Hanoi was a pleasant surprise for me. Despite the loud traffic and fast paced lifestyle, I found the city very enjoyable. It’s an easy city to navigate by foot, so we spent hours wandering the streets, absorbing the different neighborhoods, markets, parks, and monuments. It’s definitely a must see in Northern Vietnam.
- Street Food – I love street food and it’s absolutely everywhere in Hanoi. In fact, it’s difficult to walk on the sidewalks because they’re always blocked by the little plastic chairs of a noodle shop and the motorbikes of the patrons.
- Water Puppets – Traditional puppetry performed over a water stage. Incredibly artistry and fun stories even though we didn’t understand the dialogue or lyrics.
- Temple of Literature – The first university of Vietnam. A very beautiful and peaceful break from the buzz of the busy city.
- Old Quarter – I’m a sucker for small streets lined with women selling everything from fresh donuts to eels (and dog!).
- Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum – We were the only non-Vietnamese in our tour group, but I’m glad we got to pay respects to the man this country holds so dearly. It did however feel a little odd looking down at a man’s body, knowing his last wishes were to be cremated.
Hanoi will be our base for the next week and a half. We’ll stop back through here two more times - once on our return from Sapa and then again from Halong Bay (in route to Hoi An).