Hanoi Travel Guide Itinerary and Expenses 4D3N

Hanoi Travel Guide Itinerary and Expenses 4D3N

I’ve visited Vietnam twice both for work and pleasure but just in Ho Chi Minh City, never in Hanoi. This time, my wife and I went to the country’s capital city of Hanoi for a short 4-day vacation. If you’ve read my Vietnam posts here, you’ll notice that I like this country very much. The food, the people, the sights… especially the food 😊 Now, we wanted to experience what Northern Vietnam has to offer.

This post is our guide and experience in our 4 Days trip to Hanoi. Included here is our itinerary and breakdown of expenses so it can help plan your visit too.

Our Itinerary

Day 0

9PM – Depart to Hanoi NAIA3

12:30AM – Arrive Hanoi

Took Babylon Garden’s transport service from Airport to Hostel ($16)

1:30AM – Sleep

Day 1

8AM – Ha Long Bay Day Tour

Halong Bay

Halong Bay

Klook.com

Day 2

8AM – Bai Dinh Pagoda and Trang An Day Tour

Trang An

Trang An

7PM – Hang Dao Night Market

Day 3

9AM – Grocery Shopping at Intimex supermarket / Hang Da Market

1PM – Hoan Kiem Lake / Ngoc Son Temple

Hoan Kiem Lake

Hoan Kiem Lake

3PM – Water Puppet Show

7PM – St. Joseph Cathedral

7:30PM – Bia Hoi Corner

9PM – Hang Dao Night Market

Day 4

Started touring late

1PM – Temple of Literature

Temple of Literature

Temple of Literature

One Pillar Pagoda

Ho Chi Minh Museum

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Presidential Palace

Klook.com
9:30PM – Check-out Hostel

1:15AM – Depart to Manila

Transportation

Going to Hanoi from Manila

We booked our roundtrip flight out of Manila to Hanoi via Cebu Pacific for P4629.21 each including fees and taxes. You can book a lower fare than this on super low seat sales.

Hanoi’s international airport is Noi Bai International Airport.

Going from Noi Bai Airport to Hanoi Old Quarter and around it

We booked the transportation service of Babylon Garden Hostel to pick us up at the airport and drop us at the hostel for $16.

You can also get a grab car/taxi (if you have mobile data) that might set you around 11 to 13 USD or book in Klook here or an airport transfer.

Klook.com

As you know, Vietnam’s main mode of transportation is the motorbike. Going around Hanoi, you can book a motorbike through the Grab App or rent one. If you’re not used to riding a motorbike, you can also book a grab car or hail a taxi. Choose a reliable taxi like Taxi CP and Mai Linh to avoid scams.

Old Quarter in Hanoi

Old Quarter in Hanoi

WiFi

If you need to stay connected in Hanoi, you can buy a sim card or rent a pocket wifi.

We rented a pocket WiFi through Klook here. It’s fast and reliable. Signal only got weak when we were cruising Ha Long Bay but other than that, it’s perfect.

Klook.com

Accommodation

We booked a standard room at Babylon Garden Inn for 4 nights then two dorm beds for our last night. The hostel is located in the Old Quarter, near the night markets and around 7 to 10 minute-walk to Hoan Kiem Lake.

It was a pleasant stay. Everything we need was there – clean sheets, toiletries, cable tv, good air-conditioning, strong water current, etc. The staffs were very helpful and they always greet you with a smile.

Book your stay here through Agoda!

Babylon Garden Inn

Buffet breakfast is included and the food is pretty good. They have an indoor pool though I don’t see much guests swimming. They also offer tours in and out of Hanoi so just compare with other offers.

The standard room cost us P1431.75 per night while a bed in a 6-bed mixed dorm room cost us P461 per bed.

Book your stay in Babylon Garden Inn through Agoda here.

Or search and compare prices here  in Hotels Combined

Other Accommodations

You can also check out these budget hotels/hostels:

Hanoi Oriental Pearl Hotel

Hanoi Old Quarter Hostel

Hanoi Guest House

Or search and compare prices of accommodations in Hanoi here in Hotels Combined.

Tours

Vietnam has its share of world wonders and some of them can be found near Hanoi. One of its famous wonders is Ha Long Bay – a UNESCO World Heritage site where a multitude of limestone rocks and islets are spread all over the calm and serene sea.

We booked two tours during our stay in Hanoi through Klook. One is the Ha Long Bay Day Tour and the other is Bai Dinh Pagoda and Trang An Day tour.

Ha Long Bay

Klook.com

The Ha Long Bay Tour cost 35 USD or P1893.90 each. Bus will pick you up in your hotel (if you are staying in the Old Quarter) at around 8am then there is a 4-hour travel from Hanoi to Ha Long City.

Upon arrival in Ha Long, you will board a traditional junk boat where you will have a hefty delicious lunch while cruising Ha Long Bay.

Halong Bay

A junk boat cruising Halong Bay

After cruising Ha Long Bay, next stop is Thien Cung Cave or Heaven Cave. It’s a big cave around 10000 square meters with high ceiling – something I haven’t seen in the Philippines but that’s because I haven’t explored a lot of caves in my life. Thien Cung Cave, I must say, is one of the most beautiful caves I’ve seen. The interior is sprawling of whiteish stalactites and stalagmites of different shapes and forms. The tour guide pointed us to some of the formations like a Dragon, couples kissing, Santa Claus, jellyfish, etc.

Thien Cung

Thien CungThien Cung

Tour guide said this is the most beautiful part of the caveAfter the cave exploration, the group will go to a floating house nearby where you have an option to ride a rowboat (with a rower) or a kayak by yourself to explore more of the beautiful rock formations in Ha Long Bay.

Halong Bay

Book your Halong Bay Day Tour through Klook here

Bai Dinh Pagoda and Trang An

Our next tour is in Ninh Binh province, around 2.5hrs travel from Hanoi. The places we toured are Bai Dinh Pagoda – the largest complex of Buddhist temples in Vietnam and Trang An scenic complex – A UNESCO World heritage site famous for the boat cruise around the majestic Red River Delta.

Bai Dinh Pagoda is beautiful (it reminds us of Todai-Ji Temple in Nara, Japan) but for us, the highlight of the trip is in Trang An.

Bai Dinh Pagoda

Bai Dinh Pagoda

You will ride in a rowboat (where you can also row) around the Red River Delta while admiring the scenic landscapes of the place. You’ll pass through a number of caves which are similar to our very own Underground River in Palawan. Be alert! You have to duck your head from time to time or else you might get hit by stalactites.

Trang An

We also dropped by the shooting location of a King Kong movie. Not sure what King Kong movie it is but I think It’s familiar to me.

King Kong

Hey Kong, where are you?!

King Kong Island

HHWW

Book your Bai Dinh Pagoda and Trang An through Klook here

Hanoi City Tour

We also DIYed the Hanoi City tour which I bet you can very much do too. Just check google maps if the place is just around you and walkable and if not, hail a grab car/taxi (or a reliable one) to get to your destination. This is why, staying in the Old Quarter is the preferred option – the distance to everything.

Check our Itinerary above for the places we went to. Entrance to the Water Puppet show cost 100k VND.

St Joseph Cathedral

St Joseph Cathedral

 

Water Puppet Show

Water Puppet Show

One Pillar Pagoda

One Pillar Pagoda

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Klook.com

Food

Vietnam is known globally for its food. This is why one of your main activities to do here should be eating. Here are some of the foods we ate:

Pho Hanoi

Pho Hanoi

Pork and Rice

Pork and Rice at Huyen Dung Restaurant

Egg Coffee

Egg Coffee at Café Dinh

Bun Cha at Bun Cha Ta

Bun Cha at Bun Cha Ta

Night market street food

Night market street food

Though Hanoi offers delicious treats, we still prefer the choices in Ho Chi Minh.

Klook.com

And oh, for beer drinkers like me… you’d enjoy drinking at Bia Hoi Corner. Cheap yet good beer and great atmosphere!

Bia Hoi Corner

Bia Hoi Corner

Shopping

If you like shopping at Tiangges in the Philippines, you’d definitely love Hanoi. 3 words for you – Weekend Night Market.

If you are staying in the Old Quarter, the nearest one is the Hang Dao Weekend Night market and Dong Xuan. At daytime, you can take a stroll at Hang Da market near the Water Puppet Theatre. There are many varieties of products that were sold there from clothing and shoes to toys and tea pots. Just make sure you haggle and haggle appropriately. A 20 to 30% off the asking price is enough but sometimes you can even try to haggle half the price they’re asking.

Night Market in Hanoi

Night Market in Hanoi

For groceries and goods, we went to Intimex supermarket near Hoan Kiem Lake. You can buy your coffee and other Vietnam products here as it is much cheaper than in the stalls in Old Quarter.

Forex

We bought VND at Vàng Bạc Kim Linh gold shop on 67 Hàng Bạc Street in the Old Quarter. Change your money at the 2nd floor.

Vang Bac Kim Linh

Go to the 2nd Floor of Vang Bac Kim Linh

Expenses

Here is a summary of our Expenses in Hanoi. Second column (PHP) is the converted price from USD or VND to PHP and for one pax. See remarks column for more details like the actual price in VND and total for 2 pax.

Please note that shopping items and souvenirs were not included as this may vary per individual preferences.

ExpensesPHPRemarks
Day 0 (Flight to Hanoi)
Flight to Hanoi via Cebu Pacific4629.21Roundtrip ticket
Car Service to Babylon Garden Inn433P866 or 16USD
Babylon Garden Std room 4N2863.5Total for 4N: 5727
Pocket Wifi from Klook541.2620 USD for 4 Days divided by two
Day 1 (Ha Long Bay)
Ha Long Bay Tour1893.89535 USD each
Snacks116Banh Mi Sausage, water, softdrinks
Dinner81.205Pho Bo/Pho Ga - 25k VND each.
Fruits - 20K VND
Day 2 (Bai Dinh and Trang An)
Bai Dinh and Trang An Tour1721Total 3443 for two (63.64 USD)
Dinner132.24Total 264 dinner at Huyen Dung
Snacks, water, drinks88
Day 3 (Shopping, Water Puppet Show, Bia Corner)
Café Dinh92.705Egg Coffee: 35K VND
Caramel Machiato: 45k VND
Pork Banh Mi57.825K VND
Water Puppet Show Entrance231100K VND each
Snacks, water, drinks75.2
Day 4 (City Tour, Fly to Manila)
Dorm bed 1N at Babylon Garden Inn462.84200K VND for one bed
Lunch81Chicken (30K VND) and Beef Porridge (40K)
Fruit Smoothies104Passion Fruit (40) and Kiwi/Strawberry (50)
Grab car to Temple of Literature47.541k VND
Entrance to Temple of Literature69.430K VND
Entrance to Ho Chi Minh Museum92.640K VND
Entrance to Presidential Palace92.640K VND
Grab car to Hostel31.227K VND
Dinner at Don Duck295255K VND for two
Grab car to Airport310.46268k VND Total
GRAND TOTAL14542.615

You can further lower your expenses by grabbing a cheaper airfare and booking a dorm bed. Of course we prefer a standard double bed since we are a married couple 😀

There you go… hope this post helped you in planning your Hanoi trip!

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He is a programmer by profession but has a soul of a traveler. Aside from his ultimate dream of travelling around the world, he loves to eat, drink, listen to music, talk about aliens and the occasional secret guilty pleasure of singing love songs in videoke. His favorite superpower is to teleport from one place to another. I guess you know why.