Amsterdam view from Amsterdam Tower

Amsterdam view from Amsterdam Tower
The view from Amsterdam Tower

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Hanoi, the City with Many Lakes #Vietnam

Hanoi is the capital city of Vietnam…

The Temple in small island in Hoan Kiem Lake

Three reasons why I visited Hanoi:

  1. as a transit place to northern part of the country
  2. I had never been here before, and 
  3. it is a nice city... a mix of modern and ancient cultures

Masa udah hampir setahun tinggal di Vietnam belum pernah ke Ibukotanya sih… Living in Vietnam for nearly a year, but I had never been to this capital city…

One of the corners in Hanoi Old Town

Thuc my driver for the day is a young energetic guy. He has a list of places I wanted to visit. He speaks a few words of English only, but we communicated well as my Vietnamese language has reached the very minimum "surviving" level -J

Crowded cables & bird cages, one of the streets @ Hanoi Old Town

Hanoi Old Town

Decision goes to staying at the Old Town area, even though a friend had warned me that it is a crowded area. However the concept of old town fascinates me so much. Anyway, I only had one night in Hanoi, and?
Restaurants along the left side of the street, Hanoi Old Town

The next early morning when I woke up, I walked out of the hotel lobby and turned right… I turned left and found an ancient house. Beautiful...

Cyclo & tourists - in front of the Old House, Hanoi

Walk into the gate, & this is the inside part, Old House, Hanoi

Hanoi is the city with 18 lakes. Those lakes somehow make Hanoi to be very humid.  One of the lakes is Hoan Kiem at the Old Town.

It is worth to enter with insignificant entrance fee of 20,000VND (1US$). There is a temple with the red bridge.

The lake is busy in the morning. It is a public park with citizen can do their activities such as tai chi, jogging, or even just hanging around in the romantic lake.

Water puppet, souvenir shop, Hanoi

The Old Town market area consists of many-many shops selling everything, day to day needs, shoes, toys, clothes, food...

One of the shops @ Hanoi Old Town

Opera House

Opera House always has a place in my heart. In Ho Chi Minh City, I often pass by the Opera House. So I have to do the same for Hanoi…. I have to tick the box that I see Hanoi Opera House.

The surrounding area of the Opera House is very posh… office buildings, the branded stuff boutiques, restaurants, gorgeous buildings in a mix of Vietnamese and European architecture.

Chicken Lemongrass & Chilli
Across the Opera House, there is a small alley where I found the Exchange Café. It is listed in the Tripadvisor review.  Một ly trà đá (a glass of ice tea) and chicken with lemongrass and chilli were a good choice.

The chicken dish is similar to Thai food. It is beautifully served in a plate with the rice on top of the chicken. If I could give a suggestion for improvement, perhaps it is tastier to use more of the chicken meat.  I mean excluding the muscle or bone parts.

A cup of hot cappuccino is a good way to end my lunch.

Saint Joseph Cathedral

Another place that I pass by very often in Ho Chi Minh City is the Cathedral (Notre Dame de Saigon). So I had to do the same for Hanoi.

Saint Joseph Cathedral or locally known as Nhà thờ Lớn Hà Nội, Nhà thờ Chính tòa Thánh Giuse looks like the Notre Dame in Paris.  Both are in brownish color.

Hỏa Lò Prison (Hanoi Hilton)
The prison was built during the French colonialism.

I guess it is easy to tell as there is a big sign at the entrance gate “Maison Centrale”. During the Vietnam War, the American prisoners were sent to this prison. See reference: Hanoi Hilton. The prison complex was sarcastically nicknamed the "Hanoi Hilton" by the American prisoner of war.

Inside part, view was taken from 2nd fl of the building

The building is now turned to become museum. It is worth to visit.

Just feel like to take this pic, Hoa Lo Prison

Temple of Literature

It was drizzling when we arrived at the Temple. Thuc parked the car, walked me to the entrance, and showed me where to buy the entrance ticket…

Temple of Literature, Hanoi

The visit to this temple really made my day…. It is the highlight of my trip in Hanoi... Beautiful temple! Green lush garden.

Green lush garden, Temple of Literature

It is very funny to see a group of students wanting to take pic with one of the pretty western female tourists -J She didn’t expect it at all but at the end said yes, his husband volunteered to become the photographer.

Temple of Literature, Hanoi


Temple of Literature, Hanoi

Please wait for the Part II of Hanoi Trip... Uploading soon. Sapa is next, after Hanoi...

Thanks Thuc, my driver who took me around in Hanoi,
he got me this souvenir.

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