Showing posts from January, 2018

Hanoi Itineraries: Exploring the Old Quarter (Eastern Circuit)

If you are visiting Hanoi, chances are that you will be staying in an accommodation located in the famous Old Quarter which resembles a maze composed of 36 streets each named after the commodity which used to be sold along that road back in the olden days. During my visit, I was unaware of this fact and was thus perplexed as to why all the shops along one street would want to place themselves in a huge flurry of competition to sell the same item – but now I guess it’s just uniquely Hanoi. 

Hoan Kiem Lake

Hoan Kiem Lake offers the much-needed tranquillity and picturesque landscape amidst all the hustle and bustle in the Old Quarter surrounding it. In the day, many newlyweds visit the lake to have their gorgeous wedding photographs taken against the backdrop of the calm waters. During the night, the lake is brightly lit and gets especially crowded when locals and foreigners alike enjoy the cool breeze and chill out with Hanoi Beer on the benches all around the lake. Overall, a lovely pl…

Foodie's Guide to Hanoi's Signature Dishes

Food is definitely an important factor that can either make a vacation a success or an absolute failure. Foodies need not worry about Hanoi, though, as the street food culture here is well established and you can almost always find a dependable café or roadside stall to satiate your appetite!
1. Pho Bo / Pho Ga

The most iconic of foods that originate from Vietnam, pho is probably the signature dish that locals will be proud to introduce you to when you arrive here. It is a soup dish comprising rice noodles topped with a generous serving of herbs and meat – either beef (pho bo) or chicken (pho ga). After trying both dishes, I will definitely recommend the beef version as the meat is much juicier and tenderer than the tough chicken. 

I originally planned to visit the restaurant below as it was highly recommended by many tourists and also offered various options to suit different preferences in tastes – rare steak and flank (tai nam), rare steak (tai) and well done steak (chin) at …

Hanoi Day Trips: Exploring the Countryside at Ninh Binh

Ninh Binh Province is approximately 90 kilometres south of Hanoi. Nicknamed Serenity, the province indeed sheds light on the more rural areas of Vietnam and the citizens’ peaceful livelihood primarily on agriculture, evident from the miles and miles of rice paddy fields. 

I signed up with Klook, which linked me up with Wati Travel that organised this day trip striking south of the capital. I would definitely recommend that you join one organised by a tour agency because Ninh Binh is located in a rural region which is rather difficult to manoeuvre (they only have dirt roads here) – rather than worrying about getting lost, why not sign up with a tour which will take care of everything for you and conserve your energy to explore the attractions? If you're interested, please feel free to check this tour out by clicking here.
Hoa Lu – Temples of Dinh and Le Dynasties
Entrance Fee: VND 20,000
Hoa Lu was the ancient capital of Dai Co Viet in the late 10th century. The palaces ere…

Hanoi Itineraries: Tracing Uncle Ho's Footsteps (Western Circuit)

If you are planning to walk around the Hanoi district just like I did, you may wish to note that the Western Circuit will involve the longest walking distance out of the Old Quarter (approximately 25 minutes). You may wish to take this journey early in the morning as you will be able to avoid the massive crowds that will be visiting the tourist attractions you will be exploring in this circuit. Trust me, you will want these places to yourselves to capture the best photographs. Let’s start tracing Uncle Ho’s footsteps!

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Ba Dinh Square
Opening Hours: 0730h – 1030h (Tue – Thu), 0730h – 1100h (Sat – Sun)
Entrance Fee: Free

Possibly the most symbolic icon in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum contains the embalmed body of the esteemed Vietnamese revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh who died in 1969. Early in the morning, large crowds of Vietnamese form up in front of the mausoleum to pay their respects to Uncle Ho whom they very much respect, as he is recognised as the most si…