Answers from Our Experts (1)
While the nightlife in Hanoi is still considerably more subdued than in Ho Chi Minh City, there are plenty of lively bars and late-night restaurants where you can enjoy a drink or two while mingling with locals and other travelers. The areas around Hoan Kiem Lake and the Old Quarter are recommended bar-hopping destinations, though keep in mind that during the week most bars in these areas close by midnight.
Our favorite nightlife experience in Hanoi, however, is pulling up a plastic stool at one of the many bia hoi in the Old Quarter and joining the locals for a cold pitcher of crisp, unpasteurized beer. The cost for this light beer with a low ABV is negligible, and though Ho Chi Minh City does have its own bia hoi, too, the ones in Hanoi tend to be more welcoming of foreigners.