Friday, 8 September 2017

Hanoi - 4 Days 3 Night Adventure (Part 2)


Day 3. Ha Long Bay Trip

Ha Long Bay

Halong Bay is another must visit place if you are near Hanoi. A bay with more than 3,000 islands and inslet, which time, wind and waves have sculpted into fantastic shapes. This scenery is best to be enjoy by cruising through the bay with boat.

Our Cruise Boat

It is located 3 hours away from Hanoi by bus. We took the tour bus and the bumpy road along the way sure give our butt some unexpected massage. Along the way, you can see rice paddy field, one of the main produce that Vietnam is well known for.

Rice Paddy Field on the way to Ha Long Bay

Once we reach the cruise centre, you can see the outstanding scenery of Ha Long Bay. Seafood Lunch is served once we step on the boat and the cruise begin about 20 minutes after. We were fortunate the weather is sunny, though it was a bit hot. The view of the bay is pretty awesome.

Small Boat at the 1st stop to visit the grotto

Journey to visit the 1st grotto

First stop is one of the grottoes. To visit the grotto, you need to take a small boat to view this. I did not went to see, but LD did. The second stop is Dong Thien Cung (Heavenly Palace Grotto). The cave is located in one of the remote island in the bay. You will need to do some staircase climbing before you reach the opening of the cave to adorned the stalactites and stalagmites. The view enhanced further with colourful lights. Once you exit the cave, you will be in a pictureesque spot for photo taking with beautiful Ha Long Bay scenery. The climb on the second stop will take about 45 minutes from start to finish.

View in Dong Thien Cung

View in Dong Thien Cung

We then head back to the terminal and make our journey back to Hanoi.

View from the outlook at Dong Thien Cung

Dinner: Bun Cha Ta is a Vietnamese dish of grilled pork and rice noodle. Recently made famous when Anthony Bourdain brought previous United States President, Barrack Obama to enjoy this meal in Hanoi. We skip the famous Bun Cha Obama restaurant, instead we went to visit Bun Cha Ta.

Bun Cha @ Bun Cha Ta

Bun Cha Ta consist of bbq pork ball, served inside fish sauce pickle like broth. The way to eat it is almost like soba or tsukemen where you dip your rice noodle, fresh herbs into the broth and then slurp liberally. The side dish served with Bun Cha Ta is the crispy Vietnamese spring roll. Definitely an interesting dish to try.

Bun Cha Ta
21 Nguyen Huu Huan Street
Old Quarter, Hanoi, Vietnam.
T:  +84 966 848 389 or 0942 269 122
GPS: 21°02'04.6"N 105°51'15.9"E / 21.034617, 105.854407

Desserts: Another popular Vietnamese desserts located in the Old Quarter. You can look forward to desserts make from mung bean (Vietnamese sweet soup with coconut milk and jelly) and other desserts as well. It is so local, there is not English menu available. However, the service crews were able to communicate in English. So my suggestion is to observe what other people is ordering and point to the one you like. You can also check out the photos in Trip Advisor.


Che 4 (Bon) Mua
4 Hang Can
Hoan Kiem, Hanoi, 100000 Vietnam
T: +84 98 458 33 33
GPS: 21°02'06.3"N 105°50'57.8"E / 21.035090, 105.849382

Supper: We decided to stop by for Chicken Pho. Saw this shop a few times during out walk around the Old Quaters, the LED sign board is just so attractive. The chicken Pho is ordinary, but their dry version of glass noodle with crushed peanuts is a must try.

Glass Noodle - Dry Version

My Ga Tan 30
Located at Hang Vai Road before Lan Ong Road.
GPS: 21°02'07.7"N 105°50'53.0"E / 21.035458, 105.848053

Glass Noodle - Dry Version


Day 4. Around Old Quater and Lotte Centre.

Breakfast: Final day in Hanoi, we decided to try out this Chicken Pho nearby our hotel. We ordered the beef pho at first. It was good but not as good as out second day Pho. So we ordered the Chicken Pho and we were just floored by the flavour. The clear broth is just intense and robust. Full of -chicken flavour. Each bowl of pho is priced at 30,000VD. A definite must-try here.

Pho Ga Dac Biet So 1 Hang Ga

Beef Pho at Pho Ga Dac Biet So 1 Hang Ga

Pho Ga Dac Biet So 1 Hang Ga
Phở Gà Đặc Biệt Số 1 Hàng Gà
Corder of Hang Ga and Hang Phen Road.
GPS: 21°02'03.7"N 105°50'49.2"E / 21.034373, 105.847006

Chicken Pho at Pho Ga Dac Biet So 1 Hang Ga


Local Market. One of the best way to see the culture of a place your visit is the local market. Near the old quarters, you can check out the Dong Xuan Market. It sells clothing, textile and local produces like coffee, lotus seed.

Dong Xuan Market
Dong Xuan and Hang Chieu Sts., 
Hanoi 10000, Vietnam
GPS: 21°02'17.2"N 105°50'58.2"E / 21.038115, 105.849500


Lunch: On the way back from the market, we go for Banh Cuon. It is a steam rice paper roll, similar to those your find in your Dim Sum session. The restaurant in spacious and clean, and you can choose many fillings for the roll. We recommend you try their pork and dried shrimp. They also served Chicken Pho, but after the breakfast we had, this Chicken Pho lost it colours completely

Steam Rice Paper Roll

Banh Cuon Gia Truyen Thanh Van
Bánh cuốn Gia truyền Thanh Vân
12 Hàng Gà, Hàng Bồ, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
P: +84 24 3828 0108
OH: Daily 07.00 – 13.00; 17.00 – 23.00
(English menu is available).
GPS: 21°02'10.0"N 105°50'49.2"E / 21.036122, 105.846989

Chicken Pho

While we are waiting for our flight, we decided to visit Lotte Center Hanoi. One of the most modern and tallest building in Hanoi. The center consist of residential apartment, office, observation deck and Lotte Department Store (including Lotte supermarket). Due to limited time, we decided to go direct to the supermarket to get our hands on some local and Korean product as well. The price of the Korean product definitely adjusted to the local and worth buying.

Lotte Center Hanoi. Image Credit: City Pass Guide

Lotte Center Hanoi
54 Lieu Giai, Ba Dinh, Hanoi
GPS: 21°01'56.3"N 105°48'45.9"E / 21.032293, 105.812758

If you need a place to chill out during your visit at Lotte Centre, check out Angel in Us Coffee. A coffeehouse chain owned by Lotte Group. Not only it served the western style coffee, they also incorporate Vietnamese coffee in their drink menu as well.

Shibuya Toast

Angel In Us Coffee
Level 1, Lotte Center Hanoi.
GPS: 21°01'56.3"N 105°48'45.9"E / 21.032293, 105.812758


Well that sums up our adventure in Hanoi. It was indeed a memorable experience. If you never been to Hanoi, We suggest that you get the tour to visit the place of interest. The local dishes were excellent and memorable. Unfortunately, we did not find any good Banh mi in this trip, but we sure make it something to look forward to when we return.

Things that we learn:
# Do visit their place of interest, including Ha Long Bay
# Do try their local food, they are absolutely excellent
# Do not go there in the summer (June to September) as it is hot and humid. It's like you are walking in sauna.
# Give Tips. It seems this American culture become a main stayer in Vietnam.
# Smile and Be Friendly.

Cheers and We hope you have the opportunity to visit Hanoi as well.



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