To travel is to discover.
The only way to experience the Hidden Charm of Vietnam is to be IN Vietnam. and yes! Good morning Vietnam! I’ve been dying to ask my Mom and colleagues to come with them on their Asian business trip. Luckily, Mom needed me. to carry her bags and count her Vietnam Dong LOL
We arrived in Hanoi International Airport early dawn and picked up by one of their Vietnamese friend. Kudos cos he was a good tour guide and one good translator!
So I had five good reasons why I wanted to visit Vietnam.
I had only two days to stay but this won’t stop me from enjoying Vietnam.
Five good reason why:
1. Eat authentic Pho – Who doesn’t go to this beautiful country and not eat famous Pho? right? So I planned to eat this famous sweet noodle soup, either on beef or chicken and with any choice of herbs.
2. Watch Water Puppet Theater Show – An Ancient Asian puppet tradition where Puppets are in the water and they go crazy dancing!
3. Go to Halong Bay – to see this scenic view.
4. Ride a Xe May or a Cyclo – A Hanoi Tour ride via cycles.
5. Drink Vietnamese Coffee or Beer – Hell yes!
I am crossing #3 cos’ it’s not enough for this tour. However, I will do other fun things here!
My first day in Hanoi.. I think I held on to my life! My goodness! Motor bicycles everywhere. Our Vietnamese friend, Mr. Moi, said that cars are wayyy to expensive and twice the value in Vietnam. The government are limiting the number of cars because some streets and places are very narrow. But then, it was amazing for me to see people living humbly, riding their bicycles on their way to work or school.
These are beautiful paintings made locally. When you get to enter one of the shops, you would see them painting art. Amazing.
If only I could buy them all! and take them home!
Our hotel was only a few meters away from Old Quarter Market, so it was easy to shop and find good food.
If you are familiar with “The North Face” bags, I bet you’d go ga-ga with the cheap prices being sold here!
We had a great lunch in one of the restaurants in Hang Manh Road that served Bun Cha and spring rolls.
The noodles.. so yummy! and the spring rolls are not your ordinary spring rolls. I didn’t like the herbs so much. Too bitter for my taste.
It was fun seeing Mom using chopsticks, no spoons and forks around here but she was up for it! We were sharing the table with a daughter and her Mom and we chatted a little, laughed too. The daughter spoke good English.
After Lunch, we did a little bit of shopping, walking. Everyone was happily tired, so we decided to go and drink Vietnamese coffee!
Iced or Hot? I choose Iced! And my god, Vietnamese coffee is strong! LOL
I think I made 4 glasses of coffee just by putting a lot of ice on it.
There’s this brewed coffee, Weasel. Didn’t realize where it came from until Mr. Moi told me!
It tasted great actually. The smell of strong coffee and beans brings me in awe and yum! The cafe girl recommended the Mocha beans. Mocha’s aroma made me weak! Yum! Yum!
If only I could put mint. *wishful thinking*
After our coffee break, we headed back to the hotel and got ready for the show.
Hello PUPPETS and DRAGONS!!!
We sat a bit far, but hey! I did see dragons spurting water. The music was great. Dancing! Dancing! Dancing! There was even a fire!
Amazing! They moved in synchronous manner. They sang and talked in their language, of course.
But that didn’t stopped the audience from laughing and enjoying the show.
After the show, we went to the Hoan Kiem Lake.
I took this picture while strolling around the Lake.
Hanoi is a very colorful and happy city. In the middle of the lake is the Turtle Tower. It looked amazing in the evening.
Hanoi is called Hanoi because it was said that this city was circled with water.
That’s what Mr. Moi said. 🙂
Correct me if I’m wrong.
I only did 3 out of 5 of my DO-LIST.
However, I was able to see and do other fun things!
1. Got myself a stamp! for only 60K VND! A Vietnamese girl wearing a conical hat
with my name on it.
2. Eat Vietnamese corn!
3. Got to see a bee-raising farm
4. Drink sticky-rice wine while Mom was sitting beside me. 🙂
5. Visited a tea-making farm and
drank a lot of teas in one day
6. Shop souvenirs!
7. Visited the beautiful province.
Someday, I will return to Vietnam and explore more of its hidden charm.
Thank you, Viet Nam!