Thursday, February 7, 2013


Hi everyone!  Let me share you my Hanoi experience.  I visited Hanoi 2 weeks ago for a junket.  It was my first time in Vietnam and I was excited to visit Hanoi.  I was pleasantly surprised that Hanoi, although near the Philippines has 4 seasons.  And being from a tropical country, I was happy that I will visit Hanoi in its winter time.  The temperature was between 14 to 16 degrees Celsius, just the right temperature for going around in this old city.  Hanoi celebrated its 1000th year last October 2010.  The structures in the city are mostly modern with a French twist, being colonized by the French in 1873.

The St. John Cathedral

The structures in Hanoi are quaint and distinct.  It was the first time I have seen structures that are both narrow and tall.  Even the door frames are narrow.  And the zoning or positioning of buildings are different.  We have eaten at a nice open-air restaurant with a forest theme, which sits beside a vulcanizing shop.  Another restaurant with an unassuming front turns out to be a chic reatuarant and bar that serves Vietnamese fare but with modern interiors.  This restaurant was beside a very modest house (where I saw people eating at a small kitchen, all of them standing up).

The quaint narrow houses

The interiors of the unassuming bar and restaurant

And of course, the quintessential motorcycles.  This is the preferred mode of transportation of the Hanoi locals.  Just be very careful crossing the street.  We always crossed the street as a group and the tour guide said we should walk slowly when crossing the street.  One should walk slowly so that the motorcycles have a chance to move around you.  That was very different from crossing the street anywhere else wherein you have to walk fast.  One of the person in our group tried crossing the street by herself and she jogged across the street.  And true enough, a motorcycle almost hit her.  Really, it's safer to just walk slowly when crossing the streets of Hanoi.

The world's longest mosaic (at 4 kilometers).
The people are nice and accommodating.  Although most people don't really speak and understand English, you can find a way to get your point across.  You will sort of understand them and they will try to understand you too.  Some locals even wave at our tour bus as we pass by.  That was nice.

The old...Hoan Kiem Lake
The new...facade of Indochine Restaurant
The city is a mix of old and new.  Years old structures side-by-side with new structures.  Old customs intersperesed with modern thinking.  I like Hanoi.  I recommend traveling to this city.

That's it for now.  Thanks for dropping by!

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