Thursday, November 24, 2016

[Travel] 5D4N to Hanoi - DAY 1

A trip to Hanoi! 
Albeit a bit rushed as we just needed go for a trip so we quickly booked this trip to Hanoi. 

Reached Hanoi!
BreakfastPho ThinRandom stall
Check in Golden Time Hostel 3Ha Long BayWander around HanoiWest LakeHead to aiport
LunchBun Cha TaQuan An NgonLotteriaAirport food
Wander around HanoiHOME!
TeaGiang cafeYoung CoffeeComga
Hoan Kiem Lake, Ngoc Son temple
The Note coffeeWater Puppet Theater
DinnerHanoiKids Food TourNew Day RestaurantXoi YenPho Ga
SupperBanh Mi Hoi AnCong Caphe

We booked the hotel and air tickets together with AirAsia in a rush, costs about RM1500 for 2.
The hotel we stayed was not great. Service was excellent but the hotel itself seems pretty run down.
The place is narrow and small but I think most of Hanoi buildings are like that. The problem is the toilet door was broken and there was only a lousy cupboard in the room.

Bun Cha Ta
Website :

Our first meal in Hanoi turned out to be the best we will ever have here!
This my first time ever having this Bun Cha and it was amazing!

The sauce like soup was a beautiful complex mix of flavours, there was sweet honey, a lot of fish sauce and some sour from rice vinegar and green papaya.

The accompanying grilled pork was also awesome. Bursting with flavorful marinade and plenty of herbs mainly lemon grass.

We were also given a bowl of greens, lettuce and herbs, and a plate of vermicelli. We can either wrap the meat and herbs in the lettuce then dunk in soup, or we can simply dunk the vermicelli into the soup and eat.

And the spring rolls, wonderful multiple layers of crunchy outer skin, stuffed with mix of meat, thinly sliced black fungus,carrot and glass noodles. The taste and the mouth feel was off the charts.

Oh, and service is AMAZING! The lady working here was very friendly and made us feel like it was a personal tour as she explained everything about the Bun Cha.

Definitely HIGHLY recommended place. MUST TRY!

Giang cafe

Website :

Through this small opening..

Down the little tunnel...

And up the stairs...

And we are here! A little rustic cafe!

This little cafe serves interesting egg coffee. Beaten eggs mixed with condensed milk is served on strong vietnamese coffee. It's very nice and definitely worth a try. Tastes eggy and sweet but balanced out by the strong Vietnamese coffee.

Hoan Kiem Lake

Loved walking around the lake, however the temple on the lake wasn't great.
For us Malaysians this temple is very unimpressive. I guess I would only recommend people who have never seen a Chinese temple before to go here.
It was very small and you could easily find plenty of these types of temples in Penang. You won't even get charged entry fee.

The wonderful thing is the streets around the lake is closed on weekends for people to enjoy walking around. Absolutely loved this. We were able to have a wonderful leisurely stroll around the lake and take selfies without worry of becoming road kill.

There was even a band playing by the road.

The Note Coffee

Website :

After a walk around the lake we stopped at a nice little cafe where you can place post-it notes all over the cafe. Of course we also added our own notes :)

Coffee was ok. The London Fog (pic below) was quite interesting, it is tea with some frothy sweet milk. A more fragrant milk tea then what we are used to back here in Malaysia.

HanoiKids Tour

Website : 

In the evening, we booked a tour with HanoiKids. This was a tour done by students who want to practice their English. There is no charge for the tour!
You will have to pay for the tour guide's expenses during the tour and that's it!
The tour guide was very gracious, and did not spend excessively. Also they do not take tips. So bring a gift for them. We gave a simple key chain. 

This was a very interesting experience for us. We chose the food tour and our student tour guide was very friendly. She spoke good English and we had a really good time just getting to know her and bombarding her with questions on Hanoi.

Our first stop was dinner at this place Net Hue.

Food was nice, but not amazing.
We then took a walk at the night market. Disappointingly the night market was not interesting, pales in comparison with Thailand and Malaysia. Of course I was only looking for food :) It was quite boring with not many variety. Maybe most of the good foods are at the shops with the low seats at the side instead of the night market stalls themselves.

Our next stop was dessert at Cong Caphe. This was where we spent most of the night talking. They serve very nice Coconut Coffee ice blended here. Highly recommended! The sweet coconut ice mixes well with the coffee.
We went here twice on this trip.
Sit at the higher floors and enjoy watching the crazy traffic while sipping this heavenly coconut coffee.

A note here, this tour is done by students, they are by no means experts. Do not expect extensive knowledge on everything. It is more like meeting a friend. My advice would be to do a bit of research on your own first and see if you have a specific place you want to visit, then you can get the tour guide's help to bring you to places you want. Or in my case, a certain food we want to try.