Adding onto our Laos/Vietnam trip we flew to Hanoi from Luang Prabang and planned to stay here for three days. We decided instead of organised trips we would just explore Hanoi on our own. I had booked three days at Hotel Nikko a very large Japanese hotel near Hoan Kiem Lake. The hotel was fantastic with magnificent views over the city. Both photos were taken from our room. I loved all the gadgets on the toilet!
Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam and the second largest city in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh being the largest. Its chaotic and noisy 24 hours a day with horns blaring and hundreds of motor bikes whizzing by. If they can’t get by on the roads then they just use the pavement.
As we arrived quite late we had dinner at the hotel, unfortunately we were not very impressed. The restaurant is also where they serve breakfast and they have a smoking area inside but its just an alcove, so you can smell smoke constantly – Japanese business men are big smokers.
The next two days and nights were just spent walking around and eating amazing food. Hanoi has some of the best restaurants I’ve ever eaten in. It’s an incredibly busy city and you take your chances when crossing any road. Red lights don’t seem to mean much here! The sights we took in were the Old Quarter, the Citadel and St Josephs Church. Some photos below:
One of the restaurants we ate in was Pots and Pans which I see now from their website is permanently closed. At the time of visiting this was a teaching restaurant to help young people get a good start in life. Another was Verticale a French restaurant, which served gourmet French food with a Vietnamese twist and the staff and service were impeccable, probably one of the best meals I’ve eaten was here!
After Hanoi we drove to Ha Long Bay for a one night/two day cruise, that will be on the next post!