It is a known fact that while you are in Vietnam, you need to visit the war museums and have a go at Vietnam’s street food. However, there is so much more that Vietnam has to offer. Take Hanoi for an example – as the capital of Vietnam, it is known for its centuries-old architecture and diversity of ethnic cultures coming in from Northern Vietnam.
As much as there are many sightseeing places to visit, here are 5 unusual activities that our partners in Vietnam can offer (that you should check out!) while you are in Hanoi!
Try a cup of Cà Phê Trứng, also known as Vietnamese Egg Coffee
It may sound absurd to many, because putting egg and coffee doesn’t seem to go well together. This was what many thought, until they tried a cup of Cà Phê Trứng. This egg coffee goes a long way back, when Mr Nguyen Van Giang was working as a barista in Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel. He had run out of milk but then decided to try an alternative method to make the coffee anyway. Ever since he came up with the idea of egg coffee, it garnered a lot of attention from people who prompted him to leave his job to set up his own business.
The ingredients are simple and relatively easy to find in the market, but it can never replicate the original egg coffee made by Mr Nguyen Van Giang as no one except Mr Nguyen himself knows what other ingredients are used to make the delicious cup of egg coffee. If you want to try it for yourself, the ingredients are egg, condensed milk, coffee powder, butter and cheese. Let us know how it tastes!
However, if you really want to try the original egg coffee invented by Mr Nguyen Van Giang, make your way down to the cafe and order a cup of egg coffee!
Address: Cafe Giang, 39 Nguyen Huu Huan Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Book a walking tour that gets you to the best egg coffee in Hanoi, here: http://actxplorer.com/tripDetails/96499
2. Learn how water puppets are made
Have you ever attended a water puppet show while you were in Hanoi? If your answer is no, you are definitely missing out on the fun! Water puppet performances have been existing since the 11th century. When the rice paddies are flooded with water, this ingenious art form came to live. As a form of entertainment back in the days, the villagers would stand in the waist-deep water and performed with their hand-made dolls. It is very intriguing when you see the artists handle the puppets so delicately in the water to showcase an outstanding performance.
Do you want to be more than a spectator, say, learning the tips and tricks on how to make the puppets, paint them, and then perform with them? If so, you should definitely sign up for the workshop with Performing Arts Revival Theatre (PART)!
PART is the hub for development and marketing of the different genres of traditional performing arts in Vietnam and they work hard to keep this puppet art alive and popular among many. Get the chance to learn from them and bring home a water puppet that you painted on your own! Knowing intimately how the puppeteers work to make the puppets come to live and put up a good performance, you will definitely learn to appreciate this unique traditional art form even more!
Sign up with them here, http://actxplorer.com/tripDetails/210777
3. Learn about traditional Vietnamese herbs in the dark
If you have a spare day free from activities, consider making your way down to the traditional medicinal village of Dai Yen in Hanoi! As part of an initiative of empowering the blind by Dao’s CARE, visitors are required to put on blindfolds while going through certain portions of this experience. It emphasises the resilience of the staff and the importance of giving opportunities for the blind to gain employment.
You can also choose to relax and chill at Dao’s CARE Spa Centre – where herbal tea is served and there is massage by the amazing therapists of Dao’s CARE!
Forget about shopping for a day, spend a day in Dai Yen to learn and relax!
You can sign up to learn about traditional herbs with them here, http://actxplorer.com/tripDetails/215514
4. Go for a farmstay
Time to ditch a few days of staying in the hotel for something more personal, take a few days to stay at the farm and interact with the locals!
While staying in fancy places can be enjoyable, it often does not expose us to the culture of the country and we have little interaction with the locals. When we travel overseas to another country, it is always fun when we get to know the locals better and make a friend or two.
Likewise, you can avoid the crowd and go for a farm stay experience to admire the beauty of Hanoi! The host of the farmstay, Uncle Ty was born and raised in Dong Bai Village in 1964. As a proud person of Muong ethnicity, Uncle Ty is always keen to share about his culture with people from different parts of the world. Through the two days spent with Uncle Ty in the village, I’m sure you will definitely create a lot of wonderful memories!
Staying in this cottage will make you feel at home, because the villagers are so hospitable and welcoming, you wouldn’t want to leave after that! In the cottage, there are comfy beds for you to sleep on after a long day out with the villagers.
Apart from getting to know the villagers, you can also try rice farming with them or go for a trek. Want to find out more? Check out our website for more information!
Sign up with us for the farmstay here!
5. Go on a street food hunt on bikes
Are you a fan of Vietnamese cuisine? Then you need to try the street food in Hanoi! The food is usually cheap and very delicious and satisfying, while burning a much smaller hole in your pocket as compared to dining in restaurants and cafes.
The hosts are very hospitable, love their local street food a lot, and will bring you to their favourite parts of Hanoi, and sites of historical significance for the locals. And they ride safely.
The riders and guides for the night are university students. Many of them are majoring in Tourism and Hospitality, so this street food bike is also an opportunity for them to put into practice the theories learnt, develop their confidence in speaking English to foreigners, and earn some extra income while studying. It makes the whole eating experience much more meaningful. You end up leaving with a satisfied stomach and new found friends!
You can sign up with us here, http://actxplorer.com/tripDetails/1106
Without a doubt, Hanoi is a beautiful place to be in. It has affordable and yummy food, friendly locals and beautiful scenery. Once you have visited Hanoi, you will definitely want to come back for more. If you have a few days free from activities, check us out and fit in some activities in your itinerary!
You can use the promo code ‘TRAVELWLOCALSSS’ for a 5% discount when you book with us and we assure you that we will provide you with the best local experience!