As “newbie” adventurers in a foreign place, we often wonder a lot on where to stay is the best. For Hanoi, It is quite clear. The city is being divided into 2 areas which is the Old Quarter and the French Quarter.
Old Quarter consists of markets, old apartment buildings, and the famous 36 streets of Hanoi which feature different selling items across different streets. The Dong Xuan Market which is the biggest and oldest market actually take up quite area in Old Quarter.
There are increasing amount of small hotels and backpacker lodge along the Old Quarter. Upon compare, the room rates here in the Old Quarter is not expensive if compared to the French Quarter. We stayed in Hanoi View2 Hotel, which is just along a market street and just a 10 min walk to the Lake.
With about 25USD per person, we got ourselves quite a big room with 2 queen size bed. We recommend adventurers who are on a budget and would like to explore the Vietnamese culture through the streets to stay here, in the Old Quarter.
French Quarter is being located at the end of the Hoan Kiem Lake and the buildings are being architecture in a Western style, quite distinct with the Old Quarter buildings. From foreign embassies, luxurious hotels and high end dining restaurants, the European High End style can be observed here.
Trang Tien Plaza is in the main shopping area and you can find international brands such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton in the buildings across. Hotels here are usually International Chain Hotels or 4-5 Star Local Hotels and are more expensive than the hotels in Old Quarter.
For adventurers who are in for Photography or choose to have a more luxurious staying in Hanoi can choose the French Quarter. During our stay in Hanoi, we had a dinner at an Italian Restaurant in the French Quarter. The dining setting was marvelous. However, if compared to the average price found here in Hanoi, it is definitely at the high end.
Old Quarter or French Quarter, I think mainly it depends on how you do your budgeting. You can always cross from the Old Quarter to French Quarter in a 15 minute Walk along the Hoan Kiem Lake. For us, we find that better accommodation deals can be found in the Old Quarter, while French Quarter is best for a photographic sessions or just a cup of tea.