This is an exciting experience as it is Chubby Botak Koala and Little Devil first visit to Vietnam. We picked Hanoi since it comes highly recommended from our Vietnamese friends. The city itself is more than 1,000 years old, so you can expect a vibrant and charming historical city.
|Slik Air travel twice daily to and from Hanoi|
Our first trip to Hanoi, we decided to travel with Silk Air @ S$250 per person. For a full-service airlines, the price is pretty good. Silk Air flight 2 times per day to Hanoi. Flight time Singapore to Hanoi is about 3 hours and 25 minutes.
Day 1. Arrival & Dinner.
We reach Hanoi around 6pm. Comparing to the other ASEAN countries, Noi Bai International Airport is very clean and modern , and the process through immigration was also breeze. As we booked our package through travel agent in Hanoi, recommended by a friend, which include Airport pick up and drop off.
You can purchase SIM Card in Noi Bai International Airport. We bought SIM VINA GCS for US$15.00. It has 8GB of data, 80 mins of local call, 80 local SMS, and 50 mins of IDD. The speed is very good and sufficient to cover the data for our stay in Hanoi and for 2 person to share. Please note that there is no special roaming package for Singapore SIM Card here.
|Nhat Tan Bridge at night|
Image credit Phillips / ledsmagazine.com
Old Quarters. The heartbeat of the historical city of Hanoi. The area that is alive during day and night, without a doubt one of the best place to stay to have a good feel of the vibrant of Hanoi. Travel time from Noi Bai International Airport is about 30 minutes. We were fortunate to arrive in the evening, as we passed by the beautifully lighted Nhat Tan Bridge.
Accomodation is L'Heritage Hotel. (39-41 Hang Ga Street, Hoan Kiem District HANOI)
This hotel seems to get one of the highest ratings in the hotel website and located within the vicinity of old quarters. We secure it for US$71 per night for Executive Double Room, with a city view. Nice Hotel with friendly price and it also came with a jacuzzi.
|L'Heritage Hotel at Old Quarters Hanoi|
Dinner, Cha Ca Thang Long. One of the signature dish in Hanoi and was named one of the dishes that you must eat before you die. Also known as the rite of passage if you ever visit Hanoi. It is a catfish dish, marinated with turmeric and cooked with spring onion and dill. The meat is fatty and flaky, absent of traces of mud due to the turmeric marination. This dish is to be eaten with rice noodle, fresh leaves of mint, basil and coriander, peanut and fish sauce. Absolutely delicious and a must try dish in Hanoi. There are other restaurants that sell this dish, but this one seems to be one of the best in Hanoi plus it is the most reasonably priced.
|The Marinated Catfish|
|Spring Onion & Dill added, cooked on the table|
|The condiments to eat the dish with|
|Ready to Eat|
Cha Ca Thang Long
19,21,31,2D Duong Thanh
Hoan Kiem, Hanoi.
T: +844 3 8286007
Supper, Lutulata Desserts and Drinks. A place to enjoy traditional Hanoi desserts. It is tasty, refreshing and light on the palate. We realised that desserts in Indo China and South East Asia have a lot of similarities. We have beancurd, mung bean (Che Dau Xanh) and jelly with jackfruits (Che Thai) desserts. The desserts here will use fresh fruits that are in season.
|Traditional Vietnamese Dessert|
| Mung bean (Che Dau Xanh) - Left, Shaved iced - right|
Jelly with jackfruits (Che Thai) - Top, Beancurd -Bottom-
Lutulata Desserts & Drinks
39 Hang Cot, Hang Ma
Hoan Kiem, Hanoi, Vietnam
T: +844 6259 7311
OH: Daily 8.00 – 23.00
Day 2. Hanoi City Trip
Well the day started with a bit of surprise. Since we have some time before the tour come and pick us up, we decide to go for Vietnamese National Dish, Pho.
Breakfast, Pho Gia Truyen Ha Noi. A delicious Beef Pho, filled with generous ingredients to go with the silky smooth rice noodle. The clear broth is robust, filled with beef essence. In Hanoi, they ate their pho with you tiao (fried dough). Price 35,000VD per bowl.
|Beef Pho at Pho Gia Truyen Ha Noi|
|You Tiao to eat with the Pho|
Pho Gia Truyen Bat Dan
49 Bat Dan, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
T: +84 24 6683 3535
OH: Daily 6am-10am; 18.00 – 20.30
Since this is the first time we are in Hanoi and we are not familiar with the place, we decided to go for the tourist thing, City Tour. The tour cover:
# Visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum to explore the architectural and historical aspects of Uncle Ho’s final resting-place;
|Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum|
# Visit Ho Chi Minh’s house on stilts and lying to one side of the Mausoleum is the One Pillar Pagoda, which was founded by King Ly Thai To in 1049 - the structure has become an important symbol for the people of Hanoi;
|Presidential Palace near the Mausoleum|
# Visit the Ethnology Museum, the Literature Temple and Quoc Tu Giam;
|Bicycle carrying the rice harvest at Ethnology Museum|
|Statue at the tomb show at the Ethnology Museum.|
This tomb can fit up to 30 bodies. The statues represent the circle of life
# Visit Bat Trang pottery village
# Visit Buddhist Tran Quoc Pagoda at West lake (One of the oldest pagodas in Vietnam).
|View from Buddhist Tran Quoc Pagoda at West lake|
|Buddhist Tran Quoc Pagoda at West lake|
# Watch the Puppet Show at Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre
|Puppet Show at Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre|
(Lunch was provided by the tour, however it was not worth to mention)
Be warned, wear the most comfortable pair of shoes you have, as you will be walking close to 20,000 steps for this tour. Our tour started from 8AM to 5PM.
Coffee Break before the puppet show: Helio. Located in the same building as the Water Puppet Show, it is a good place to get your caffeine fix before the show. I tried the Vietnamese Iced Coffee, it was solid and sure perk me up while watching the Water Puppet Show.
Helio Coffee Shop
57B Dinh Tien Hoang Street
Hang Bac Ward, Hoan Kiem Distric, Ha Noi
|Hanoi Crispy Spring Roll - Gia Ngu Restaurant|
Dinner: Gia Ngu Restaurant
Located within a walking distance of our hotel, Gia Ngu Restaurant served traditional Vietnamese cuisine, but in refined version. Their signature dishes of Bun Cha (BBQ pork slices), Curry Chicken in Baby Coconut and Grilled Bamboo Beef are just awesome. The service here is excellent, friendly staff with impeccable service. We spend about US$25 per person and it is definitely one of the most memorable meal in Hanoi.
|Curry Chicken in Baby Coconut|
|Grilled Bamboo Beef|
Gia Ngu Restaurant
No 27-29 Gia Ngu St., Hoan Kiem Dist.,
Old quarter, Hanoi, Vietnam
T: +84 24 3926 2135
OH: Daily 6.30 – 22.00
Supper: Pho Vui. Another opportunity to savour the Pho in Hanoi. This restaurant is located in the Coffee street of the old quarters. We are seated at the pavement, with typical Vietnamese short tables and chairs. The soup is clean and robust, but it just missing the Omph. It is also the most expensive Pho that we tried so far, 50,000VD per bowl. I think you can skip this Pho place.
Pho Vui Chuyen Bo
25 Hang Giay
Hang Buom, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi Vietnam