Solo Travel Destination: Hanoi, Vietnam

We are pleased to present a new Solo Travel Destination Post from Gary, a member of the Solo Travel Society on Facebook. Gary is from the United States, and submitted the following report about Hanoi. Do you have a solo travel destination that you would like to recommend? Submit your description here, along with a few photos, and share it with fellow travelers!

Solo travel rating: 1.5 (1 is easiest, 4 is most difficult. Please see chart below)

Languages spoken: Vietnamese, English, French

photo, image, boat, ha long bay

Ha Long Bay

Reasons to go:  Hanoi is a pleasant shock to most westerners. The hectic streets of the Old Quarter provide for almost endless wandering. If you stay here in the tourist area, you will find plenty of restaurants, shops, bars, and tour companies.

I can recommend Hanoi 3B Hotel at 99 Ma May Street. I stayed there in August and found the staff very friendly and helpful. It is a budget hotel, so my costs ranged from only $16 to $24 for the rooms I stayed in, which were very clean. Air conditioning, WiFi, and a good breakfast were all included.

A few doors up the street you will find New Day restaurant. It was always full of both locals and tourists every time I went. They have a large menu, and good food.

There are many things to do and see in the city and lots of day trips available as well.

photo, image, ho chi minh mausoleum

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Solo Travel Destination Rating System

Safety – 1 (1 very safe, 2 safe in most areas, 3 be cautious at all times.)

Language – 2 (1 English is first language, 2 English speakers easy to find, 3 English speakers rare)

Navigation – 1 (1 easy to navigate by transit or car, 2 poor transit, car necessary, 3 not easy to get around)

Culture – 2 (1 Similar to North America or Western Europe, 2 Different from above but relaxed and easy, 3 Challenging)

Average Rating – 1.5 (1 is easiest, 4 is most difficult)


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  • Ume Tours

    There’s lots of things to check out in Hanoi. I would recommend as followings :

    – Wander around Hanoi Old Quarter and French Quarter
    – Visit Ho Chi Minh mausoleum at night when you see full of locals hanging out.
    – See Temple of Literature which is dedicated to Confucius and the first university of Vietnam
    – Enjoy street food in Hanoi Old Quarter such as Pho (rice noodle soup with beef or chicken), Bun Cha (BBQ pork with rice vermicelli), Cha Ca (grilled fish)
    – Explore Vietnam Museum of Ethnology to learn more culture and history of 54 ethnic group in Vietnam
    – Wake up early in the morning to see what locals do.

  • Gary Smith

    Sorry for my late reply Janet…..For a budget hotel I was comfortable. Of course, comfort is a relative thing, but I require a clean, semi-quite place and I was not disappointed in any way.

  • Janet Rattray

    I missed Hanoi on my only trip to Vietnam. I want to go back doing “slow Travel with a friend. You have inspired me to do it. How comfortable was the hotel?

  • Gary Smith

    It was raining when I went…..still beautiful

  • Rakshith Chengappa Mullengada

    Damn! I was in Vietnam last week. Beautiful country and beautiful people. Missed Halong bay due to bad weather though :(