Place 24 – Day 8: Hanoi – The Perfect Sunday & A Show

We started the day by…Well, not starting the day…

We went for breakfast as usual, but hastily went back to bed for some relaxing. Kim stayed asleep for a while whilst Curtis just relaxed. It was really nice to chill for a morning! 

Once we managed to get ourselves out of bed we walked to grab some lunch. We went to Dunkin’ Donuts because… Donuts! Then we got an ice slushy followed by another Banh Mi sandwich! 

We ate our tasty lunch, relaxed and packed to leave! As we accidentally booked an extra night at the hotel which was more expensive to cancel we just left it, so we have our things in the room and are able to use it up until we leave, which is a nice thing to have! 

We walked to the theatre as we booked to watch a show. The show was a theatre show called ‘My Village’. 

The show was excellent! The show included singing, dancing, acrobatics, gymnastics, aerial acrobatics and music! It was an incredibly god show with a great story. 

Free lemongrass tea!
The performers

We then went for dinner at Old Hanoi Restaurant which was not amazing.. We shared spring rolls, Kim had chicken soup followed by braised pork in caramel sauce and Curtis had shrimp & pineapple fried rice. Curtis’ was dry and bland and Kim’s wasn’t amazing, though it looked good! 

The restaurant was beautiful!

We headed back to the hotel where we are waiting for the car to take us to the airport.

This is where this blog ends and it is being done pre-airport! Tomorrow, you’ll find out where we are and how the airport and flight was.

tạm biệt!
– Mr & Mrs Hale 

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Place 24 – Day 7: Hanoi – Presidential Palace Grounds, Citadel, Night Market & Beer Street 

We stuck with our plan today to visit the presidential palace. It turns out that you can’t actually go in the palace, which is a shame, but you can go near it as well as the gardens which were beautiful! 

We wanted to go in at 12:30, but it was very closed, so we went to a local coffee shop and grabbed a nice coffee whilst we waited.

Once we were able to, we went into the grounds and had a walk around. It wasn’t all that great or large, but it was very pretty.

We left here but still wanted to do some more things, so we went to the Citadel. This is basically a fortress with small towns within. This was much more interesting as it was used by the Americans and the French after its original usage so there are buildings from each era around. 

This area took a while to walk around and each building was awesome.

Kim, at one point, thought she was scaring Curtis but it turned out she was scaring a random man who was very shocked! 

Dragon Steps

We left here and came back to the hotel and had a relax, then went out for some dinner. We went to a restaurant, Aubergine Cafe, which was really great! We were wanting to go there for a while but were not 100% sure about it, but we are glad we went! The service was great and the food was excellent. We started with make your own spring rolls, which were tasty but pretty fiddly and irritating, so not sure we would do that again. For mains, Kim had spicy fried chicken with rice and Curtis had beef with lemongrass, onion, chilli & vegetables. 

We, of course, had a beer too! 

🍺

We ate this all up, it was very tasty! 

We finished there and walked down the street, before Kim saw a ‘rolled ice cream’ stall. This is ice cream which is mixed with something, in this case Oreos, and then frozen and rolled. 

Rolled Ice Cream

We walked to the Night Market which was a good experience, if not a little crowded and warm! Each 4th stall was the same, so we left there and went to Beer Street for a beer and some people watching. 

People Watching

We sat here for a while until a creepy guy started drawing Kim, so we headed back towards the hotel. On the way, we made a pitstop to get Kim some Candyfloss. 

We came back to the hotel and had to speak with the hotel about some stuff they should have done and then came back to bed! 

It’s been a busy day and we think we may have a bit of a relaxed day tomorrow before we head to the airport! 

tạm biệt!
– Mr & Mrs Hale 

Place 24 – Day 6: Hanoi – Dong Xuan Market & Ba Dinh Square

We had a slightly later start today, so didn’t leave the hotel until around 13:00. 

We walked to Dong Xuan Market. This is an indoor market, but we didn’t spend long at all here as it was not very good at all!

Once we left here, we walked to Ba Dinh Square, which is a main square where a former leader is viewable (during certain times) and the presidential palace is in. There is a large gardens around this area also and it is a nice place to walk. Unfortunately, we were unable to walk in or around the Presidential Palace or grounds due to Kim being in ‘inappropriate dress’, so tomorrow we plan to go in and take a look around! 

The outside of the Presidential Palace
A ‘one tower pagoda’

We made sure we stopped for a nice iced coffee before we got there, though! Kim had a coconut milk iced coffee and Curtis had a condensed milk iced coffee (a Vietnamese tradition).

We went back to the hotel as Curtis wasn’t feeling too great. 

We watched the film Storks, before Curtis had a little nap!

We waited for it to be a bit later before we went out for dinner. We looked up a place to eat but unfortunately it no longer exists! Instead, we made the walk to the centre where the weekend night market is. This was incredibly busy and we plan to visit the actual night market tomorrow, so we’ll see what that is like! 

We found a place to eat whilst walking and it was not great. The meat was very dry, the noodles we’re definitely tagliatelle and not noodles! 

Kim was definitely not impressed and still hungry, so she grabbed a waffle cone ice cream!

tạm biệt!
– Mr & Mrs Hale 

Place 24 – Day 4: Hanoi – Hao Lo Prison

We had breakfast as usual and then had to decide where to go. 

We decided upon Hao Lo Prison. This is a former prison used by the French & later, the Vietnamese. This is now a museum, but has kept its main structure and still looks like a prison. 

We walked around, reading the signs and seeing the male & female cells, as well as Death Row. 

It was a very informative visit actually and very interesting! 

A main male cell

Part of the memorial

We finished here but still wanted to do something, so we went to he old quarter and walked along the railroad. The train still uses this, twice a day, 15:00 & 19:30. This is a residential street still, which is cool , and there are some shops! 

‘Train Street’

We stopped to get a slushy before we went back to the hotel as we were very warm! 

We spoke with the hotel regarding trips they offer, but they were far too expensive so we don’t think we will be doing them! 

We then went for some food. We looked at reviews online and went to fairly new place called Sviet Restaurant. Kim had a chicken noodle soup and Curtis had beef with mixed fried noodles. Curtis’ came with a tasty sweet & sour sauce and Kim’s came with lime and chilli! Of course, we got a beer too. This was very cheap, too! It was just £6 for our whole meal! 

Amazing chopsticks
🍺
Beautiful food!

We left the restaurant and it was raining a lot, so we headed back to the hotel to relax in bed and watch TV, but not before we booked something fun for tomorrow!

tạm biệt!
– Mr & Mrs Hale 

Place 24 – Day 3: Hanoi – Vietnam Military History Museum

We had our breakfast this morning and were sat next to a very nice British couple. We spoke for a while about where they had been and where we had been. It was nice to just sit and talk with people as it isn’t something we have done much of recently! 

We then got ready and went out, into the rain, to the Military History Museum. It didn’t open until 13:00, so we sat and had a drink whilst waiting. Kim had a chocolate frappe and Curtis had a frozen lime drink. Both were tasty!

The museum was full of a lot of weapons from the past and there were multiple rooms regarding different eras. It turns out that Vietnam wasn’t very lucky and was always under the reign of another country! 

Within the same walls there was the flag tower where a flag stands day and night. We went into here too. This was built in the 1800s! 

Flag tower

We spent a while here just looking around and then we came back to cool off!

We then went for dinner in a restaurant called ‘New Day’. This restaurant was okay, but nothing to shout about. Curtis had sweet & sour pork and Kim had hot and spicy chicken. Both were just okay. We did have 4 Hanoi style spring rolls though, which were very nice!

Hanoi Spring Rolls

tạm biệt!
– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 24 – Day 2: Hanoi – Hoan Kiem Lake & Amazing Food

We had a great breakfast this morning! We had egg as well as some fruit and other buffet items. Vietnamese coffee is very strong and very tasty! Fun fact: They use Robusta beans instead of Arabica. This is mostly because they are grown here, but it is much stronger and tastier, we think! 

We relaxed for a bit after breakfast as we haven’t had much sleep. We then got ready and went out. It is quite muggy here, but we managed it! We went for a walk to Hoan Kiem Lake which is a big lake with a temple and pagoda on it! This was very beautiful and relaxing. 

Bridge entrance

Bridge to the temple

We then went back and had a bit more of a rest and watched some TV before going out for dinner. 

We went to a place called ‘Banana Tree’. This seemed to be right in the centre of everything and it was incredible food and very cheap! Kim had a chicken curry served in a coconut and Curtis had sizzling pork with spring onions alongside a cold sweet & sour sauce & rice noodles. We also shared beef noodle rolls which we had with a chilli dipping sauce. 

IT IS ALL SO TASTY!
Curtis really couldn’t wait!
🍺 🍺 – Local!

After dinner, we went back for a short walk around the lake again and then Kim got a banana split!

The lake at night
🍌

We are now so tired and ready for bed again! Not had much sleep so ready to catch up with some! 

tạm biệt!
– Mr & Mrs Hale 

Place 24 – Day 1: Hanoi 🇻🇳 – Yet Another Country!

🇻🇳🇻🇳🇻🇳Chào!🇻🇳🇻🇳🇻🇳

We have arrived in Vietnam! 

We didn’t need to checkout until 12:00 today, so we had a leasurely breakfast before finishing packing and heading out for some lunch. 

We checked out of the hotel and left our bags. We then went out for lunch. Kim had Spaghetti Bolognaise and Curtis had a Carbonara.

Mmmm coffee
Pasta!

We finished lunch and went back to the hotel to grab our bags. After some waiting, we jumped in a Tuk Tuk (and paid half the price as last time!) And headed to the airport.

Once we got there, we did the usual and just milled around and got some food. We went to a Japanese restaurant because there wasn’t really any options! It was really nice! We got some chicken & rice, as usual, but it also came with Miso soup & lemon ice tea. It was actually a lot nicer than we thought, and it filled a gap!

We got on the flight early and luckily, there were spare seats, so we had a row of 3 between 2 of us, which made it easier and more comfortable!

3 seats, 2 people!

Once we arrived in Hanoi, we were meant to have a car pick us up to make things easier. This was not the case as no driver showed up. 

Using a tourist information ‘s phone, we called the hotel and they said they cannot get hold of the driver so we have to take a taxi. 

There were no licensed taxi’s, so we called them and they managed to get hold of the driver who was apparently asleep! 

Eventually, the driver arrived and we got to the hotel, if only an hour and a half late!

We finally got to the hotel around 02:30, checked in, and now we are very much tired & ready for bed!

The room is lovely and the staff were excellent. Just a shame about the pickup! 

Goodnight!

tạm biệt!
– Mr & Mrs Hale