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Find out all about Hanoi and around or share with us your time in Vietnam here

We are more than happy to share with you the interesting things to see, to do or just what is happening in and around Hanoi . You can also share with us your own favourite moments from your stay in Vietnam 🙂

The cold Snap- Hanoi weather in January

Although most people do not believe it until they experience it, Hanoi is cold in winter (January and February time). Actually, from late autumn/November time you will see Vietnamese starting to wear big puffer jackets and heavier clothing any time it drops below 25°C...

Back of the Bike

Back of the bike! The main mode of transportation in Vietnam is most definitely the motorbike. All the staff at see you at Lily’s have (at least) one, and there are a registered 37 million bikes in Vietnam. They are used for everything, from a way to get the whole...

The Open Bus

One of the more popular ways for budget travellers to go from north to south is with an open bus ticket, and here at see you at lily’s (of course) we can help you with organising this.  The options for places to stop are: Hanoi Ninh Binh Phong Nha or Dong Hoi Hue Da...

More Banh for your buck

It is basic marketing dynamics that if a products is flooded into a market, the price is driven down as the retailers in the over saturated market try to compete.  This can cause excesses amongst consumers, such as happened with opium from China in Hong Kong and...

The long nail & whisker

Despite sounding like a good name for a pub this is actually a post about cultural cosmetic trends in Vietnam. “What is the long finger nail about?” is an oft asked question in See you at Lily’s hostel.  There is a trait among people of Vietnam to grow their little...

Travelling Solo

A recent discussion in the chill out area of see you at lily's hostel was about whether it is better travelling alone or with someone.  This week’s blog is dedicated to travelling solo Let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first. Being the only person in a 12 bed...

Foreign language books

We have a book swap in See You at Lily’s hostel, which proves to be pretty popular, but if you are looking for a larger selection you can check out some of these places: Anna’s office- 50 Ngo Huyen - further down the road from our hostel, they have a lot of local...

Vietnamese Ice cream spots in Hanoi

Ice cream of Hanoi Introduction Most of the year Hanoi is a hot, and often humid city.  Therefore Ice cream is a popular treat, and there are some very interesting flavours available, and some interesting styles of serving it.             Here at See you at Lily’s...

Lost property

As you would expect, a lot of things get left at See you at lily’s hostel, as at any other hostel. Our top 5 random left items are: A suitcase- We decided that the person changed their mind from being on holiday to being a traveller, and dropped the suitcase for a...

5 hidden charm spots in Hanoi

  1. Bat Trang (Bát Tràng) Pottery Village: When visiting Bat Trang, you can see many ceramic stores along the road in the village, and you can also visit Bat Trang Porcelain and Pottery Market where you can make pottery products yourself.
  2. Duong Lam (Đường Lâm) ancient Village: Nowadays, there are numerous ancient aspects maintained in Duong Lam village such as port village, trees, courtyard, temples, well, water fields…
  3. Ancient House in the Old Quarter: It is a replica, built the end of the 20th century, with typical architecture of ancient houses.
  4. Quang Ba (Quảng Bá) Night Flower market: Is the wholesale flower market with plenty of colourful and freshly picked flowers. This is also an amazing spot for a late night snack.
  5. Long Bien (Long Biên) bridge: the most special bridge with unique historic, architectural, and culture merits. It is the only bridge in Hanoi where all the motorbikes have to drive on the left hand side…

5 top bars in our view, check them out or share with us which other bars you like (:

  1.  Fat Cat Bar, 25 Ta Hien- amongst the throng of Bia hoi places this is a great small bar, good music, and shisha.  We recommend you sit upstairs on the half height floor, and lean over to order your drinks from the bar (don’t fall)!
  2. 3 Ma May, a bia Hoi corner, run by a lady called chi Ha.  About $0.30 a beer, with a cool mix of locals, expats and travellers.  Beer snacks available (don’t order the chicken cartilage by accident- ask for the English menu).
  3. Beer 2ku – 61 Lương Ngọc Quyến, We love this place mostly because they serve the local Vietnamese dark beer (Dai Viet Den).
  4. O’Leary’s – 38 Ba Trieu– a walk south of Hoan Kiem lake, it is a good spot for watching sports, screens wherever you look, and they can show most things you ask for (hurling included)!
  5. 1900 – Ta Hien, though we are not major fans of EDM the Vietnamese crowd here are always having fun and the place is always packed!

5 most special but secret specialty in Hanoi

  1. Banh com and Com (Bánh cốm, Cốm): Green Rice Flake Cake and Green sticky rice are the specialty in the autumn and remind everyone here about the ancient times of Hanoi.
  2. Bánh mì chảo (Bánh mì chảo): Try the fusion style of bread eaten with a hot plate of chips, pate, sausage and egg with very good tomato sauce!
  3. Coconut Ice cream: The ice cream served inside a Coconut with plenty of other things like cherries, dried coconut, fresh slices of coconut…
  4. Deep fried stuff: Tasty fried savoury doughnuts that can be dipped in fish sauce, with pickled papaya
  5. Bo Bia Ngot (Bò bía ngọt): Which does not originate from Ha Noi, but is etched in the memory of all of Hanoians from when they were children.