Travel Thursdays: Hanoi, Vietnam

by Karisa

Our last city in Vietnam was Hanoi.  Hanoi is Vietnam’s 2nd largest city as well as its capital and to me it was definitely the most exciting city by far…

Our taxi ride in from the airport…

We stayed in the Old Quater which is definitely where you want to be.  Our hotel was the May de Ville Old Quarter Hotel ( 43-45-47 Gia Ngu Str) which had the most gorgeous entrance hall, perfect location and very modest, yet neat & comfortable rooms.

The 3 night stay cost us R2800, so approx R930 for the room per night.

Not as nice as our previous two hotels in Phu Quoc & Hoi An, but still very comfortable…

It also had a rooftop breakfast area and an smallish semi-undercover pool on this same level…

The view from our room…

The view (continued)…

But ja, Hanoi Old Quarter is all about the hustle & bustle and I really loved the energy.  The streets are packed at all times of the day & night and here scooters (and zero road rules) are definitely king. #PedestrianBeware

Here’s a few street-level shots of the area:

Night time in Hanoi feels like it just brings more people.  The idea is that you simply find a spot on the sidewalk you like the look of and then you sit down for some dinner.

Hanoi standouts included a weird sweet & sour dish made with grilled beef, chili, ginger & caramel.  Yes, that’s right… caramel!  You’d think it would be sickeningly sweet, but paired with a local beer it was perfection…

Another must try is what they call a “hot pot” – something which you actually cook at your table.  They basically bring you a pot with some broth, then some meat (if you choose meat), veggies and seasoning and it’s really up to you how you mix it all together.

So good!

And then the guys at Fresh Sushi really know a thing or two about serving up a mean (and gorgeous) sushi selection:

On the sweeter side of things, Leigh and I kept seeing signs for “Fanny ice cream”- which of course made us laugh every single time.  But after a few days in that heat we just had to try it.  The verdict?  Oh my goodness!  Why did we not indulge from day one??

So much happiness in this photo…

If you’re into the party scene, Hanoi also has a bit of a nightlife in that sense.  Take this place which looked like an intimate bar on the outside:

But turned out to be a massive night club on the inside:

Some partying did go down here… but the details will forever remain top secret 😉

So yeah – as you can see, Hanoi has quite a lot to offer from a bustling city perspective & we really enjoyed our time there.  It was a very cool change from the more chilled vibe we had enjoyed in Phu Quoc and Hoi An.  I’d say definitely don’t give this city a skip, even if you make sure you spend at least one night here.

Next week:  A boat trip to Halong Bay (& my final Vietnam post)

PS.  If you missed parts 1, 2 & 3 of my Vietnam series, click here


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