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May 2015 Updates
for Nancy Chandler's Map of Hanoi
by Isabelle and Julie, 2nd Edition
Below are select openings, closings, special experiences, and more of note related to changes in Hanoi since we published this map. Scroll on down, or search below to check out specific areas of interest as listed (we're still working on setting up links).
The Marriott Hanoi on Do Duc Duc (F3) which we put on our map before it opened, has since officially launched as the JW Marriott, one of the city’s largest properties.
NEW CULTURAL MUSEUM
The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology on Nguyen Van Huyen (F2) is now home to the Southeast Asia Museum with unique, beautiful displays exploring the similarities and differences between Asian countries. Over 500 artifacts, maps, videos, and photos were donated by researchers in the region to the permanent exhibit. On the second floor, visitors can browse three additional private collections: Ethnology of Asian types, Indonesian Glass Pictures, and World Cultures.
NEW WATER PUPPET THEATRE
The Lotus (Bong Sen) Water Puppet Theatre has opened at 79 Hang Trong just north of the Luc Thuy Lounge (K2) with daily shows at 3.30, 5, 6.30, and 8pm. Entry was VND 100,000 in early 2015. To book a seat, call 09 7203 0420 or go to bongsenwaterpuppet.com.
The Vinpearl Aquarium in the new underground Vincom Mega Mall Times City (F3) on Minh Khai (G3) which opened in December 2013 claims to be the largest aquarium in Vietnam with over 30,000 marine species – including penguins, iguanas and tortoises – and a long tunnel under the water. It is open daily 9.30am-10pm, entry VND 170,000 for adults, 100,000 for children on weekdays, VND 220,000 adults and VD150,000 children on weekends.
TRAVEL AGENCY UPDATES
Exotissimo has moved its main office from Tran Nhat Duat to the 3rd floor of 66A Tran Hung Dao, which is in front of the Embassy of Cambodia (C3).
FOR THOSE LOOKING FOR CHARACTER
Lovers of old street culture should have a peek at the newly restored communal house on Lan Ông (J1) in the Old Quarter just west of Cha Ca, which has been nicely renovated. Across the street, traditional herbalist shops are also worth a glance.
Nha San Anh Duc, our favorite antique dealer, has moved out of his picturesque Thai stilted house at Vinh Phuc Cum 5 To 50 (F2) in Greater Hanoi, reopening as Shop Vinh Tam in Duong Lam, a world heritage village about 50km from Hanoi. Tel: 016 7361 4246.
ART GALLERIES (AND ART LOVER'S DINING)
Forced out of the Zone 9 complex (D4) when it was demolished in late 2013, Tadioto and Work Room Four have since reopened in new premises. Tadioto, a bar and alternative art space, is now at 24B Tong Dan, just south of the Club de l’Oriental (D3), with experimental music, readings and exhibitions scheduled. See “tadioto: art, bar, events” on Facebook for details. Work Room Four (www.workroomfour.com) meanwhile has studio space and a wide ranging program of art classes at its new home on the 23rd floor of Tower 1 of the Packexim Building on Ngo 15, An Duong Vuong, which is off the northern edge of the map – west of Au Co and north of Lac Long Quan street near the gas station marked in (F1). Tel: 012 0260 8562. Closed: Maison des Arts, Van Mieu (A3).
ASIAN HOME DECOR
Closed: La Casa, Syrena, Xuan Dieu (I1-I2).
UMA has a new branch at 84 Quan Thanh (B1) in Downtown Hanoi.
GENERAL CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES SHOPS
Renowned fashion design boutique Ha Truong has moved from Lang Yen Phụ (G1) to Xuan Dieu, where it is now between L’Atelier and Linh and Ben restaurant (I1-2). M Studio at 1A Au Co just south of Dome Furniture (Tay Ho, I2) is a modern shop with secondhand clothing on sale. Closed: Made in Vietnam’s winter wear shop and the Ostrich and Crocodile leather bag shop, both on Hang Thung (K2) near the Water Puppet Theatre; and Song, Nha Tho (J2).
For those looking for good deals, a little Factory Outlet shop selling The North Face items at good prices (real made-in-Vietnam sportswear with minor defects) has opened at 93 May May, south of the Traditional Tube House (C2, K1).
NEW SPECIALTY FOOD AND BEVERAGE SHOPS
Gia Dinh Bio at 9 To Tich (J1-2) is a neat new tiny gourmet shop selling starfruit vinegar and scented honeys in the Old Quarter. Hanoli (www.hanoli.com.vn), a small new shop at 30A Nam Ngu – to the left of Badiane restaurant (B3) – sells excellent imported Greek olive oil. Tel: 04 3941 3182. Homefood at 14 Nguyen Hoang Ton in the Ciputra area next to Donkey Bakery (F1) offers organic food. Rediscovered in its new location behind a bus stop at 16 Phung Hung (B1-2), Lien-Hoa is a tiny and crammed foodshop selling goods unavailable elsewhere, from hazelnut oil to mozzarella and southern Vietnamese delicacies (Tel: 04 3824 2134). Pyza at the back of 60 To Ngoc Van, just before Tohe ( H1) sells freshly made smoked meat without preservatives that are to die for. Expat favourite L’s Place meanwhile has opened a branch at 5 Ben Nhat Ban, not far from the No Name Cafe in Tay Ho (H2). SuperBean, formerly at 183 Giang Vo, has moved next to La Salsa at 51 Xuan Dieu (I1), where it sells a range of soy products, perfect for the lactose intolerant, among other things.
NEW WINE SHOPS
For those in the Tay Ho area, Warehouse is new at 27 Xuan Dieu, next to the House of Son Tihn and Highway 4 (I2), with a good selection of wine on sale. Tel: 04 3718 3701.
NEW SHOPPING MALLS
For those in the southeastern suburbs of Hanoi, the Vincom Mega Mall Times City has opened at 458 Minh Khai (G3) featuring an aquarium, cineplex, over 90 restaurants and 300 stores including Chocolate World, Book City, Toy World, and more. It also claims to stage free water dance light-and-sound shows daily 6-9pm in winter and 6.30-9.30pm in summer.
NEW CAFES DOWNTOWN
Cafe Linh at 65 Hang Buom (K1) boasts a collection of artifacts from soldiers on both sides of the American war. Cafe Xe Co is an oldie but goodie which serves excellent Vietnamese coffee from the owner’s plantation in the Highlands with two venues decorated with old bicycles and motorbicycles, one at 11-13 Hang Bun (B1) and the other at 92B Tho Nhuom (B3). The KAfe on the 2nd floor of 18 Dien Bien Phu, south of Tran Phu, on the right-hand side (B2-3) is a neat new industrial loft style which we recommend trying for brunch or lunch – try the cupcakes – so chocolate, so divine! Tel: 04 3747 6245. It also has another branch called The KAfe Village at 4 Ha Hoi downtown (C3). For those in the Old Quarter, the new Analog Cafe at 21 Nguyen Sieu (K1) is also worth a visit. Among other new cafes of note downtown are Dahlia Cafe and Bistro at 8 Da Tuong (B3); Les Amis Cafe & Lounge at 84 Quan Thanh (B1); and Saint Honore's new branch at 31 Thai Phien (C4) on the lower border of the map.
NEW COFFEE BARS DOWNTOWN
The distinctive Cong Ca Phe chain now has several branches, our top ones at Nguyen Xí (D3) and at 54 Hang Dieu (J1-2) with a 2nd floor view, and 35A 36 Nguyen Huu Huan (Old Quarter, K1). L’amore at 42 Luog Van Can (J1-2) is a good little coffee bar. The Shot Cafe at 60 Ngo Phat Loc (K1) is a secret gem of a coffee shop by day, casual music bar (piano and guitar upstairs) by night. Among others downtown worthy of note is The Coffee Inn at 19 Thai Phien (C4) on the lower border of the map.
NEW JUICE BAR CHAIN
Vu Canu serves delicious fresh juice, its main juice bar at 69 Hai Ba Trưng (B3) with several new ones sprouting up all over town.
NEW CAFES IN THE TAY HO AREA
The distinctive Cong Ca Phe chain has a branch at 100 Xuan Dieu (I2) just north of the 88 Lounge Bar. The Maison de Tet Decor in Nghi Tam Village atop Ngo 136 (I2) is a charming artsy cafe with healthy eats. L’ouest is a new cafe at 25 Nhat Chieu, near Chula on Lac Long Quan (F1), in a tall Brittany inspired blue and white house with small balconies overlooking the lake (Tel: 09 3288 6555). Also new is La Grace Art Cafe and Gallery (www.lagrace.com.vn) at 8B/52 To Ngoc Van, near the Topaz travel agency (H1), which is a good place, with wifi, for a drink or lunch. Tel: 09 1266 6736. SuperBean, now at 51 Xuan Dieu (I1) next to La Salsa, sells snacks, drinks, desserts, and soy products, perfect for the lactose intolerant. TET Decor Cafe offers healthy lunches and fruit juices afternoons in a lovely ethnic setting at Villa 25, Dang Thai Mai 50 (H2), which is in front of the popular street side stalls before Ngo 50/23. Tel: 04 3718 5705. In other developments, recommended French bakery Saint Honore on Xuan Dieu (I2) has opened a top floor tapas bar with great view. Closed: Lotus, Ben Nhat Ban (H1).
CAFES OFFERING A UNIQUELY HANOI EXPERIENCE
Worthy of special mention on this page is Cafe Chim, an open air cafe at the corner of Nguyen Du and Tran Binh Trong by Thien Quang Lake (B3-4) where customers bring their zosterops (tiny, singing green birds). They hang the cages above the tables and compare their songs. It is busy in the mornings, particularly on weekends. A new colourful and friendly branch has just opened on Ho Tay lake opposite Dinh Quang Ba (H1) and the patch of grass where locals gather on weekends to dance, exercise or show off their pedigree dogs.
OTHER CAFES IN GREATER HANOI
For those willing to venture a beyond the Downtown area, the Xi Nghiep Cafe on 40 Doi Can Ngo 210 west of the hotel La Thanh (F2) is a charming, treasure-filled cafe with recycled furniture, antique Polaroid camera collection and more. Closed: Commune, Vong Thị (F1)
CAFES FOR THE SWEET TOOTH
Gelato Italia is new at 31 To Ngoc Van, in front of George fashion (H1), offering real Italian home-made ice-cream in a cute setting with a large terrace that will be great in summer once the renovation works next door are completed. It also has a kid’s corner with activities and a large window opening into the kitchen to watch the process of ice-cream making. Closed: what was the new Laduree Cafe in what was Zone 9 (B4), which is gone.
NEW FRENCH RESTAURANTS
Le Biniou has opened as the city’s first real French ‘creperie’ at 14 Ngach 15, Ngo 1, Au Co, just below Dome furniture shop alongside the small lake (I2). Tel: 04 3719 6691. Closed: La Salsa, 25 Nha Tho (J2).
IN FUSION FOOD
Sadly closed: Bobby Chinn+, Xuan Dieu (I1), formerly recommended by us.
NEW INTERNATIONAL RESTAURANTS
The Curry Bar, new at 32 Tay Ho (H1) in front of the Oriental Palace Hotel, is a brand new little place with outdoor terrace that offers Thai, Japanese and Indian curries (Tel: 04 6295 0033). PePe la Poule, new at 27 Ngo 50/23 Dang Thai Mai (H2), has a pleasant roof terrace with stunning lake views and an eclectic menu of dumplings, tapas, pasta, and more (Tel: 04 629 12641). V & B Polish Restaurant also has an outdoor terrace at the back of 60 To Ngoc Van, just before Tohe ( H1). It is open 11am-10pm and has a shop called Pyza attached that sells freshly made smoked meat without preservatives that are to die for. Al Fresco has moved its Xuan Dieu branch to 24 Ngo 27, Xuan Dieu, where it is located between Don’s and the Kukai hairdresser (I2) in a nice home with lovely outside seating. Tel: 04 3719 5322. Closed: Match Box in the Fine Arts Museum garden, Cao Ba Quat (A2).
NEW INDIAN RESTAURANTS
Two of our recommended Indian restaurants have moved. Namaste is now in a larger, brighter place at 46 Tho Nhuom (B3), opposite the Hanoi Towers. Khazaana is now at 34 Duong Thanh (J2).
NEW ITALIAN RESTAURANTS
Le Soleil + Paolo & Chi at 284 Nghi Tam (G1), just south of where Huong Que III used to be, offers late night pizza and drinks. Trattoria Luna d’Autunno has moved from Tho Nhuom (C3) to 27 Nam Ngu, next to La Badiane restaurant (B3) in Hoan Kiem district. Tel 04 38237 3738.
NEW JAPANESE RESTAURANTS
For those in the Tay Ho area, Kimi is new at 57 Xuan Dieu – between La Salsa restaurant and the Taxi symbol (I1) – offering good sushi, recommended as a good lunch spot. Tel: 04 6268 1777.
MIDDLE EASTERN EATS
Beirut has opened at 37A Xuan Dieu (I2) in the Tay Ho area just north of L'Atelier. Also new is Nan n Kabab, at 49 Xuan Dieu where Ba Chi Em used to be (I1-2), which serves savory and hearty Turkish food. Tel: 09 1208 7799. In other news, one of our recommended Indian halal restaurants Namaste has moved to 46 Tho Nhuom (B3), opposite the Hanoi Towers.
Halia, formerly located in the courtyard of Pacific Place, Ly Thuong Kiet (B3) has reopened at 29 Xuan Dieu, in the Tay Ho area next to the house of Son Tinh and the new Warehouse wine shop (I2).
SPANISH RESTAURANT UPDATES
Closed: La Salsa, 25 Nha Tho (J2).
Argentinean steakhouse chain El Gaucho has opened another branch serving excellent steak in a cozy atmosphere at 11 Trang Tien between Club Opera and the Green Palm (D3) in Hoan Kiem district. It is open to midnight, ideal for a meal after seeing the opera or enjoying a late show at L’Espace. Tel: 04 3824 7280. Also new and worthy of mention is The Moose and Roo Smokehouse in the American Club at 21 Hai Ba Trung (C3-D3).
NEW VIETNAMESE RESTAURANTS
Vintage themed 1946 has opened a large new branch at 292 Nghi Tam, opposite Hai San Ngon and Houng Que III restaurants (G1). One of our new finds (although it is not new) is the rooftop Gourmet Corner Restaurant atop the Hanoi Elegance Diamond Hotel on Lo Su (D2). The amazing view, friendly service and cuisine worth trying mean reservations are advised. Tel: 04 3935 1632 ext. 1205. AB Restaurant is another new find, a good Vietnamese restaurant with two branches for those who reside in the west of the city, with a branch in Cau Giay district off Dich Vong road (F2) at B4 Lang Quoc Te Thang Long (Tel: 04 6295 7234), and another in Tu Liem district (F1-2) on Ngo 18, Pham Hung (Tel: 04 3200 6886).
VIETNAMESE STREET EATS UPDATE FOR THE OLD QUARTER
The Banh Cuon stall at 14 Hang Ga (J1) near the Lo Ren intersection remains a favorite which we left off the map by mistake. For the adventurous, Do Nuong Trung Hoa at 66 Hang Bong on the corner with Duong Thanh (J2) is a select-your-own-food BBQ place open only in the evening that offers all sorts of strange meats (snails, frogs and worse) as well as tender beef and a selection of mushrooms, okras or eggplants. Closed: 5 Spice, Chau Long (B1).
OTHER DOWNTOWN VIETNAMESE STREET EATS UPDATES
Nam Tuoi & Thuc Pham Sach on Lo Duc (D4) is now Nam Viet, but still serves the same healthy, simple food – glutinous rice topped with mushrooms – now with meat added. Opposite is a similar place with the same name and same food. Both are often crowded. Nearby and not on the map yet, Pho Tin at 13 Lo Duc near the beginning of the street on its east side (D4) offers a rich version of this Hanoi-style healthy broth. Xoi at 42A Ly Thuong Kiet on the south side of the street, between Quang Trung and Ba Trieu (C3) serves absolutely delicious home-made sticky rice topped with dried shredded pork (C3).
AND MORE NEW STREET FOOD FURTHER AFIELD
In the Tay Ho area, Ba Chi Em has moved to 18 Dang Thai Mai, next to Group8 where Pho Bo is marked on the map (I2).
NEW INTERNATIONAL STREET FOOD OPTIONS
In Ba Chi Em’s former location at 49 Xuan Dieu (I1-2) is Nan n Kabab, dishing up savory and hearty Turkish food. Tel: 09 1208 7799. Among other new street food stalls, hot dog lovers might want to drop by the trendy Zone 9 on Tran Thanh Tong (D4) where a new hot dog stand has been set up on the street, offering something different than the usual. Closed: Green Taste, which was new at 18C Dang Thai Mai.
KHU X-98 THE NEW ZONE 9; TADIOTO REOPEN NEARBY
The unprecendented creative hub of Zone 9 on Tran Thanh Tong in Downtown Hanoi (D4) is now closed, redevelopment underway. All of the businesses, art galleries, bars, and event venues within have moved or closed, including Tadioto, Work Room Four, and Bar Betta Republic. In good news, art bar and alternative space Tadioto has since reopened at 24B Tong Dan just below the Club de l’Oriental (D3). See “tadioto: art, bar, events” on Facebook for details of upcoming experimental music, readings and exhibitions. More recently, Khu X-98 at 98 Hoang Cau Ngo 97 just east of Ho Dong Dau lake (F3-G3) has taken up the mission of providing an equally alternative complex, home now to Beer 2KU and several bars, art studios, designer fashion boutiques, restaurants and an event space.
NEW CHARACTERFUL BARS
Not to be missed is the Cafe Nola, in a renovated space tucked down a corridor next to the Traditional Tube House on Ma May (C2, K1). Intricate and labyrinthine, this wonderful bar has rooms overlooking an old courtyard away from the chaos of the streets. The +84 Bar at 23 Ngo Van So in Hoan Kiem district, just west of La Verticale (C3), is also a nice place to drink a cocktail on a comfortable sofa or designer chair. Catering to simpler tastes is the Zone 17 Pub, new at 17D Hong Ha close to the Sofitel Plaza on the river side of Yen Phu (G2). A simple bamboo style bar, it offers drinking (and dancing when there is a DJ), until very late (nearly 5am).
NEW BIA HOI
Attracting expatriates aplenty is a hideaway called the BackYard Bia Hoi in Quang Khanh at 15 Ngo 50/25, Dang Thai Mai (H2). Open evenings only, it is an outdoor bar in a beautiful courtyard.
NEW LIVE MUSIC VENUES
The Binh Minh Jazz Club at 1 Trang Tien in the Opera House grounds (D3) offers live jazz nightly at 9pm with a maestro of Vietnamese jazz. Factory 47 at 47 Hang Buom (K1) throws some interesting music theme nights. Check its Facebook page out for details. Rockstore at 61 Ma May (K1) in the Hoan Kiem area is a new live electronic music joint with DJs. Shot Cafe at 60 Ngo Phat Loc (K1) is a secret gem of a coffee shop by day, casual music bar (piano and guitar upstairs) by night.
NEW SKY HIGH BAR
The Top of Hanoi on the 67th floor of the Lotte Hotel Hanoi at 54 Lieu Giai (F2) is a great upmarket bar with a breathtaking 360° view of Hanoi, highly recommended to those in the area.
The new Vincom Mega Mall Times City on Minh Khai in the city’s southeastern suburbs (G3) is home to the country’s largest modern cinema, the Platinum Cineplex. For schedule details, see http://platinumcineplex.vn/en or call 04 3975 1166.
COOKING SCHOOL UPDATES
Closed: Match Box in the Fine Arts Museum, Cao Ba Quat (A2).
Since moving out of Zone 9 when the area was slated for redevelopment, Work Room Four(www.workroomfour.com) has reopened with a renewed mission – the art gallery/studio now home to creative classes in fashion design, illustration, Photo Shop, painting, grafitti, and much more. Its new space is on the 23rd floor of Tower 1 of the Packexim Building on Ngo 15, An Duong Vuong, which is off the northern edge of the map – west of Au Co and north of Lac Long Quan street near the gas station marked in (F1). Tel: 012 0260 8562.
NEW MEDICAL SERVICES OF NOTE
The International Chiropractic Clinic (http://iccmedical.vn) has opened at 12 Le Quy Don near UMA (G3) in Hai Ba Trung district. With American trained and licensed doctors, it is open Tue-Sun 8.30am-4.30pm. Tel: 04 6278 2289.
NEW MASSAGE PARLOURS WORTHY OF MENTION
Nen offers oil body and foot massage at 32 Ngo 12/2/5 Dang Thai Mai in the Tay Ho area, close to Hoang An Pagoda and also sells essential oils, natural Thai soaps, and herbal bath products. Open Mon-Fri 8.45am-noon and 1.45-5pm. Tel: 09 6683 0652. Ms Dzung, which offers massage by the blind, has moved from Xuan Dieu Ngo 27 (I2) to the 136 Au Co, across the road from Chua Van Ngoc pagoda (I1-2). Van Xuan foot massage is now in cleaner and more spacious premises at 41 Hang Bun (B1).
The Embassy of Thailand has moved to 26 Phan Boi Chau (Downtown, B3). Tel: 04 3823 5092.
RESIDENTIAL LISTINGS UPDATES
Closed: Golden Lodge serviced apartments, Tay Ho (I1).
NEW DANCE STUDIO
The ISIS World Dance Center at 256 Ba Trieu (south of the Chua Chan Tien pagoda, next to the Z for the Zenith Hotel in C4) is a small dance studio that offers Zumba and Chair dance classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, packages priced at VND 800,000 for 10 sessions.
NEW HORSE RIDING SCHOOL
Just beyond the edges of our map is the new Ngha Hanoi, a horse riding school on Ngo A36, Ho Trung Mao, Cau Giay (continue on Xuan Thuy past the grid number 2 in F2 to find it). A 45 minute riding lesson costs VND 450,000. Call Mr Hop at 09 0409 2827 for more information.
NEW FOR CYCLISTS
The Hanoi Bicycle Collective is now at 29 Ven Ho Tay just west of Ciputra (F1), offering bicycle rental and repair. Note: This is a bike outlet only, no tapas as at its original branch.
YOGA STUDIO UPDATES
Zenith Yoga has moved from Xuan Dieu to 247b Au Co, Ho Tay (H1-I1), just a few houses north of where it was before.