The capital of Vietnam is just as mad and chaotic as Ho Chi Minh. It's a brilliant place to go.
Cocoon Inn: hard to find in Hanoi's chaotic one way system, but once we were there it was a very cosy little place to stay while we sold our motorbikes. There was a bike park just down the road that kept our bikes safe while we explored the old quarter. The workers were extremely helpful, even hanging onto some of our extra luggage for a few nights while we went to Ha Giang (buses that they organised). One of the bar staff was even an amateur magician, who was always happy to impress us all with his tricks.
Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum was unfortunately closed, but the park surrounding it is still very pleasant, with the national guard patrolling.
Lotte Tower: a 260m skyscraper that allows visitors into its observation deck. From there you can see the whole city, which is otherwise impossible. Absolutely visit this tower.
Walking Tour: Cocoon Inn organises a walking tour through the old quarter, including the train track street, and a stop in the coffee shops. It ended at the market, which is always an interesting place to go and see what's available.
Hoa Lo Prison: the prison where John McCain was held captive, which has a long history from before that war. They offer headsets to listen to the stories and there are some truly incredible ones to hear, especially about the escapes that happened. In places it is quite harrowing, but definitely worth a visit.
As always the street food was good, as was the coffee (I may not have mentioned earlier but I was drinking the coffee at every chance I got. It's delicious).
The most incredible part, and probably the best meal of the trip, was The Hung Snake restaurant. You go in a group, and select tier 1, 2, or 3 snake, then they go and kill one of the right size, fresh for you to eat! They also allow you to play with one of their snakes which is defanged and is essentially a pet (not the one you eat). Then they serve your snake in 12 different ways (all delicious), using all the different parts, and even shots of snake wine containing snake bile or the actual beating heart of the snake - all the while they give you free beer too! The owner was very friendly and chatted with us for a while about it, then showed us the bottles of snake wine (spirits with snakes sealed in) and how it's made. It sounds unappetising but it was the best meal we had, every single part was delicious (apart from the snake wine).