Travel & Tours


With its overextended sun and streets lorded by scooters, Hanoi is a peach and vibrant city that bridges modern and traditional ways of living. A city that demands your attention—it challenges the way you see things. In one blink, you could miss out on witnessing something far beyond what conventional traveling offers. Keep your eyes open. Let your senses guide you to every pocket corner in this city worth discovering.


Do you remember the first time you got lost in a city? In a place where the only common denominator you have from the people you come across is the not-so-subtle urge to carry on— hoping to reach a destination where you could lay your head and rest your tired feet while sipping a hot freshly-brewed coffee.


Seated on tiny plastic stools, in front of a table filled with one of the best food cultures in the world, it will eventually hit you; in the streets of Hanoi, everyone is equal. You could see and feel how the culture of camaraderie and thoughtfulness flourish along the sidewalks. In the streets of Hanoi, who you are and what your net worth does not matter. The only thing that matters is how much rice noodles, banh mi, and bun cha can your appetite take.



Speaking of rice, call it sentimental, but the friendship between Vietnam and the Philippines extends outside socioeconomic aspects. When locals ask where you are from, you can see some glimmer in their eyes when they hear you are from the Philippines. Some may not be as friendly and courteous as the Thais, but they remember our countries’ past and current relations. A couple of decades ago, when the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) was established in the Philippines, our fellow ASEAN neighbors, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam, visited the country to learn how to produce rice.


Fast forward to today, these three countries surpassed us in the world rankings, as Indonesia takes the 3rd spot, followed by Vietnam at 4th and Thailand at 5th. The Philippines, meanwhile, remained in the 7th spot on the list of global rice-producing countries. We always say that learning is a two-way street. Perhaps, this time, we could learn from them.



Vietnam and the Philippines share the same experiences when it comes to being colonized. Vietnam was colonized by France from 1873 to 1940 and again from 1946 to 1954, as part of the French Indochina, together with Cambodia and Laos. The Philippines, on the other hand, had been a colony of Spain (1565-1898) and the United States (1989-1946).

Even today, we can still see some French influences in Vietnam through its city layout. In Hanoi, specifically, the French applied a similar layout to Paris, which is why the city was once called the “Paris of Asia.” Sounds familiar? Though unrelated, during the 19th century, until shortly before the war, Manila was also dubbed the “Paris of the East.” The moniker is usually given to the most culturally sophisticated place in a particular region.


Barring European and other Asian cultural influences, Hanoi managed to keep its unique identity despite being one of the most ancient cities in the world. The capital of Vietnam beams with pride and heritage which can be seen in every corner of its streets. Its disorderly urbanism blends with its important historical sites keeping its dynamic identity intact.

Today, when you walk around the city, you will witness the enthralling fusion of modern and traditional culture. From people to establishments, Hanoi exudes a thriving and exciting city that will never make you feel indifferent. It may have gone through various modifications, but it made sure that the charm that makes it stand out from other cities remains unchanged. It welcomes visitors with a searingly hot bowl of phó and a stool on a side street. A safe place for anyone who seeks peace and clarity. Lay your head and rest your feet. With eyes wide open, witness the charm this humble city exudes. Let your senses get lost as you discover new heights in your journey.



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