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.
9PM – Depart to Hanoi NAIA3
12:30AM – Arrive Hanoi
Took Babylon Garden’s transport service from Airport to Hostel ($16)
1:30AM – Sleep
8AM – Ha Long Bay Day Tour
8AM – Bai Dinh Pagoda and Trang An Day Tour
7PM – Hang Dao Night Market
9AM – Grocery Shopping at Intimex supermarket / Hang Da Market
1PM – Hoan Kiem Lake / Ngoc Son Temple
3PM – Water Puppet Show
7PM – St. Joseph Cathedral
7:30PM – Bia Hoi Corner
9PM – Hang Dao Night Market
Started touring late
1PM – Temple of Literature
One Pillar Pagoda
Ho Chi Minh Museum
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
9:30PM – Check-out Hostel
1:15AM – Depart to Manila
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
You can also check out these budget hotels/hostels:
Or search and compare prices of accommodations in Hanoi here in Hotels Combined.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Hey Kong, where are you?!
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.
One Pillar Pagoda
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:
Pork and Rice at Huyen Dung Restaurant
Egg Coffee at Café Dinh
Though Hanoi offers delicious treats, we still prefer the choices in Ho Chi Minh.
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
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.
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.
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.
Go to the 2nd Floor of Vang Bac Kim Linh
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.
|Day 0 (Flight to Hanoi)|
|Flight to Hanoi via Cebu Pacific||4629.21||Roundtrip ticket|
|Car Service to Babylon Garden Inn||433||P866 or 16USD|
|Babylon Garden Std room 4N||2863.5||Total for 4N: 5727|
|Pocket Wifi from Klook||541.26||20 USD for 4 Days divided by two|
|Day 1 (Ha Long Bay)|
|Ha Long Bay Tour||1893.895||35 USD each|
|Snacks||116||Banh Mi Sausage, water, softdrinks|
|Dinner||81.205||Pho Bo/Pho Ga - 25k VND each.
Fruits - 20K VND
|Day 2 (Bai Dinh and Trang An)|
|Bai Dinh and Trang An Tour||1721||Total 3443 for two (63.64 USD)|
|Dinner||132.24||Total 264 dinner at Huyen Dung|
|Snacks, water, drinks||88|
|Day 3 (Shopping, Water Puppet Show, Bia Corner)|
|Café Dinh||92.705||Egg Coffee: 35K VND
Caramel Machiato: 45k VND
|Pork Banh Mi||57.8||25K VND|
|Water Puppet Show Entrance||231||100K VND each|
|Snacks, water, drinks||75.2|
|Day 4 (City Tour, Fly to Manila)|
|Dorm bed 1N at Babylon Garden Inn||462.84||200K VND for one bed|
|Lunch||81||Chicken (30K VND) and Beef Porridge (40K)|
|Fruit Smoothies||104||Passion Fruit (40) and Kiwi/Strawberry (50)|
|Grab car to Temple of Literature||47.5||41k VND|
|Entrance to Temple of Literature||69.4||30K VND|
|Entrance to Ho Chi Minh Museum||92.6||40K VND|
|Entrance to Presidential Palace||92.6||40K VND|
|Grab car to Hostel||31.2||27K VND|
|Dinner at Don Duck||295||255K VND for two|
|Grab car to Airport||310.46||268k VND Total|
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!
- My First Travel Abroad: Vietnam
- Top 10 Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City
- Top 10 Foods to eat in Vietnam!