HANOI Travel Guide: Know Before You Go | Little Grey Box

HANOI Travel Guide: Know Before You Go | Little Grey Box

Hey you guys Phoebe here from Little Grey Box
with Matt behind the camera Are you planning a trip to Hanoi? (music) Known as the heart of Vietnam Hanoi is the country’s capital city and is actually
one of the most ancient in the world with lovely locals an incredible food
scene and a welcoming atmosphere it is an affordable and fun destination for
travellers To help you travel well in Hanoi here are a few things we think you
really need to know before you go Hanoi is located on the banks of the Red River
around 1700 kilometres north of Ho Chi Minh City and it is known as the heart
of Vietnam for a few reasons including its geographical location. There is a
population of around 7.7 million people that call Hanoi home so expect to see
lots of others when you are visiting you’re also going to see a
few different cultural influences including French, Chinese
and even Russian the local currency is the
Vietnamese dong Now to give you an idea
One US dollar is equal to roughly around 23,000 Vietnamese dong you guys
and I would recommend right from the get-go that you download a currency
conversion app that you can use offline Matt and I always use XE currency
because it is free and it just helps us get our heads around the difference in
currency, I mean going from $1 to 23,000 Vietnamese dong can be a little bit
mind-boggling We flew to Hanoi with Singapore Airlines direct from Singapore and the flight
time was roughly around 3 hours and 25 minutes. We wholeheartedly
recommend Singapore Airlines we fly with them and work with them a fair bit and
we always love their service their entertainment and their food is yummy too
Now our trip took us from Brisbane to Singapore and then Singapore to
Vietnam so if you can I would absolutely recommend having a layover in Singapore
so you can do a few of those big ticket things like check out Gardens by the Bay
and Jewel at Changi Airport As Aussies, we absolutely needed a
visa to enter Vietnam, now I do understand that you can do them on
arrival if you like, that’s not something I would ever feel comfortable doing I’m
a very organized person so Matt and I sorted ours out before we left
You can do it online and if you are going to do it online make sure you are going
through the correct website when I searched in Google for Vietnam or Hanoi
Vietnam visa there were lots of results and I have a feeling that the vast
majority of them would overcharge you and they would add some kind of
processing fee so that they could make a profit off you not really understanding
which is the right website to find the right website as Australians we
use the Smart Traveller website and that has a direct link to the correct Vietnam
Embassy in Australia website Now you can do it online or if you feel comfortable
you can obviously put your passports in the post and post them in to get
your visa, we wanted to hold onto our passports so we just went with the online
application process it was easy and fast We visited in early August on
our most recent trip and the weather was hot and humid with lots of rain I’ve visited Hanoi a couple of times and the best weather I’ve ever experienced
was during the winter season now that takes place, or the visit I had, took
place in January it was nice and cool the days were dry but when I say cool it
wasn’t cold maybe like a little scarf over the shoulders but other than that
beautiful weather. Now we visited a couple of times like I said and we’ve
actually had our Halong Bay trip cancelled on us two or three times due to terrible
weather out in Halong Bay so just keep that in mind when you are
planning your trip By far the best way to get around Hanoi if you need transport is using Grab
now that is an app you are going to need to install into your phone, not only
is the price fixed it is cheaper than local taxis and in our experience Grab
rates were almost half the price of taxis we flagged on the street. But if
you are downloading Grab and you are going to go with that option make sure
you set it up before you leave home we didn’t and then I had to get one of my
sisters to register for us using her mobile number because we don’t have an
international sim. If you are staying in and around the Old Quarter getting around
on foot is no trouble whatsoever just make sure that you have a maps app
that you can use offline Google Maps is one option but personally
when I know I’m gonna be offline all day I prefer maps.me, totally free, download
the maps before you go and you can even search and plan your route
while you’re offline I do just want to touch on one thing to do with taxis and
that is scams they are real and it did happen to us on our most recent visit
but thankfully we’re a little bit more experienced travellers now so this guy
tried to shake us down and we weren’t having it we did get in we asked him to
run the meter we drove a very short distance and I think the rate that he
was after was something like 450,000 Vietnamese dong which is just obscene
for the 10 minute drive we took he did kind of lock the car doors on us and he
wanted that 450,000 but we were very calm and just said to him that is not
happening good sir. He even had the gall to ignore us, put on YouTube and watch a
show that wasn’t even from our Channel who does he think he is? Now we spoke to a local later
and while we were able to handle ourselves just fine his advice
was very interesting he said you know what the locals don’t want to see
tourists get ripped off because it’s just not good for everybody’s business
so if you do find yourself in that situation stay calm if you can wind down
the windows and just start yelling for help, cause a scene, people will come and help you and they will certainly tell
the taxi driver off and if all else fails you make them drive you to a
police station because they won’t The cops have no tolerance
for this kind of thing they will step in and make sure
the tourists are protected Like I said, we’ve visited a few
times and every time our experience is the same the locals
are so lovely we feel so genuinely welcome we are greeted with big smiles and
friendly hellos everyone we meet is always so nice… except the
occasional taxi driver maybe but we always have a great experience
we feel safe, we feel welcome, we feel at ease It’s an affordable destination it’s friendly
it’s fun there’s so much history it’s just a part of Southeast Asia I love to
go back to time and time again and in contrast to some other places where I
find a lot of street vendors kind of yell out to you and try to
get your attention I find Hanoi to be a little more low-key
it’s a little more relaxed and I really like that With the basics out of the way
let’s dive into a few more specific tips that you really
should know before you go to Hanoi In Matt and my’s experience we can go out
for dinner have entree, main, dessert and a couple of beers and end up paying
around 20 Australian dollars total It is so affordable and that would be even
cheaper if you’re eating at street food spots Be sure to immerse yourself in the
world of local Vietnamese treats I mean there is just so many good flavours
that you need to try you should definitely sample the
Vietnamese coffee including egg coffee it’s not for me but I know that Matt
likes it try things like a Bún chả oh my goodness. Bánh mì… yes, make sure you’re
trying Vietnamese rice paper rolls and really immersing yourself
in those local flavours We did two scooter tours on
our trip to Hanoi recently and we loved them. You will
see there are a lot of scooters on the roads in Vietnam and
when you’re on the back of a scooter you really feel like you’re part of local
life and it’s just a really great way to cover a lot of ground see a lot of
things you may not have been able to otherwise and have that really
authentic local experience When it comes time to pack I would really
recommend that you wear closed-in shoes I wore sandals one day and as you will
soon discover life in Hanoi really is played out on the streets so your
streets can also be a kitchen area So there is a chance that you could stand
on a few mucky bits and pieces, I felt much better when I had closed in shoes on
but as we were visiting in the rainy season I didn’t want to get my sneakers
wet so I did have to wear sandals that could get wet so just keep that wet
weather in mind when you are packing I would also recommend that you pack a bit
of wet weather gear maybe a poncho that you can reuse we were forced to use
single-use plastic ones because we were caught out and I really regret it I’m
really trying to cut down on my single-use plastics. An umbrella is a
great idea for walking around the streets. Vietnamese culture is quite
conservative… the times I’ve gone there when I’ve worn clothes that have covered
my shoulders and my knees and my midriff the locals have actually commented to me
about it and said oh thank you so much for dressing respectfully so it really
does mean something to them and if you are visiting temples just keep that in
mind because you may need to wear an outfit that does cover your shoulders
midriff and your knees as well One important thing we really need
to talk about is crossing the street the first time Matt and I went to
Hanoi we were so intimidated There are tens of millions of registered
motorbikes in Vietnam they are everywhere, they are king of the streets
and they do not stop for you So here’s how you cross the street…
with confidence Obviously you wanna time
your run and don’t just step out in front of a scooter with
reckless abandon make sure there’s a little bit of a break and then step out
confidently and walk at the same pace don’t jink and stop and go back and run
and scream but be safe you guys make sure you were safe about it and if you
are really unsure do what I always do which is wait for a sweet old lady or a
lovely local auntie to walk and then just shimmy along beside them So you can’t drink the tap water in Vietnam but most hotels will supply you with bottles
of water in your room anyway be sure to refill those at the hotel buffet and
safe water spots wherever you can and preferably if you’re able to buy your
own really big bottle of water so you are cutting down on the number of
plastic bottles that you use Now I have never personally seen it happen
it has never happened to me but it did happen to a friend of mine she was in Hanoi
walking through the most busy intersection and she had her bag hanging
off her quite loosely she was distracted she was looking at some of the sites and
a scooter pirate came past the guy on the back grabbed the bag and they just
kept going and it was gone there’s no getting that back once it happens to you
We always make sure that our bags are on us securely we keep things to the front
of us if we’re in a crowded busy popular area and we’ve visited four or five times Feel free to haggle with
your street vendors But one thing I would just say
is don’t go too far I mean you know we come from a place where we have
financially more than the people that we’re meeting in Vietnam may have, so we
don’t try to rip anybody off or you know get a price that’s so cheap
it’s ridiculous There is so much beauty in and around the area and it’s so easily
accessible with a day-trip so make sure you take advantage of that.
Day trips I have done are out to the Perfume Pagoda which is just stunning Ninh Binh which is known as
the ‘Halong Bay on Land’ which is beautiful and just such an easy
day trip to do and finally Halong Bay itself I personally recommend
two nights because the drive out there is quite long you get on the boat it’s a whirlwind and then you’re off again the next morning before you know it so if your budget and time allow
definitely go with two nights in Halong Bay Now you guys I’ve just
summarized everything for you here in this video but we have so
many great written guides for you and we’re gonna link all of those below so
if you do want more information you do want to delve a bit deeper you want to
know more about Halong Bay or what to pack where to stay in Hanoi check the links below
and they are going to help you out Well with that, that brings this
video to an end I hope you have enjoyed it very very much, now if you don’t
already be sure to subscribe and say hello in the comments below have a great
weekend and I will see you next week love ya!

28 thoughts on “HANOI Travel Guide: Know Before You Go | Little Grey Box

  1. Great video! I'm visiting there in less than a month, and I'm super exciting. I did get a little chuckle out of the taxi part where you said the first thing is to remain calm and then roll down your windows to scream for help. 😂

  2. Hey Crush !! U travelled alot. Whats your fav country to visit!! It is difficult to choose 1 so u can choose 5 your fav countries!!!🤗❤💕

  3. Ha, you're the same type as me, very organised! I always want everything clear and in order, if possible months before travelling 😅. Maps.me has been my lifesaver in Curaçao (if you haven't visited, make sure to do so!) Thanks for the helpful tips and have a great weekend! ✌️

  4. I miss hanoi! Every part of our hanoi trip was amazing except for one taxi ride. We paid 650,000 dong for a 15min. taxi ride. Lesson learned, always make sure to download grab.

  5. Also.. I noticed if you select Entry and Exit option. You have 2 available choices for Visa Application.
    One is E-Visa, which is $25USD or Approx $37AUD which is a link provided thru SmartTraveller webiste https://www.xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn (Didn't do this one as I followed your advise and instead went to the vietnamembassyvisa website which charge a Whooping $99 AUD per person
    The problem is you don't see/receive the Payment cost in the vietnamembassyvisa webiste until after you have filled out all the details and Submitted the application form.
    They send you the Cost via email… What's that about

    This is an excerpt of what is sent via email

    Dear Applicant,

    Further to the first email, this is the instruction for the payment by BANK TRANSFER as follows:

    Please transfer the total fee to the bank account of the Embassy.

    Total Fee = Visa fee/person x number of applicants + 8 AUD postage fee

    Below is the list of visa fees in AUD:

    Length of stay Number of entries Fee per adult Fee per child under 12

    1 month Single $99 $90

    1 month Multiple $140 $135

    3 months Single $130 $125

    3 months Multiple $170 $165

  6. Have never commented on Youtube in the last 10 years but have to comment on this one. Phoebe, you did wonderful on these Hanoi videos for my native country. I thought you were not going to cover the drinking water, cross walk, and scooter pirates but you did. I like your Ninh Binh video too. Matt, you did a spectacular job on videoing and editing. Happy Birthday to you Aussie!

  7. Super helpful tips! I love listening to you talk! You’re so pleasant! I wish i give off the same vibe lol Anyway will be there in 2 weeks! I appreciate all the information ure sharing =)

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