Top 5 unique Hanoi attractions you might not know about

Welcome to the vibrant capital of Vietnam, Hanoi, where iconic landmarks like the Temple of Literature, St. Joseph’s Cathedral, and Hoan Kiem Lake have charmed many. Yet, amidst the well-known attractions, lies a trove of hidden gems waiting to be uncovered. In this guide, we unveil Hanoi’s best-kept secrets – the top 5 unique Hanoi attractions that might have eluded even the seasoned travelers.

Whether you’re planning your first visit to Hanoi or seeking to venture beyond the usual, these hidden treasures promise an unparalleled experience. Journey with us as we reveal lesser-known corners of the city that exude charm and intrigue, providing a fresh perspective away from the usual tourist crowds. Hanoi’s essence lies not only in its famous landmarks but also in the stories and places that often remain hidden until sought out. 

Let’s embark on a journey of exploration and uncover Hanoi’s hidden gems that truly make it a destination like no other.

5 unique Hanoi attractions that remain off the beaten path for many travelers

Undoubtedly, Hanoi stands as a premier gem in Vietnam’s list of must-visit destinations. A captivating blend of old-world architectural marvels and contemporary structures paints a distinct picture. Yet, peel away from the predictable guidebooks and guided tours, and you’ll discover that Hanoi harbors a treasure trove of hidden treasures. The city’s lesser-explored wonders, often overlooked by tourists, hold the promise of creating indelible memories. 

Our selection of concealed Hanoi attractions unveils below, offering you a chance to truly seize the essence of your stay in Vietnam’s vibrant capital. Look beyond the ordinary, and you’ll unveil the extraordinary, making your time in Hanoi an unforgettable chapter in your travels.

O Quan Chuong (Old East Gate)

The solitary surviving gate of the Thang Long citadel, O Quan Chuong, is not only a testament to architectural beauty but also a poignant embodiment of Hanoi’s ancient history. Historical records recount that during the reign of King Le Thai Tong (1740-1786), Thang Long boasted several gates, including Cau Giay, Cho Dua, Cau Dien, and Quan Chuong. Each gate was constructed as a fortress, opened during the day and sealed at night, with guards stationed to thwart theft and fire hazards.

With its two stories, O Quan Chuong showcases the quintessential Nguyen Dynasty architecture in the form of a watchtower. The ground level boasts three doorways: a central, grand entrance and two side doors, all feature an elegantly domed design. The upper level functions as an observation pavilion.

As the solitary survivor among Hanoi’s ancient city gates, O Quan Chuong not only imprints the identity of the Thang Long capital but also stands as a resolute symbol of the unwavering spirit of the populace in their battle against foreign intruders.

Vietnam National Village for Ethnic Culture and Tourism

A must-visit yet lesser known Hanoi attraction is Vietnam National Village for Ethnic Culture and Tourism, located on the outskirts of Hanoi, is a captivating showcase of Vietnam’s rich cultural diversity. This immersive attraction brings together various ethnic groups from across the country, offering visitors a unique opportunity to experience their customs, traditions, and ways of life.

Spread across a vast area, the village features meticulously recreated traditional houses, communal spaces, and artisan workshops of different ethnic communities. Visitors can engage in hands-on activities, witness traditional performances, and explore exhibitions that delve into the unique heritage of each group. From the stilt houses of the Tay people to the wooden homes of the Ede and the thatched-roof structures of the Raglai, the village provides an authentic glimpse into the daily lives of these ethnic groups. It’s not only an educational experience but also a chance to connect with the heart and soul of Vietnam’s cultural tapestry. 

Train street

hanoi train street

Tucked within Hanoi’s historic Old Quarter, this narrow alley exerts a magnetic pull on travelers seeking the perfect snapshot atop an active train track, often catching the exhilarating rush of a passing train. This quirky enclave stands as an unmissable gem, beckoning all wanderers to unravel the mysteries of Hanoi’s hidden lanes in Vietnam.

Encircled by a plethora of diverse house designs spanning eras from the ancient to the contemporary, this petite lane breathes with life. As daylight unfurls, the train traverses this passage, prompting locals to momentarily retreat within the safety of their abodes. Amid this seemingly residential setting, enterprising locals have ingeniously transformed their homes into charming cafes, offering the delight of sipping traditional egg coffee while anticipating the train’s rhythmic rumble—a spectacle that graces the street multiple times each day.

Embark on a journey through Train Street and other offbeat alleys, guided by a local connoisseur. They’ll not only unveil the lesser-known corners but also aid you in capturing these unique moments on camera.

Duong Lam ancient village

Duong Lam Ancient Village
Duong Lam Ancient Village

Duong Lam Ancient Village, located about 44 kilometers from Hanoi, is a hidden gem that transports visitors back in time. This well-preserved village is renowned for its centuries-old architecture, traditional houses, and rich cultural heritage. Walking through its narrow alleys and stone-paved paths, you’ll find yourself surrounded by charming old houses constructed from laterite bricks, each with its own story to tell.

The village is a living museum that offers a glimpse into Vietnam’s rural past. Its ancient houses, temples, and communal wells exude a sense of nostalgia and authenticity. The Mia Pagoda, with its 287 statues of all sizes, is a spiritual and artistic highlight of the village. Duong Lam also celebrates its connection to national heroes and kings who were born or had significant ties to the village. Visiting Duong Lam is like stepping into a time capsule, where you can observe daily life unfolding in a traditional setting. It’s an opportunity to interact with locals, understand their customs, and appreciate the simplicity of village existence. 

Long Bien Market

Long Bien Market operates both during the day and night, yet it reaches its pinnacle of activity from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM daily. Venturing there within this time frame presents a captivating spectacle of organized chaos, with trucks laden with an array of vegetables and fruits converging upon the market. The scene is one of vibrant hustle, dense crowds, and frenzied motion – a characteristic tableau of the early morning session at Long Bien Market. While the city’s inhabitants slumber, merchants from diverse corners of the region convene at the market, ushering in the day with the loading of crates teeming with fruits and seafood. Here, brisk negotiations, sales transactions, and goods packaging become the rhythm of dawn.

For avid photographers, this locale is a paradise waiting to be captured through the lens. A dedicated span of at least 2 hours is advised to immortalize the market’s most evocative moments.

Final thoughts

Incredible, astonishing, genuine, and awe-inspiring – these are the words that will inevitably escape your lips when you step foot in the abovementioned Hanoi attractions, secrets that lie beyond the reach of typical tour guide brochures. Unveiling the concealed treasures within Hanoi promises an enriching experience, allowing you to witness charming corners unburdened by throngs of visitors. If the allure of basking in tranquil surroundings beckons to you, then embarking on a journey to explore these uncharted sites is a must.

At Viland Travel, we recognize that every traveler seeks a unique and personalized adventure. This is why we provide tailor-made tours that align with your preferences, ensuring that your exploration of Hanoi is nothing short of extraordinary. With our expertise, we curate a singular journey that resonates with your individual interests, ensuring that every step of your escapade holds significance and meaning. Let Viland Travel be your guide in unraveling the mysteries of Hanoi’s distinctive corners, reshaping your expedition into an unparalleled odyssey through this captivating nation. 

Don’t let these exceptional opportunities slip away; book now and allow Viland Travel to transform your visit to Hanoi into an indelible memory.