We were in Hanoi for just 2 days but even those two days were just great.
Here are 5 things we most enjoyed:
1. Our hotel, La Siesta Trendy – this hotel was in the old quarter and the service is simply amazing. The reception itself exceeded our expectations. We were welcomed with cocktails as welcome drinks, fresh cut fruits and cold towels. The room was quite spacious and comfortable with a balcony looking down over Hanoi. And the hospitality? Superb!
Hanoi from La Siesta Trendy
2. Hanoi, old quarter – as the hotel was in the old quarter, it was very easy to walk around on foot exploring the streets, bars, cafes and restaurants which are in abundance in this part of Hanoi. On one instance, after walking around for a bit, we were quite tired to walk back so we hailed a trishaw/rickshaw and that turned out to be very enjoyable as we could see the sights relaxed in the seat, shaded from the sun with the vehicle moving at a leisurely pace. French architecture from colonial times can be often seen entrenched between newer structures
Somewhere in Hanoi old quarter
3.Chilling at Hoan Kiem Lake – although Hanoi is quite crowded the area around the lake is very well maintained with neat pavements, benches, beautiful flower beds and street lamps installed. This is where you see local life in action. Families with kids and their pets mucking around in the grass. People jogging, playing traditional games, chilling on the benches by the water, local peddlers selling cut fruits and street snacks. On the weekend, the roads were cordoned off and the traffic diverted. It felt like the whole town had congregated around the lake. There were lights, music, stalls and street performances and the whole place had an amazing festive vibe to it
Hoan Kiem Lake at night
4.Trying local food and the vietnamese coffee – we are vegetarians but that didn’t stop us from trying out the local food. We discovered plenty of places with vegetarian options. Had amazing baguette sandwiches at Banh Mi 25, rice spring rolls at Banh Cuon Ba Hanh and Pho (traditional noodle soup) and fried mushroom spring rolls at Aubergine Cafe. And the coffee! To die for! We had the hot version with condensed milk and the iced latte as well. And we wished we could have taken a gallon home, of each!
Rice spring rolls platter
5.Shopping at the street shops – there are scores of street shops in the old town area. We bought fridge magnets as usual but also a couple of souvenirs. Hanoi also has many street shops selling clothes, bags, shoes and accessories. The quality is not the best but it didn’t look too bad either. It’s bargain shopping at the end of the day
Beautiful lamps at a street vendor
Next up Ha Long Bay. Till then check out our Hanoi vlog below! 😀