Hanoi Nightlife has seen an incredible change in recent years. I have been to the Vietnamese capital about half a dozen times and on each previous visit, I was underwhelmed by the lack of really good things to do after about 11 pm each evening. The last time I was in Hanoi was in 2014 and as usual, just about everywhere closed down really early. Restaurants and bars had finished trading by about 11 pm and the streets were all but deserted.
Hanoi Nightlife is booming in the Old Quarter
What a difference a few years have made. Bars have sprung up everywhere in the winding streets of the Old Quarter, and they are staying open late. The police are more accepting and are implementing the government edict allowing late night opening well. Young people pour into the centre of this most Vietnamese of cities, in the night-time ensuring that Hanoi nightlife is every bit as vibrant as parts of its southern counterpart, Saigon.
The streets are awash with street vendors, buskers, restaurant hawkers and of course the general public. The atmosphere is extremely convivial and to be honest as good as anywhere I have been. This is a great place to be after dark. Of course, the historic streets of the Old Quarter are the most picturesque and interesting part of the city. However, whereas they used to fall quiet, late into the night, they are now teeming with nightlife.
The Days are Also Busier
Even the days have changed. The whole area around Hoan Kiem Lake has been transformed as traffic has been banned and people come out in huge numbers to stroll around, play music and sell their wares. The atmosphere is brilliant and the public is really enjoying it. The days are great, but the nights now, are also. This will be a huge boost for the tourists, who seem to be coming in ever increasing numbers.