VIETNAM PHOTO DIARY: MY FAVOURITE MOMENTS IN HANOI
When I found out my tour of Vietnam with My Adventure Store included a stay in Hanoi, I couldn’t believe my luck. Hanoi is a city I have been desperate to visit for a very long time. The capital city of Vietnam, Hanoi is known for it centuries-old architecture, tree lined boulevards, ancient pagodas and fusion of cultures. Heavily influenced by the Chinese and the French, Hanoi is Asia’s most cosmopolitan city on the move.
With hundreds of motorcycles creating chaos, locals feasting on fresh noodles or sipping on drip coffee, and tourists celebrating Vietnam in the overflowing restaurants and bars, I found it very easy to fall in love with Hanoi.
Known for its “Parisian grace and Asian pace”, there is literally so much to see and do in Hanoi. But if you’re like me and time is not on your side, don’t worry. Below is a list of things you must see and do, as well as some local tips, if you’re time poor. And I hope you enjoy my Vietnam photo diary of Hanoi!
• A trip to Hanoi isn’t complete until you’ve enjoyed a coconut ice cream drip coffee from Cong Caphe. Start your day any of the several locations scattered around Hanoi. I don’t drink coffee but how could I resist such a delectable fusion of coconut and coffee? • Take a walk around Hoan Kiem Lake but don’t worry about visiting the Ngoc Son Temple here • At the north end of Hoan Kiem Lake you’ll come across a large round-a-bout. Look up and find yourself a spot in the many cafes over looking the traffic, it’s the best spot for people watching and lemonade sipping on a hot day. • Even if you’re not a guest, visitors can still enjoy high tea at the oldest hotel in the city, the Sofitel Metropole • Stop into Hoa La Prison to see where U.S. Senator John McCain was imprisoned during the Vietnam War • The French Quarter was my favourite area in Hanoi, there is something charming about the Asian French fusion • Spend as much time as you can walking around the Old Quarter; getting lost is mandatory as is visiting the Night Markets • Make sure you grab a bite to eat at Green Mango in the Old Quarter • The best time to grab a bit to eat in the Old Quarter is at night when people spill out of the restaurants and sit on old plastic hairs on the street – this is the real Hanoi. Pick any restaurant, they are all seriously good. • If you can, avoid monsoon season as the skies are often cloud filled and the days are very hot • Reservations for dinner are required in advanced for Koko, a restaurant dedicated to getting at-risk and disadvantaged Vietnamese kids off the street and into the culinary industry. Trust me, the food is the best in Hanoi. • Explore the city by jumping on tricycle, it really is the best way to explore the city and remember to tip your ride lots – it’s hard work for them!
This post is in collaboration with My Adventure Store