In my opinion, Hanoi comes alive at night, and with so much light and colour around, it’s not hard to see why.
Hanoi is possibly one of my favourite cities, and for reasons I wouldn’t usually find appealing. It’s hot, it’s loud, it’s busy; it’s an attack on the senses with street food sellers on every corner, hundreds of mopeds whizzing past and a car horn sounding almost every second. Egg tea, Beer Corner, civet coffee, engine fumes, trendy bars and cafes, tannoys on the back of government cars encouraging everyone ‘to have a productive day’, hundreds of telephone wires, and lots and lots of lights.
Streets everywhere are draped in string lights. Light pours out of shops and bars full of people. Car and bike lights cruise past. And if it’s been raining, all the colours are reflected in the puddles.
One of my favourite places in Hanoi was a bar called Lantern Lounge. I’d read in my guidebook that it was a must see spot on the way to Beer Corner, and from the outside it looked pretty unique.
The ground floor of the bar is fairly generic, but if you go up to the first floor, the space there is amazing.
It’s one large room with large cushions scattered all over the floor to chill back and have a beer, and hanging from the ceiling are lanterns of all shapes, sizes, and colours. The glow they give out into the room is warm and exotic, and along with the colourful drapes and low couches, the place has a real Arabian Nights feel to it. If you don’t count the Saigon beers in hand.
There’s a small balcony which overlooks the street, also covered in lanterns.
It was a great spot to listen to the band busking below us and watching the world go by.
We finished our night at Lantern Lounge with a stroll around Hoàn Kiếm lake, which also looked dreamy at night.
There’s so much vibrancy and colour in Hanoi unlike anywhere else I’ve seen, and it’s definitely worth stepping out at night, exploring the city and following the lights…