Thursday, June 13, 2013

2012 Aug 2-7 Hanoi, Halong Bay, Cat Ba Island & Ninh Binh - Part 1/3

Yesterday I was asked - when was the last time you went on a holiday and I thought and thought and thought - I can't remember!
It seemed like so long ago...... only in the evening the thoughts of Hanoi came back. So here I am writing my travel diary in Hanoi.

Transfer to Hanoi City from Airport and Vice Versa
There is a public bus (#17) available which costs VND 5000 (RM 0.80) for a 2 hour ride into the Old Quarters of Hanoi (Air conditioned, mind you!)
In Vietnam the currencies accepted are : VND & USD
Usually VND is used when you purchase / spend in the streets. Hotels / hostels / tour usually takes USD currency.

Go to the 2nd floor of the Terminal and proceed out the doors. Turn left and walk down the ramp. The bus will pick up at the end of the ramp.

Looking back towards the airport from the ramp

The long ramp down - the bus stops at the end of the ramp

This is where the bus will stop near the Old Quarters - from here if you are staying at the Old Quarters, it should be accessible by foot. That's the colour of the bus

In Hanoi City
Hanoi city itself has nothing much (for me) - what one can possibly do in Hanoi is visit the Hoan Kiem Lake which is within walking distance to the Old Quarters of Hanoi and also the West Lake which is the largest one in Hanoi.
The other attractions include :
- Mausoleum
- One Pillar Pagoda
- Temple of Literature
- Hanoi Hilton (Hoa Lo Prison)
(Which I did not do any of them..... just did not feel like walking and tiring myself out)

Hoan Kiem Lake

One other thing which is highly recommended is the Water Puppet Show (The Puppets are performing in a little pool of water) - and this you will need to buy tickets in advance. This is at the Thang Long Theatre across from Hoan Kiem Lake and the tickets are for VND 100,000 (RM 15)

All the roads in Hanoi begins with the word "Hang" - see pic below.
Its very easy to navigate yourself around Hanoi as the road names are all clearly displayed.
The second word after "Hang" denotes what the street is famous for in the local dialect.

 For food, one should not miss:
- Beef noodles
- French food 
- Bread (even those sold on the streets are good!)
I can never get enough of beef noodles :)

This was the place that sold the beef noodles near the hostel

Cool down time!

On the streets

And we could not get enough of this too! (Chicken noodles)

Massive ingredients! Only open for dinner and by 9pm all sold out!

This is where we ate the chicken noodles

The "kitchen" is not visible on the streets... this is what you can see and many many tables and chairs + lots of people. (the locals). One can't help but to stop and try!

I stayed at Hanoi Hostel at Hang Vai street - the cost per nite for a double room with attached bathroom was USD 16 (RM 50) inclusive of breakfast.
The room had a double bed plus a single bed in it with white sheets.
The owner's name is Mike and together with his staffs, they made my stay in Hanoi a pleasant one.

- To be continued -

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