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Bia Hơi is abundant in the streets of the Old Quarter. At the crossing of Ta Hien and Luong Ngoc Quyen five separate venues fill up with travellers in the evenings, but you can get more local atmosphere on some of the side streets.
Hanoi is a lively city on the weekends, but the Old Quarter closes relatively early (at midnight) on weekdays, so you might want to start your night early. Other places outside the Old Quarter stay open later and vary in closing times.
Local young people gather around the cathedral located in Ly Quoc Su to have lemon ice tea (Tra Chanh) and sunflower seeds in street bars. After dark it gets quite crowded. Tra Chanh: 8,000 to 10,000 dong.
Sit on a plastic chair in front of one of the Bia Hoi (fresh beer) establishments which are invariably situated on the corners of many of Hanoi's 'Old Quarter' streets. This preservative-free light beer is the perfect drink to sip as you watch the city's frenetic life bustle by. The beer costs less than twenty cents and gives you an excuse to relax and take photos of the passing local characters. Should not be missed. Moreover, once you reach the Old Quarter, you will find that almost every corner is filled with stalls selling Pho (Vietnamese noodle) and cafe (the name is not limited only to coffee, but also tea, sweets and grocery items, and yes, even to Pho!).
On Tô Tich, a small street connecting Hang Quat and Hang Gai, you can help yourself to a refreshing fruit milkshake (sinh tố) at one of the stalls (~7000 dong).
Highlands Coffee, (opposite KFC), . Located on 3rd floor in a ship shaped 5 storey building overlooking Hoan Kiem Lake and Vietnam's "Piccadilly Circus". Great spot to relax in scenic location where you can watch all the traffic and pedestrians go about their business below you along their outside balcony or stay inside their comfy air-conditioned interior. They also serve food and beer. 45,000 vnd.
Pots 'n Pans Lounge Bar, 57 Bui Thi Xuan Street, Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi (Follow Ba Trieu Street south from Hoan Kiem Lake 5 mins), ☎ +84 4 39 4402 04 (email@example.com, fax: +84 4 39 44 65 99), . From 11.30AM-late. Innovative Vietnamese cuisine infused with international flair. A great bar and lounge brought to you by a group of former street and disadvantaged youth from Hanoi's own KOTO Training Program. with a great bar menu, open from 11.30am until late. Happy Hour 7 days from 5pm - 7pm.
Green Lake (Ho Guom Xanh), 32 Le Thai To. A crowded bar with weekly performances by popular local singers. A place for the definitive Vietnamese entertainment scene. Has an 80,000 dong cover charge on the weekends. Seems to combine part live singing with drag performances and a host club.
Tet Bar, (on the northern end of Ta Hien). A small bar formerly known as Le Maquis. It's more like a loud rock music binge and smoke pub than a stylish lounge, but there's usually a happy crowd until late and the place has an authentic feel.
Mao's Red Lounge, 30 Ta Hien, Hoan Kiem (down the street from Tet and Cheeky Quarter). Small, but lively bar in the heart of the Old Quarter. Has two levels, the top floor which is usually packed with Westerners smoking loads of cigarettes. Mao himself is usually in presence, playing all kinds of music from his iPod. Extremely friendly dude who will strike up a conversation with anyone willing to listen. Daily specials, and LaRue for about 20,000 dong.
Minh's Jazz Club, 92 Tran Vu (on the south side of Truc Bach Lake), . This longtime institution of the Hanoi music scene has recently moved (Oct 2010) to an area outside the Old Quarter. The new location is much smaller than the previous location, but is still run by the same Mr. Quyen Van Minh. It is now attached to the MaLai Deli and Red Arecas Restaurant. Drink options are still available, but food will have to be sourced from one of the two adjoining restaurants.
Nola, 89 Ma May str (located in the heart of the old quarter), (firstname.lastname@example.org). 7PM-11PM. a communal spot with friendly services. three floors are three beautiful views and comfortable place. put your bag anywhere then you can have a rest. edit
Seventeen Cowboys, 98B Tran Hung Dao. Due to a licensing agreement finishing, this is no longer known as "Seventeen Saloon", though the format is largely unchanged. Nightly live cover band, a multitude of provocatively dressed waitstaff, and somewhat expensive drinks.
Student Bar, left of the St. Joseph Cathedral's Entrance (West of Hoan Kiem Lake). A nice little bar for cheap and good fruit shakes. As the name suggests, very young audience, that sits each night on ridiculous amounts of little chairs on the sidewalks, taking their fruit shakes.
Sunset Bar - InterContinental Hanoi Westlake, 1A Nghi Tam, ☎ (84-4)62708888. Dramatically positioned on its own island in West Lake and reached in the evenings by a stroll along a torch-lit bridge, Sunset Bar's tropical Asian ambiance and stunning sunset views over the lake afford guests a sanctuary from which to escape the bustle of downtown Hanoi.
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