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Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi

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Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi

Old 20th Dec 2014, 11:22
  #1 (permalink)  
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Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi


Off to Viet Nam in Feb with the wife and 2 early 20's kids. There days in Ho Chi Minh, then off to Hanoi (Yes we will be doing a Halong Bay 2 day/1 night thing)
Appreciated if anyone can pass on hotel and dining experiences in both cities? Budget is fairly decent so no problem with a 4/5 star joint, but looking for a good street food experience. Any advice much appreciated… Cheers!

Left Coaster is offline  
Old 23rd Dec 2014, 14:09
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Join Date: Jan 2007
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Visited a few years ago and much preferred Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh. In Hanoi don't discount avoiding a swanky hotel and looking for a boutique hotel or even a homestay in the Old Quarter. We paid less than $40 a night and had a great time in a clean, authentic place with internet and jacuzzi included. Sorry, can't remember the name!
As for food, it is hard to go wrong. Plenty of great French/Asian fusion places. More upmarket in Ho Chi Minh and more authentic in Hanoi.
I'm sure you will enjoy both places!
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Old 24th Dec 2014, 08:49
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Stayed in the Metropole a few years ago - c'est magnifique

Hotel Metropole Hanoi, Vietnam luxury hotel in Hanoi - Sofitel Legend
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Old 1st Jan 2015, 08:15
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Left Coaster,

I came back from eight years in Saigon in October. I know Saigon and Hanoi very well.

I agree with Willi B - the Metropole is the best choice for an upmarket stay in Hanoi - there is the old wing and the new wing. My preference is the old wing - much more character. Next alternative would be the Hilton Opera, not to be confused with the "Hanoi Hilton", which was the POW prison and is now a museum.

An alternative is one of the many boutique hotels in the Old Quarter, which I find much more interesting (and cheaper of course). I can recommend the Hanoi Moment Hotel, 15 Hang Can Street, having stayed there twice. If you book, request an upper floor room - WITH WINDOWS. Many newer small hotels in Vietnam have rooms with no windows, which I find distinctly unsafe. A room at the front has a more interesting view and is not too noisy.

In Saigon, my favourite luxury hotel is the Caravelle, which is right by the Opera House in the centre of District 1. Alternatively, a river-view room at the Rennaissance (about 500 m south).

There are lots of boutique hotels in District 1. Have a look at Tripadvisor for three star hotels within about 500 m of the Caravelle or slightly further west in the streets north of Ben Thanh Market. PM me for advice on any hotel that you like the look of.

I'll follow up with a restaurant list.

If there is any flexibility in your Ha Long Bay plans, I would recommend a three day/two night trip. The two day/one night trip is a bit rushed: drive from Hanoi to Ha Long City in the morning, board the junk and have lunch while underway, visit islands during the afternoon, moor for the night and have dinner. Next morning, have breakfast while underway back to Ha Long City, arrive mid-morning and drive back to Hanoi.

On the three day trip I did, we were transferred to smaller junk for the day, while the big one went back to Ha Long City and returned with a new group of guests. From the smaller junk, we did more island visiting and kayaking. A much more interesting trip.

Make sure you book with a reputable company with good reviews.
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Old 30th Jan 2015, 21:46
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Left Coaster
I go out there for work, and holiday with my wife who loves the place, and we usually use Park Hyatt but drink in Caravelle on the roof top bar, its across the street. Music can be very good if you like late 60,s 70s stuff from that era, and the views are good, especially at sun set. Pool at Hyatt Ok. This city changes fast so bar and restaurant recommendations will vary. Not a fan of Hyatt restaurant as it is now too western, but location is good for the hotel. A fun city with great and interesting people. As for Hanoi they appear to have won a war, but lost the love of life as the French say, but I would agree with others in the choice of Metropole in the French Quarter. For a view of the city go to its sister hotel, and go to the roof top bar. Not a great hotel but good view of the city can be had. Have a good trip.

Mr Mac

Last edited by Mr Mac; 2nd Feb 2015 at 18:24.
Mr Mac is offline  
Old 1st Feb 2015, 09:40
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Join Date: Jun 2004
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Mrs 1DC and I stayed at the Lotte Legend hotel in HCM just along from the Renaissance. We booked the executive floor and the benefits far outweighed the extra cost. I would certainly recommend it..
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Old 5th Feb 2015, 12:06
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Join Date: Nov 1998
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All hotel suggestions made by previous contributors are spot on - for both cities.

As for a Hanoi restaurant, though just a tart upscale, I'd recommend;

Green Tangerine Ha Noi

If you book the Sofitel as suggested, be sure to chose the Metropole one, as the newer Sofitel is not charming. Sofitel Opera is great value, and probably close to half the price. You should ask for airline discount!

Enjoy - awsome country and great people.
Yeager is offline  

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