They make it sound like the streets of Vietnam is a dangerous place. But I spent four days walking around Hanoi, and I didn’t really feel threatened. It’s actually really interesting because everyone, young or old, professional or not, rides one. Rain or shine, they ride their colorful bikes and wear their equally colorful helmets. They heave giant boxes and anything they can on top of their bike. [Read more…]
Four months after I visited Vietnam, I’m still not done blogging about it. And believe it or not, there’s still a few more posts queued for writing. I took a lot of photos that time, maybe because it was just Jinky and me. Traveling in small groups allows for more leisurely time. We spent a lot of time just walking around Old Quarter, and it was definitely one of the best things I enjoyed in Hanoi.
And of course, there’s the food. Suffice to say, we ate a lot of good food for really cheap price. Pigging out in Hanoi, specifically, was inexpensive. We opted for traditional restaurants with huge crowds. After all, it’s not the interior that people try again and again but good food, right?
Dining is truly a unique experience in Vietnam. I love how it’s so low-maintenance and unpretentious. Most restaurants have wooden interiors, a very basic menu, and seating that extends to the sidewalk. Yes, every store has little chairs and tables outside where customers can eat. But being shy people (heh), Jinky and I usually sat inside.
It gets kind of awkward because they thought we’re Vietnamese, too! They end up asking for our orders in the local language, and we didn’t know how to respond. Haha. I guess Filipinos and Vietnamese have the same facial features and skin tone? 🙂 [Read more…]
It has been almost three months since my trip to Vietnam, but I’m not yet done blogging about it. I have a few more posts queued for posting, but I can’t seem to find the time to write it. I’ve been so busy with life lately that blogging about a trip that happened a few months ago doesn’t call out to me to hurry up and tell its story.
December is about to end, and the only thing I’m thinking of is how I’m going to fit my budget through all this Christmas shopping and monthly bills and expenses. But every now and then, I long to be on the road again, traveling to someplace foreign, or just someplace unfamiliar. On mornings that I feel grumpy, I miss the coffee I drunk in Hanoi for four days. On afternoons when I feel tired, I think of the sunset at Hoan Kiem Lake and yearn for that calmness again. On nights when I’m nostalgic, I wish to be on a plane heading to my next destination.
Tonight is one of those nights. Or maybe I just really want to finish all my Hanoi posts before the year ends.
Hồ Hoàn Kiếm or Lake of the Returned Sword is at the very heart of the Old Quarter in Hanoi.
I was planning to watch the sunrise at the lake during our trip but failed to wake up early even once. But I guess watching the glorious sunset more than makes up for it. It was unplanned, we simply didn’t know what to do while waiting for the puppet show to start. Since Hoan Kiem Lake was just right in front of us, it seemed sensible to just sit there and wait for the sun to set. [Read more…]
Many things have happened since we booked our trip to Hanoi. We thought four of us would be going on a trip to Vietnam but it turned out that the two actually booked a flight to Ho Chi Minh. A lot of planning resulted into the decision of meeting halfway between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh which are 15 hours apart. But that plan also failed since the two ended up not going at all.
So it’s down to Jinky and me, and being short on cash, a week before our flight we were still contemplating whether we’d go through the plan or scrap it altogether. After much guilt-tripping, we decided to just go and hope that our budget will suffice. A day before our trip, we still didn’t have an itinerary. At least we already booked a hotel, and at least someone would pick us up at the airport.
We arrived in Noi Bai airport at around 1AM. It’s an ungodly hour so it was no surprise that the airport was almost abandoned, and there were barely any cars in the parking lot. It was a good choice to have availed the airport transfer service of the hotel. We were picked up by a good-looking driver dressed in a dress shirt, slacks, and leather shoes. He looked as if he’s on his way to a party, but no, he was just going to drive us to our hostel. Heehee.
We had a really good first impression of Hanoi, because once arriving at our hotel, we were told that we’re given a deluxe room, instead of a standard one, for the same price! So we were pampered immediately. The room was amazing! I was in love with that room for four days, and mainly it’s the reason why I didn’t want to leave Hanoi.