Travel / Vietnam

Part 7: Hanoi | A Photographer’s Travel Itinerary for Backpacking in Cambodia & Vietnam

Ntobeko Ntombela

Ntobeko Ntombela

October 4, 2018

We’re on to part seven of our blog series with successful photographer Sian Owen. In this blog she’s just finished her time in central Vietnam. She now heads to the northern part of Vietnam, specifically Hanoi.

With so much interest in teaching English in Vietnam and Hanoi being a city where a lot of teachers are likely to be placed, this blog post is a great introduction into what life will be like there.

← Part 6: Da Nang & Hue


A flight from Hue to Hanoi takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes. From Hanoi Airport you can catch an Uber to the Old Quarter which at the time was about 300 000VND ($12.90 US). Sian describes using Hanoi as a ‘base’ while she explored Halong Bay, Sa Pa and Cat Ba.

Hanoi 2, Vietnam, Sian Owen.

A magical building next to a gorgeous lake.


Hanoi 3B Hotel & Gia Thinh Hotel

“We first stayed at Hanoi 3B hotel, then when it was full we moved to Gia Thinh Hotel. I highly recommend both places, they had ‘free’ breakfast and they are based in an incredible location, right at the heart of the old quarter.”


Wander around the old Quarter

Girl walking through old quarter of hanoi, Vietnam.,

within the hustle and bustle of the city.

“You’d be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t wander around this ancient place. It’s crazy, chaotic, vibrant and most certainty entertaining. It’s quite impossible to put it into words, it’s something you just have to experience.”

A mobile food market in Hanoi, Vietnam.

A very practical way of selling some fruits.


Live Chicken, old quarter, Hanoi, Vietnam.

Very regular scenes in this part of the city.

Mission to find the Old Railway

“This is a very awesome place. I was so chuffed we found it! Such a great opportunity for taking photos”

Old Rail Road, Hanoi, vietnam.

A few naps on the old railway line.


Old railway lane, old quarter, Hanoi, Vietnam. 2

Imagining the history on these tracks.

Perfume Pagoda

“This is something we would’ve loved to do had we had enough time.”

65th floor of the Lotte Building

“A friend of mine advised me to go there to see the best views of the city, but sadly by this point of our trip, we didn’t have enough money to spare for such luxuries”

Day trip to Tam Coc

Tam Coc - Vietnam

Image by Jordan Opel.

“This costs $20. It’s 3 hours each way on a public bus. Everyone we met along the way recommended this to us, but we just did not have enough time to do this either, although we would’ve loved to.”


Giang cafe’ for the local ‘egg coffee’

Coffee shop in Hanoi, Vietnam.

A universally delicious cup of coffee.

“I know it sounds gross – coffee with raw egg yolks, but you HAVE to try it! It’s more like a dessert then a coffee – extremely rich, creamy and sweet. It’s made with coffee, yolks, cream and condensed milk, it’s so delicious.”

Aubergine cafe

“So cheap and so good. Try the deep fried aubergine coated in sesame seeds. We ate here 4 times in 3 days.”

Bun Bo Nam Bo

Ban Bo Man Bo, Hanoi, Vietnam.

A bowl of deliciousness.

“This is also a must try! It’s about 60 000VND ($2.60 US) for a bowl of noodles, beef, herbs, crispy onion and peanuts which sit on a spicy sauce rather than a broth-like ‘pho’. They literally only have 4 items on their menu which they’ve perfected.”

Banh Mi 25

Binh Mi 25 - Hanoi, Vietnam.

Tasty, comfort food.

“This place was just as good as all the other Banh Mi’s we’d eaten around Vietnam. Really well run franchise!”

Sian Owen is a South African Business Science graduate and photographer. She specializes in wedding and lifestyle photography. This series of bog posts follows her recent trip through Cambodia and Vietnam, showcasing the incredible beauty of these two fascinating countries.

To see more of Sian’s amazing photography, here are her contact details:


Instagram: @sianowenphotography@sian_owen
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +27 79 981 0981

Interested in Teaching English, volunteering or interning abroad? We’ll send you more info!





You might also want to read:

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out the form below and we’ll get back to you within 1 business day!

Pin It on Pinterest