Showing posts from February, 2018

Hanoi Itineraries: Where East Meets West - A Cultural Melting Pot (Southern Circuit)

Heading south from the Old Quarter will lead you to another popular district – the French Quarter which boasts uptown funk and colonial architectural remains from the days of colonial rule by the French. You will be able to find upmarket dining and shopping options here which resembles Orchard Road. While it potentially offers you a break from the rest of the hectic Hanoi capital, I prefer the kampong vibe of the Old Quarter, as it was quainter and more unique an experience for me personally.

Hanoi Opera House

Certainly one of the more Instagrammable landmarks in Hanoi, the Opera House was built more than a century ago and was modelled after the Palais Garnier in Paris.

Standing on the August Revolution Square, the Opera House hosts a wide variety of concerts from classical performances to theatrical shows. Stepping into the building and admiring its Western-inspired architecture seemingly whizzes you to Europe. You may like to check out the timetables for a concert of your preference…

Hanoi Day Trips: Admiring Breathtaking Scenery at Halong Bay

What comes first to mind when I say Vietnam? Chances are that it’s Halong Bay. Aggressively marketed as the top tourist attraction, Halong Bay has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its outstanding geological and scenic value. Certainly, the long journey from Hanoi has not daunted tourists who continue to swarm the area to enjoy picturesque natural landscapes all around. 

Taking into consideration that the journey is 3.5 hours for each leg, I would highly recommend taking a 2D1N trip out to Halong Bay from Hanoi. Even though the price is very much costlier than the day trip, you get to spend majority of the time at the bay rather than on the bus. You will have the opportunity to watch the sunrise and sunset out here as well and trust me – it’s gorgeous!

Once again, I booked our tour with Klookwhich signed us up with Halong Phoenix Cruiser for this trip. If you're interested, please feel free to check out the cruise package we took here.
Bus Journey

Hanoi Itineraries: Vietnam's Past and Present (Central Circuit)

The few tourist attractions here may not be as popular as those in the other circuits described earlier, but may offer a good photo stop whilst traversing the roads of Hanoi. You may be surprised as to what you will be able to find here.

Imperial Citadel of Thang Long Opening Hours: 0800h – 1700h (Tue – Sun)  Entrance Fee: VND 30,000

The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long is an enormous complex that dates back to the 11th century to mark the independence of Dai Viet after being ruled by the Chinese dynasties for a prolonged period of time. Although a large portion of the ancient relics had been demolished in the past centuries, the central sector of the Imperial Citadel which is the most important part of the entire architecture remains well-preserved. Therefore, this historical landmark has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 
Being the capital of Dai Viet, Thang Long was the most important political region in the entire country, making visiting this impressive fortress that s…

Daredevil's Guide to Hanoi's Unusual Dishes (Not for the Faint-Hearted!)

Understandably, not every local delicacy is within our usual comfort zones, due to the influences of different cultures and traditions. Rather than shying away from these dishes and dismissing them as grotesque, I enjoy taking up the challenge and learning more about their cultures through trying and appreciating their local fare. Here are some unusual delicacies which I tried during my visit to Hanoi, which you may like to savour when you're there as well!

1. Bun Rieu Cua

Bun rieu cua is a noodle dish served with a rich, thick broth made from the liquid pounded from the shell of paddy crab. You will be able to enjoy the delicious crab meat and roe together with eggs, tomatoes and fried tofu. Like all other Vietnamese roadside stalls, a basket full of herbs like banana flowers and perilla will be made available at your convenience to enhance the flavour of the soup. The flavours work in harmony and offer your palate a real treat of both the sweet and the savoury.
Here’s where it g…