Hanoi Youth Hostel – Your pleasure is our happiness

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Hanoi Youth Hostel is located in the center of Hanoi, middle of Old Quarter.

This cozy hostel is packed with all the amenities you would expect in hostel including: clean, safe, and spacious dorm rooms with FREE breakfast, FREE lockers, FREE wifi, FREE towel, a bar with many games at the lobby.

Relax and enjoy the leisure facilities of the Hanoi Youth Hostel which include a 24h bar with alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, a Internet cafe, a flat screen TV with international satellite television channels.

To make your trip a memorable experience, we also have a vibrant staff with diverse backgrounds to greet you.They will give you the scoop on exciting events, restaurants and night spots in Hanoi.

The 24 hour front desk service can provide you laundry services, motor rental,  tour to Sapa, Halong Bay, Cat Ba, Hue, Hoi An, Nha Trang, Sai Gon, bus ticket, airport  transportation etc.

LOCATION


Hanoi Youth Hostel is located in the center of Hanoi, middle of Old Quarter. We are conveniently located near buses and surrounded by many landmarks including Hoan Kiem Lake, Ngoc Son Temple, Memorial House, Dong Xuan Market, Water Puppet Theater,  etc.

Direction – How to reach us?

How would you reach us?

How would you reach us?

From Noi Bai International Airport:

40 – 45 minutes by taxi. Hanoi Youth Hostel provides private, door to door airport transfer service to and from the airport. Our airport transfer service is the most comfortable, reliable, great value for money prices and exceptional customer service. The fare for taxi airport transfer is now US $18.00 USD/4-seater car and US$ 23.00/7-seater car.  Please provide us your flight number, arrival time and your full names, Our driver will be waiting at the airport upon your arrival, holding a placard with your name on it – and bring you worry free straight to our door step. No hidden cost, no toll fee, no air conditioning charge, etc.  BOOK A TAXI NOW!

From Hanoi Train Station:

5 minute taxi or a 15-20 minute walk.

By Bus:
Take a mini van bus: From Noi Bai International Airport, you can take the mini van bus to 1 Quang Trung Street. It takes about 2 hours to get to the last stop at 1 Quang Trung Street. From there you can go by walk for 16 minutes (about 1,3 KM) to Hanoi Youth Hostel at 5 Luong Ngoc Quyen Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam.

You can type Noi Bai International Airport to 5 Luong Ngoc Quyen Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi into Google maps and it will give you a detailed map.

Public bus number 17
You can take the public bus number 17 from the airport to Long Bien bus station towards Long Bien. It takes approximately 2 hours by bus (35 stops). From Long Bien bridge/ bus station, you will see another bridge named Chuong Duong bridge (bigger one). You need to go to Chuong Duong bridge (about 400 meters). Our hostel is located very near Chuong Duong bridge. Please ask people around for Hanoi Youth Hostel at 5 Luong Ngoc Quyen street.  Our hostel is located about 1 minute by walk from Chuong Duong bridge.

Ask Nguyen Huu Huan stop near Ma May Street. the Bus stop is 5 minutes walk away from Hanoi Youth Hostel.


What’s nearby?

 

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Hanoi Youth Hostel

Address:  05 Luong Ngoc Quyen Street, Hoan Kiem District, Ha Noi, Vietnam.

Hotline: +84 972004080

Email: kellyyouthhostel@gmail.com

 

The lotus season in Hanoi

I woke up at 5am and rode my motorbike to the West Lake. Around that area, there are many flower villages. I went to one of them which is located near the West Lake Water Park, in order to take photos of a lotus lake and some activities that only take place in the early hours of the morning.
The lotus season in Hanoi starts from June and lasts 3 months. Every morning from 5am to 7am, the local residents, who own the lotus lakes, tour around the lakes on very small boats (in Vietnamese, we call them “thuyền thúng”) and pick both flowers and leaves, following the orders from their clients who are waiting on the bank. This is a wholesale business. Any business people, who want to buy lotus flowers cheaply, go there to buy flowers directly from the lake owners, then sell them at their shops in Hanoi. We also can see lotus flowers on the back side of street vendors’ bicycles. Some Hanoians also go to the lotus lakes in early morning and buy flowers for their houses. The lotus flower is not only beautiful, but also has a very good smell. 

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So I got into the lotus lake at around 6am. I watched a local man standing on a very small boat and touring on his lake. Later I found out his name was Mr. Quang. Sometimes he was back with flowers and handed them to the women waiting for him on the bank. I also watched how people covered the lotus flowers with the leaves, then packed them with bamboo strings and put them into their bikes before leaving for Hanoi’s markets. 

A woman and her son were sitting on the road and taking off the inner parts of the lotus flowers. They will be mixed with tea, as a result, the tea will have a very good smell, in Vietnamese we call it “chè sen” (lotus tea). I asked the woman whether it was possible for me to join the boat with Mr. Quang. She said certainly I could, but I should wait until he finished working. I wondered how it would be, if I could rent a boat and get out on my own. She said it would be impossible, since the boat and long pole may be stuck inside the roots of those lotus trees, 

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When Mr. Quang was back, I told him I wanted to join the boat with him and he agreed. His house (a 3-storey building) is located by the lake and he also has a small tent right on the lake, so I went to his tent and waited for him. I changed into a white Áo Dài (Vietnamese traditional dress) and Mr. Quang’s wife gave me her conical hat and a bunch of lotus flowers. Problem is that I went there alone, so we needed to find someone to help me take photos. The boat is too small, so close-up photos would not be good like a great view of the lake, when someone stands on the bank or sits on another boat to take photos of me. 

As soon as I stepped my foot on the boat, Mr. Quang smiled and said “Look at the crowd!” who were standing on the other side of the lake. I wondered why suddenly there appeared so many people (more than 20 people) watching every move of our boat and taking photos. It turned out that they were 

Japanese tourists passing by the place and saw my Áo Dài and the boat. It must have been a beautiful Vietnamese sight for them. 

We were moving toward the bank, where the Japanese tourists were standing. Mr. Quang saw his friend there and asked him to help me take some photos. Mr. Quang also thought that was the best place for taking photos, as the leaves are high and large, I could stand up and be surrounded by green color of the leaves. I handed my camera to his friend, but when we moved far away from the bank and I stood up, his friend struggled with using my camera and there was no way I could be back and explain him how to use my camera. I said “Please help me!” in Japanese, and a Japanese girl offered me a help with some shots by my camera. 

Mr. Quang said that some brides and grooms also went to the lotus lake for taking their wedding photos. My photos were not as good as I expected, since there were only 2 people on the bank who could help me take my shots and they were too far from 

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me. I should have been there with a photographer or a friend, but I didn’t want to bother someone to go with me at 5am in the morning. At the end of the boat trip, I gave Mr. Quang VND 100,000 as a tip. 

The boat ride on the lotus lake was the most interesting experience for me, when comparing with the boat rides on the bay, river or stream I’ve done. Imagine you are sitting on a very small and light boat controlled by a long pole, managing to keep the boat balanced, finding your way among the leaves and flowers (sometimes your boat hits them), holding flowers in your hands, having some worms sticking on your dress and the mud made your white dress dirty. 

I said to Mr. Quang “This beautiful place in Hanoi should be preserved. We should not make this place become a land of concrete buildings” and he agreed with me.

Hanoi _girl 

(http://www.travelblog.org/Asia/Vietnam/Red-River-Delta/Hanoi/blog-287912.html)

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Hanoi Youth Hostel – No.5 Luong Ngoc Quyen Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam

Hotline: (+84) 972004080

Email: kellyyouthhostel@gmail.com

48 hours in Hanoi, Vietnam

Mike Carter 

Direct flights mean you can now visit Hanoi for a long weekend (just about). Our writer takes a jet-lagged, surreal tour of Vietnam’s colourful capital
Hanoi's fish market

Hanoi’s fish market. Photograph: Alamy

The waiter was missing two fingers. The other two and his thumb were squeezed tightly around the throat of a bamboo snake, writhing and snapping and trying to relieve the waiter of one of his remaining digits.

With his other hand, he pulled a knife from his back pocket and made a delicate incision in the soft flesh of the snake’s underbelly, into which he stuck his finger and ripped out its heart, plonking it into a small glass of rice wine in front of me. The wine blushed crimson.

He held the glass in front of my face. The heart was still pumping, sending little ripples through the liquid.

“Drink. Quickly,” he said. “As guest, unlucky if you don’t…”

I had arrived in Hanoi just a few hours earlier, having been invited on the inaugural direct flight from the UK to Vietnam, which cuts many hours off the travelling time.

It had seemed the perfect opportunity to see if Hanoi could work as a long-weekend destination. After a sleepless 11-hour overnight flight, with a seven-hour time difference and feeling utterly bewildered in the fog of jet lag, it was already looking like one of my stupider ideas.

“You here just for three days,” Thone, my guide, had said at the airport. “Crazy. What do you want to see?” “Everything,” I’d said, which was my second mistake.

And so there I was, surrounded by Hanoi families enjoying their reptilian repasts, swallowing the still-beating heart of a snake, followed by snake intestine and kidney stir-fry, sticky rice in snake bile, and snake-head crème caramel. As I washed it all down with a bottle of rice wine containing a cobra’s penis, I had a vision of animal-rights activists and environmentalists in the UK slugging it out for the right to rip my heart out.

We walked back towards downtown Hanoi on the narrow walkway across the mile-long Long Bien iron-truss bridge, high above the Song Hong, or Red River – from which the city gets its name. Hanoi means “the city in the bend of the river”.

It has six million people and 6m mopeds, and it seemed like they were all out riding across the bridge, carrying just about every load imaginable, forcing us to fling ourselves against the railings to avoid decapitation by a bed frame or getting knocked over the side by a wardrobe. The never-ending tide, combined with the trains that trundled across, made the whole structure bounce and pulse as if it was alive.

Vietnam, Hanoi

Huc Bridge, which spans Hoan Kiem lake. Photograph: Hemis/Alamy

Just off the bridge, we entered the labyrinthine streets and alleyways of the Old Quarter, Hanoi’s beating heart of commerce, as old as the city itself. Beneath a canopy of banyan trees dripping with Spanish moss, the pavements were full of people washing clothes, men welding metal, and makeshift barber shops. This made it necessary to walk in the road, amid the moped madness. Thone had perfected the art of negotiating the mopeds, communicating where the tide should part by wafting his hand in some divine way, like Moses.

Women in coolie hats weaved past bearing vast loads of cassavas and dried fish in baskets at either end of a flexing bamboo yoke, tiptoeing under the strain as if wearing shoes two sizes too small. If there was ever a place to feed western fantasies of the Orient, here it was.

Every street has a designated purpose, the legacy of the 13th-century guildsmen who divided up the Old Quarter into 36 areas, so the prefix “Hang” on street signs means “merchandise”. We turned into Hang Ma, where the Hanoians go for their paper votive offerings to be burned on the anniversary of the death of a loved one. The votives are a reflection of their interests, so there were paper cars, stereos and life-sized bicycles.

Most shops had altars with burning incense and flowers – bought on the 1st and 15th of the Chinese lunar month for luck – at their entrance, Casablanca lilies and orchids: Vietnam is blessed with more than 1,000 varieties.

On to Hang Dong (copper bells and gongs), Hang Cot (bamboo) and Hang Non (hats). It was like the ultimate department store. On Thouc Bac (herbal medicine), the shops were crammed with lotus seeds, huge cinnamon sticks and jars of rice wine full of snakes and scorpions. The sweet smell was quite overpowering.

I was flagging now, seeing all of this as if through frosted glass. Thone took me to my hotel. I’d just dozed off when the speakers that line every Hanoi street started up, like the call of mosques, but instead of muezzin inviting the faithful to prayer, it was the government reminding citizens to pay their taxes. That stopped after an hour, after which the couple next door started having very noisy sex. At 5am the street speakers kicked off again. Then my phone rang.

“Time to go, Mike,” said Thone, “no time to waste.”

Weavers with conical fish baskets

Weavers with conical fish baskets. Photograph: Alamy

In the grey dawn light we arrived at the Brobdingnagian vastness of Ba Dinh Square, where elderly figures exercised, flapping like butterflies in time to staccato instructions from a woman at the front. A shrill flurry of whistles, then authoritarian martial music boomed out from unseen speakers and a column of soldiers appeared, marching with furious intent in uniforms as white as virgin snow. They raised Vietnam’s flag in silent reverence.

“Now you go and see Uncle Ho,” said Thone, pointing to a huge colonnaded building. “He’s just back from Moscow for his annual touch-up, so should be looking good.”

As I shuffled in, joining a snaking queue of Vietnamese, an angry-looking soldier told me to take my hands out of my pockets, and the one 10 yards along not to hold my hands behind my back. I felt like I was going to see the headmaster, which in a way I was, because suddenly I was staring at the yellow, goateed corpse of Ho Chi Minh – Marxist-Leninist revolutionary, revered father of modern Vietnam, liberator from French colonialism, who died in 1969 – lying in his glass sarcophagus. I looked around at the Vietnamese, some wiping away tears, some staring in awe, and felt like an interloper at a moment of private grief.

In front of Ho Chi Minh’s house, we walked around a carp lake shaded by mango trees, which the Vietnamese seemed to appreciate, seeing as they were all applauding it. Thone explained that Uncle Ho is said to have called the fish to be fed by clapping his hands and thus visitors now do the same. I clapped. No fish came, but a boy next to me smiled.

We stopped at a backstreet restaurant for pho bo, Hanoi’s delicious staple – a salty soup of rice noodles and beef, garnished with ginger and lime and fiery chillies. We ate it with our knees up around our shoulders, sitting on the Wendy House plastic stools that every Hanoi café seems to favour, and which Thone couldn’t explain.

After lunch we walked through the five courtyards of the Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s first university, founded in 1076, a maze of beautiful formal gardens framed by fig trees, with low-slung pagodas with sinuous roofs. Young women in dazzling white and yellow silk ao dai dresses, embroidered with delicate silk roses and gerberas, prayed to a statue of Confucius for good exam marks.

In the middle of the city we walked around the most famous of Hanoi’s many lakes, Hoan Kiem, which glittered like mercury under the sun. We weaved through games of badminton being played on makeshift courts on the pavements, the nets strung between flame trees festooned with red paper lanterns that hang like pendulous fruit.

If the morning had been full of light, the afternoon was darker. We visited the Hoa Lo prison, nicknamed the “Hanoi Hilton” by US air crew downed during their ferocious bombing of the city. One room was full of dummies of emaciated Vietnamese prisoners shackled by the French colonial authorities to their beds, the next contained the prison’s grisly original iron guillotine. Then there were photographs of smiling GIs playing table tennis, which illustrated either a more benign captivity or the fact that it’s the victors who write the history books.

Close by, at Dii Vet, an Aladdin’s cave of a shop selling exquisite lacquerware and hand-embroidered silk tapestries, a smiling boy held up a beautiful scene of Halong Bay for me to inspect. He had seven fingers on each hand and smooth skin on the side of his face where an ear should have been. Other young people sat at looms, their fingers weaving, but staring ahead with lifeless eyes.

“Deaf and dumb,” said Thone. These were some of the five million people still hereditarily affected by the Agent Orange dropped by the US. “They make these things here and send the money back to their villages.”

After another sleepless night for me, Thone turned up on his moped and patted the back seat. “Now you get to see Hanoi properly!”

We flew down a street lined with coffins and a street packed with shoes, along wide boulevards flanked by giant rosewood trees, around lakes and past temples, around us continued the intricate ballet of mopeds, carrying caged parrots, or hidden under mountains of flowers so they looked like carnival floats. We passed mustard-coloured French belle-epoque mansions, the magnificent French colonial opera house, and a huge statue of Lenin, and rode along a street of restaurants where glazed dogs lay on their backs in display cases as if waiting for a tummy tickle. I felt like I had never been to such a beautiful, strange, crazy place.

On the way to the airport, Thone dropped me off at the Thang Long, a water puppet show that has its 11th-century origins in the paddy fields of the countryside and which can be best described as Punch and Judy in a pool. I watched a succession of surreal giant fish, fire-breathing dragons and mutant mushrooms do battle with villagers, accompanied by a man playing the single-string dan bau, or zither, and a woman with the most haunting voice I’ve ever heard.

Fourteen sleepless hours later, I would be back in my flat in London, looking at two giant water puppets and a snake’s penis in a bottle of rice wine, the only proof that this was no half-remembered dream.

 

(http://www.theguardian.com/travel/2012/feb/26/vietnam-hanoi-weekend-travel)

Eating Snake Hearts and Drinking Blood in Hanoi, Vietnam

 By  Jess Damerst 

Upon our arrival in Hanoi, we’re immediately encouraged to sign up for the big event of the night hosted by our hostel: the Snake Village Tour. The sign-up sheet was complete with an ominous looking red on black logo of an undoubtedly poisonous snake.

“What’s this?” Dana asks.

“Oh! It’s our snake village tour. You get to eat snake heart and drink snake blood! It’s really fun!” replies the broad gentleman in the cut-off shirt.

Eating snake hearts. Sounds fun. 

But, Dana is enchanted by this idea.

“Oh wow! We have to do that!”

I can think of better ways to spend my evening and 18 USD than watching someone inhumanely kill snakes (one of my favorite animals). Of course, in the end, I’m out numbered and we decide to go. Looking back, I wouldn’t change this decision for the world.

Our hostel van rocks up in front of a deserted and somewhat underwater outdoor restaurant (you can thank the recent typhoon) where we are greeting by what looks like three generations of this family. My reservations are growing by the minute. First they show us the snake cages and let us hold them if we like. I’m trying not to picture them as my next meal. 

After the show, we are led to an open, traditional room with plates for 16 set out and countless bottles of snake infused rice wine. First things first, the hearts. They get a quick count of who wants to give it go (eight). And return shortly with a bag of live snakes. **I have to warn you, this is anything but humane, so if you’re an animal rights activist, you might want to stop while we’re ahead.** 

We’re given a quick explanation on the do’s and don’t’s of snake-heart-ripping-out. It’s a method they seem to have down to an art. DO: Wait 5 seconds before swallowing. DO: Breathe. DON’T: Chew the heart (I’ll explain why in a moment). DON’T: Hesitate. 

The first guy is up. Our snake wrangler squeezes the snake to locate the heart and makes a swift incision while simultaneously popping out the heart (mind you, it’s still functioning and attached to the snake). The first brave snake-eater kneels down and viciously rips the heart out. I notice that they are careful to catch the blood and bile in cups below. No wasting here.

The first guy was a big spectacle, with everyone shooting pictures and making noises of excitement. I also notice at this point that Becky, Dana, and I are the only girls present. The reason becomes apparent as after the first heart is eaten, both girls begin taking steps back. For some reason, a gripping sense of curiosity overcomes me and I end up watching all 8 hearts get pulled from the live, writhing snakes with intensity. Clearly, I’m a bit twisted. 

I know what you are wondering. No, I didn’t eat one myself.

One gentleman ended up chewing the heart (as promised, an explanation). Within about one minute he passes out. In the confusion and upset, the reason behind the “no chewing” rule is explained. Turns out, the heart contains a poison that can be broken down in our stomaches, but not by the saliva in our mouths. So, if you chew it, it goes straight to your brain, causing you to pass out momentarily. No worries, he comes around in a matter of seconds, wondering how he ended up on the floor. The night has only just begun.

After the heart-eating event, we sit down and are served two shots: a bile green shot and a blood red shot. I’m not even kidding. I took both without reservations, but I will say that the blood shot burned unlike any alcohol I’ve ever had before. Then, we all take shots of rice wine and the snake feast begins. We are instructed to take a shot before each course. Which, ends up being a problem as there are 7 courses.

The ones I can remember are: a rice pilaf with snake bits, snake spring rolls, snake meat balls (I later find out these were snake testicles), and snake ribs (definitely my least favorite, as the bones were too small). Mind you, we ate lots of other interesting, snake meat infused dishes, but after my 5th shot, things began to blur. 

We eat, drink, and make merry for about two hours. After our delicious and incredibly filling snake meal, we drag our drunken party of 16 back to the hostel. Not before, of course, accidentally letting out a few snakes in an attempt to get snake skin from within the cages and angering the snake village. Obviously, I wasn’t involved at all.

For anyone with a stomach that can handle it, I highly recommend this. Despite feeling really terrible for the snakes, I enjoyed the experience immensely. I do take comfort in the fact that every last bit of snake is put to use. That said, if you ever get the chance to do this in Vietnam, absolutely, no questions asked, do it.

( http://thegirlintranslation.com/2012/10/18/eating-snake-hearts-and-drinking-blood-in-hanoi-vietnam/)

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Hanoi Youth Hostel – No.5 Luong Ngoc Quyen Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam

Hotline: (+84) 972004080

Email: kellyyouthhostel@gmail.com