Photo Story: A two day trip in Hanoi

Vietnamese new year hanoi
Think it was the Vietnamese New Year when we were there – that explains the flags during our two-day trip in Hanoi

Hanoi is Vietnam’s administrative capital,  just like how Beijing is to China and Delhi is to India.

Due to its proximity to Singapore, most Singaporeans’ first taste of Vietnam would be Ho Chi Minh, a bustling little city which is hot and humid. Based on the travelling tales from friends, I had expected Hanoi would be the same too. But when we arrived at Hanoi in January, it was chilly, with temperatures ranging from 15-20 deg c. The weather was dry and though some parts of the roads were congested, we didn’t get that hot and bothered feeling associated with traffic jams.

We spent less than two days in Hanoi – it was a stopover before our next destination to Halong Bay. To be honest, I don’t remember very much about it, other than the cute cafe we chanced upon – Vietnam’s very own “Starbucks”. Just like Singapore’s cafe culture, Vietnamese have very own way of hanging out too. We also tried French drip coffee at a restaurant tailored to tourists. I didn’t like it. Preferred the one at the local “Starbucks”.

I remembered venturing into the Old Quarter of Hanoi, which was bustling with endless traffic. I remembered my surprise when I saw an Aldo boutique outlet there. If you’re looking for affordable souvenirs and cool handphone covers, be sure to check out the Dong Xuan Market, located in the Old Quarter.

But top must-do at the Old Quarter would be to take a stroll along the Hoan Kiem Lake. Under the cool dark night, it can be a rather romantic and appropriate make out spot. #justsaying

The street food is great too. In the evenings after work, you’ll find office workers gathered by the pavements of the streets, sitting on tiny little stools gulping down bowls of pho (pronounce as fer) (glass noodles with clear soup and bits of beef/chicken), just right for a cool winter’s evening).

Hanoi to me, is mostly about the Hoan Kiem Lake, local coffee flavour, and pho. It was also about the people. It was nice.

Recommended time to visit: Later and early months of the year when it is much cooler eg. Nov – Jan. 

* * *

Photos during our two-day trip in Hanoi

hanoi houses flags
Flags line individual houses – it’s like National Day in Singapore
vietnamese flag hanoi
Vietnamese flags are everywhere
old quarter hanoi aldo
Very surprised to see Aldo at Old Quarter
dong xuan market hanoi vietnam
Entering the Dong Xuan Market in Old Quarter
hoan kiam lake hanoi
Hoan Kiam Lake in Hanoi – romantic place for lovers?
hanoi vietnamese drip coffee
Vietnamese drip coffee – tasted normal. Preferred the local brew of “kopi”
pho hanoi vietnam food
Hanoi, where delicious pho awaits you
vietnamese street food hanoi
Simple street fare taste delicious during a cold winter’s evening
hoan kiam lake night lights
Hoan Kiam Lake at night – potential make out spot 😉
Hoan Kiam Lake night flowers
Bouquets of flowers on sale, along the Hoan Kiam Lake
hanoi french street lamps
My favourite photo of all – the french inspired street lamps of Hanoi

Be sure to catch the next few posts on Halong Bay. Coming up! 

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