Wide awake in Hanoi

By Pham Van   July 20, 2016 | 11:58 pm PT
Places to go when the city calls it a night.

Many cities advertise themselves as places that 'never sleep' in an attempt to keep tourists and their wallets outdoors for as long as possible, because we all know that when they hit the hotel their money goes to bed with them. In Vietnam, that city is Saigon. There is a whole quarter that operates on a different time zone to the normal biological clock, never saying “no” to orders no matter what time it is.

Hanoi, the capital city, is a completely different story. If you, by any chance, forget the time and try to party the night away, you will get a polite reminder that it's home time. And by 'remind' I mean 'warn'. Although usually dead at night, Hanoi still has a few secrets up its sleeve for those who find sleeping at night too boring.

The places offering nocturnal services are mostly found and operate legally on Tong Duy Tan, a street specially designed to be a food hub targeting insomniacs who can’t adapt to the day-night routine here, both foreign and local.

You’ll find the (mainly) pedestrian alley and its own triumphant arch at the intersection of Tran Phu Street and Dien Bien Phu Street, right on the edge of the Old Quarter. Now you know where it is, let VnExpress guide you down the nighttime haunts.


The first cafe to go 24-hours in Hanoi, Puku possesses both indoor and outdoor spaces. The cafe has become a gathering point for New Year's Eve and football matches taking place on the other side of the world. Try eggs benedict if you spend the night here. It’s said to be worth it.


Pronounced 'so far' and decorated like the above Puku, Xofa is another place that does F&B around the clock plus streetside seating. The owners make good use of the space here, placing tables anywhere they can fit, but even then they still can’t accommodate the flood of customers despite the cafe’s quasi-similarity to Puku. After midnight, Xofa plays only chill-out music to create a mellow tone before patrons eventually decide to turn in for the night.

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