There’s plenty to do after dark in Hanoi, from shopping and sampling the delights of Hanoi cuisine, to exploring its bars and clubs. But the city’s most distinctive forms of evening entertainment are performances of puppetry at the Water Puppet Theatre or ballet or music concerts at the Opera House.
Despite the midnight curfew that prevails through most of the city, there’s a buzz about the place in the evening. It’s also worth checking out local magazines to find out what special events are on while you’re there.
Hanoi’s nightclub scene is a bit of a game of cat and mouse between the police and bar owners, making it all rather unpredictable for those that have just arrived in town not knowing where to go.
As soon as a club starts to get popular, the authorities turn up around midnight to enforce punctual closing, and the bosses are often forced to close down as their window of opportunity to make money (around 23:00-midnight) is too short. This can make it a frustrating place to spend a birthday or special celebration.
However, a few that were open at the time of writing and are definitely worth checking out for a night on the tiles are Club Q: at the Daewoo Hotel, 360 Kim Ma, tel: +84 4 3831 5000, fax: +84 4 3831 5500, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, website: www.hanoidaewoohotel.com.vn, the Face Club: at 6 Hang Bai, tel: +84 98 963 6999, and the Jam Club: at 61A Luong Ngoc Quyen, Happy Hours: 20:00-22:00; tel: +84 90 435 1234.