Bienvenidos to Hanoi or should I say Xin Chào Hanoi! That’s “Hola” in vietnamese. Basically the one word we learned during our stay, let me tell ya Thai is much easier 😀
So after our week in Thailand, we made our visa for Vietnam online and flew from Phuket Airport to Hanoi. The easiest way to get to your hotel is to take a taxi. So the hotel situation in Vietnam was a bit more difficult than in Thailand, the standards are lower here so you better book a hotel with damn good reviews. Some of our rooms had no windows for instance… so even though we couldn’t do this, it kinda felt like it because the pictures on Booking.com did not comply at all with reality.
So, after Shawshanking our way out of our windowless rooms
We took a walk through our barrio which was Hanoi’s Old Quarter. This barrio is really nice, you get to see how the locals live and the streets are full of life during the night. The restaurants are really hipster if you’re into that 😀 My esposo tried the street food and said it was yummy yummy yummy. The rest of us headed to an old fashioned restaurant.
The next day we planned a bike and boat tour in Tam Coc. Before taking our bus I had to take some urban pics, there’s so much offer for photography!
To Tam Coc it was a long ride (like 2 hours) but so worth it. We organized the tour directly with our windowless hotel, it’s much easier. So in the bus they take you to these touristy pit stops either you want it or not so you better embrace it. We bought some souvenirs for friends, tea and vietnamese coffee, A MUST! The first stop before the boat ride was Hoa Lu, the ancient capital of Vietnam. Here some impresiones:
Picturesque enough for ya? Wait for the next pics 🙂 After this they took us on our boat tour.
Didn’t expect that it was almost only mujeres who were row row rowing the boat gently down the stream WITH THEIR FEET! Si!
An amazing technique don’t you think? My esposo OF COURSE jumped in and tried it too. The result: a panicked vietnamese woman who regretted giving him control the second she accepted. As we weren’t moving AT ALL and were going to clash with the rice field he ended up row row rowing the boat not gently down the rice field like this:
Once the poor vietnamese lady took over again, we saw some cemeteries. It turns out, Vietnamese people “bury” their family members in these rice fields. They become part of their rivers and their rice fields and kinda a part of them forever which at first I was like “Ricardo, Dios mío, are you hearing this? This is exactly how this happens?!?!?!”
But then, after really thinking about it, I found it actually beautiful. It’s a beautiful tradition which keeps you closer to the people who are not longer here 🙂 If you do this tour keep your camera ready at ALL times:
After this merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily boat ride they had our bikes ready. The ride is very simple and we were constantly behind because I couldn’t stop taking pictures of the landscape, it took my breath away and also my esposo’s patience as he was the one who had to look for the tour guide while we were doing this:
Back at Hanoi we went to a hipster café and drank vietnamese café like there was no tomorrow. I recommend this cool place hier:
Take a walk around the West Lake at night. Is full of colors and people doing Qi Gong and stuff… you know, normal night activities.
So, Xin Chào and until next chapter in Halong Bay! Si I know that means hola but as is the only word we learned, it shall mean hello, goodbye, yummy, scared, warm, hot among others.