Completely Un-Hanoid

Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
Trip End Aug 21, 2011

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Where I stayed
Queen of Hearts Hotel

Flag of Vietnam  ,
Friday, February 11, 2011

Yet another gorgeous day off. Woken very early by noise as usual, but reading in bed is even better now we've managed to find PROPER coffee. First thing, we found a great shop where we managed to rent a moped for 3 dollars as well as giving them our laundry– very efficient. (We had initially thought to get these services through our hotel, but they decided to try and charge us 4x as much for the washing and couldn’t be bothered to discuss mopeds!)

Breakfast in the Tamarind Café was delicious – homemade banana muffin and lemon lassi for Mikey and my favourite muesli, fruit and yogurt. Tour guide Mikey had planned a strict sight-seeing itinerary for the day, which started with Dong Xuan Market. It was a refreshingly hassle-free place, and we had great fun looking at the obscene amounts of tat on sale and bargaining for 2 pairs of sunglasses each; Dior and Armani for the beach, Oakleys for the bikes.

Getting around town on the moped was brilliant fun, and I spent most of the time taking photos of mad things on shops and/or on other bikes. Although it seems like chaos, people actually weave in out of each other pretty easily. The lake is gorgeous, lots of brides having their lakeside shot. We had wine and lunch over-looking the cathedral, before coffee and dessert over-looking the lake! The dilemma of the day was deciding whether or not to go to Halong Bay, the premier Vietnamese tourist destination, but 100miles out of our way. After much discussion we decided against it, because the only viable option seemed to be leaving the bikes here and taking a tour, not something either of us wanted. A few blogs saying how touristy it is also helped to make the decision. We should pass Tam Coc, supposed to be the 'Halong Bay of the Rice Paddies’ in a few days, and hopefully that will suffice!

Decision made, we felt a lot better and after more bombing around town enjoying not pedalling we had cocktails before another delicious meal at ‘Five’ restaurant. The water puppets show at 9.15 was hilarious and incredible. Accompanied by a live orchestra playing some really unusual instruments, the puppets were well worth the £2 entrance fee, definitely something never seen before.

At the end of the day, we both agreed Hanoi was a brilliant city, and we could happily have spent longer there. I like that there’s loads to do in such a small radius, and they’re all things that don’t take too long, and therefore don't get boring!
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Jojo on

That's a dreadful pun!

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