place is not too huge so it will not take much time to visit.
A corner in Ma May Ancient House
- Address: 87 Mã Mây Street, Hoàn Kiếm District, Hanoi
Entrance fee: 10.000vnd/person
Opening hours: 8.00am – 22.00am
Making your way to the amazing temples
After visiting the ancient house, it is time for you to take your time at these amazing temples and pagodas. You can just choose from one of these two or drop by all of them to take some pictures since they are all famous places that you should know. From Mã Mây Street, it only takes you from 5 to 10 minutes to get to those places.
The beauty of Cau Dong Pagoda
The first one of Bạch Mã Temple, which has been here since the time of Emporer Lý about 1000 years ago. The place is quite quiet and you will not see many people here. If you want, you can have a visit but remain quiet because it is a sacred place and avoid taking too many pictures inside. If you want to take some pictures, you can do it at the entrance.
- Address: 76 Hàng Buồm Street, Hoàn Kiếm District, Hanoi
The next one is Cầu Đông Pagoda. If you have been in Hanoi, you will realize that you have spotted this place several times but it seems that it always remains closed. With such a find architecture, the place will leave you with a great impression!
- Address: 38 Hàng Đường Street, Hoàn Kiếm District, Hanoi
Discover Alley 50 Hàng Bạc Street
This alleyway is an amazing place to visit. The whole alley was passionately decorated by a foreign man, who comes to Vietnam for the first time and falls in love with this place. Every small corner of the alley is just a piece of art.
Inside the interesting alleyway
Visiting Ô Quan Chưởng
Ô Quan Chưởng or Quan Chưởng Gate is one of the biggest and most important five gates of the old citadel. Despite the five gates are as significant as one another, it seems that Quan Chưởng Gate is the most popular and many people know its name. Since it is just a gate so it will not take you much time to visit it.
The eternal beauty of O Quan Chuong
Going on discover Hanoi Ceramic Mosaic Mural
On going along Ô Quan Chưởng, on Trần Nhật Duật Road, you will catch sight of the beautiful Ceramic Road created by the hands of the greatest artists in Hanoi.
The gorgeous Ceramic Road
Having bánh tôm Hồ Tây
It should be by noon now. If you have not thought of anything to eat, drop by a restaurant of shrimp cake on the West Lake to taste this delicious dish of Hanoi.
Scrumptious West Lake shrimp cake
- Address: 1 Thanh Niên Street, Ba Đình District, Hanoi
Visiting Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
In the afternoon, you can spend some time dropping by Uncle Ho Mausoleum. The place just opens at the weekends so if you travel on a regular day, it is still a great destination because the atmosphere is suitable for riding around.
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in the afternoon
Address: 2 Hùng Vương Street, Ba Đình District, Hanoi
Discovering Phùng Hưng Mural
Not far from the mausoleum, you will find your way to Phùng Hưng Street where great murals are drawn over the walls. The street has been recently established so it will be a great experience seeing those beautiful murals about the life of Hanoi in the past.
A beautiful mural on the street of art
Dropping by a café on West Lake
There are some really cool cafés around the West Lake so take your time discovering them. Some of them have tremendous lakeview. There are also wonderful cafés and bars just for foreigners with Bohemian style so you could spend your afternoon there. They are all located around the lake so it will not be hard to find. It is wonderful to spend your afternoon here and contemplate the city’s beauty when the sun goes down.
View from 6 Degrees Café – 189 Nghi Tam Street
Get a view of the whole city at night at the Skywalk
After having coffee, you should find yourself some really good restaurants around the West Lake. There are good seafood restaurants there so do not hesitate to go in. Or you can just drop by to have the most delicious rolled Phở at Ngũ Xã such as 31 Ngũ Xã to have your dinner. On spending the rest of your day, the Skywalk at Lotte building is an absolutely suitable place. You can buy a ticket on the first floor of the building for 100.000vnd and they will guide you to the 65th floor of the building. There you can see the whole city at night.
Hanoi at night with the Lotte Tower from afar
Address: 54 Liễu Giai Street, Ba Đình District, Hanoi