In Hanoi, it is common for travellers to seek places where they can experience the city’s culture in its rawest form and that’s most of the time in the Hoan Kiem District or the Old Quarter. But for those who want to avoid the crowd, discovering not-so-touristy spots is similar to a treasure hunt which often time results to a bountiful reward. In Hanoi, there’s just plenty of these places travellers often overlooked such as the Vinpearl Aquaruim which is the largest in Vietnam and although there’s probably a version of them back home, wouldn’t it be nice to see the Vietnamese work it and how it differs from the ones we’re used to. A little redundant it seems but could be a meaningful way to distinguish the differences in our culture to theirs.
Sample some street foods
Vietnamese is one of the world’s most delicious cuisines and in Hanoi, you need not search hidden corners as those delectable dishes showcasing the flavours of this ancient city in all its variety and tangs is readily available in streets, particularly those found in the Old Quarter. I have always loved Vietnamese cuisine and to wallow on that authentic taste of Vietnam was what I was looking forward to during my visit. Was I disappointed? Hardly the case. It only took a sumptuous bowl of Vietnamese Pho coupled with greens and white rice noodles on the side to satisfy my palate. So if you are in a quest to learn the culture and tradition of Hanoi, start with sampling some of their street foods. Believe me. They are guaranteed to give you a glimpse of what this historical city is truly made of.
Ride a cyclo
Vietnamese on the other hand have cyclos. Cyclos are 3-wheel bicycle taxis in Vietnam and one of its main mode of transportation when travelling to not so distant places. Being a main representation of the Vietnamese way of living, riding a cyclo is one experience that is totally fun and insightful at the same time.
Watch the water puppet show
Water puppetry is a Vietnamese ancient tradition and folk art that originated in the Red River Delta area of Northern Vietnam. Back in the day water puppetry is performed in flooded rice fields. Today, Thang Long Water Puppet Theater is being renowned for its great performance of the ancient art which depicts the story of Vietnamese in the rural areas. Seeing the water puppet show will not just give you a glimpse of Vietnam’s culture but will totally immerse you in it.
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