Hanoi - city full of life and delicious food
After our last and long day spent in San Francisco in the USA and in all America in general and after a several hour long flight we finally landed in Asia. First country we visited there was Vietnam. And our first destination became Hanoi. After landing we first had to manage casual traveler stuff like withdraw money from ATM or buy data sim card (we chose Viettel – SIM card for 50 000 VND/cca 2,25 USD + data 1,5GB for 120 000 VND/cca 5,5 USD). Data sim cards are very cheap and internet is superfast in compare with any other countries. After that we looked for minivan in front of the arrival hall. It took us downtown to the backpacker’s famous neighborhood called The Old Quarter. We paid 100 000 VND/person (cca 4.50 USD).
The Old Quarter and Hoan Kiem Lake
The Old Quarter of Hanoi is very charming place even though it is very touristy. We have immediately fallen in love with the city. There are so many food stalls with absolutely delicious and cheap meals but also many other stores where you can get anything you want plus historical remains are not missing there. It is just okay to stroll in the lanes and temples and views at the pagodas will open to you. The Symbol of the Old Quarter is Lake of the restored Sword or better known as Hoan Kiem Lake. Entrance is only symbolic 12 000 VND/person (cca 0.55 USD). There is a beautiful Temple of the Jade Mountain. From there is a spectacular view at the Turtle Tower. Around the lake are many streets and lanes with the real Hanoi atmosphere. They are allegedly named in Vietnamese according to their specialization. So you can find here street full of fans, in the other street you can find sweets and candies and then there are streets where you buy everything made from bamboo and many others. Very beautiful surroundings offer the West Lake (Hồ Tây). There are beautiful temples and in a small park next to the lake you can find a fountain built in the shape of lotus. It is just breathtaking. Next to this place is a large park and at its end is famous One Pillar Pagoda.
Culture in Hanoi & encounter with other Czech expedition
Hanoi offers many cultural events and experiences. We of course couldn’t miss Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum. Entry is free of charge but the site is really well secured. They even took our small rucksack and put it to the left luggage. If you want to go there make sure you are approprietely dressed, this applies mainly for women. We also visited Museum of Vietnamese history for 47 500 VND/person (cca 2.14 USD). On the way there we took pictures of the Opera House, very nice building. And it would not be cultural if we did not go to see the famous Water Puppet Theatre. The performance was really lovely and we enjoyed it. For only 100 000 VND/person (cca 4.5 USD) it was absolutely worth it. And we got here mainly thanks to Anna and Petr from (z)cesty we met in the capitol city and had a blast together, not only cultural but of course we had great food together and pretty cool chat. And our cultural evening we had to finish with a glass of beer and ice cubes a la Bia Ha Noi 😉 It was great meeting someone who knows what it feels like travelling for so long and be so far from home. 🙂
We visited Hanoi two times, first time for a few days then we journeyed to Sapa full of amazing paddy fields in Northern Vietnam. After our return we managed some things and then headed for another adventure during our trip around the world. Our next stop was Cat Ba Island and Ha Long Bay.
Tento příspěvek je také k dispozici v jazyce: Czech