"Blessed are the curious for they shall have adventures"
Image taken at Kariba Lake, Zambia
Indochina: Hanoi Day Tour
If you are used with noisy cities and vast skyscrapers, Indochina should be removed in your list.
However, if you are seeking simplicity, diversity, history and quietness, this is the region where you should go!
Last October, we seize Indochina starting off in Hanoi, Vietnam – Vientiane, Laos – Bangkok, Thailand in a five day country crawl.
Here’s a travel video to sum up all what we had:
0600 – 0800: That sound sleep, prep time and that awesome breakfast.
I should commend our hostel (Republik Backpackers Hostel) for a 5 star facility and free tasteful breakfast!
Imagine only paying Php 400 for a 2D1N stay with free breakfast, unlimited beer by 6:00pm until supplies last, nice facilities and accommodating staff!
0900 – 0012: Vietnam Military History Museum, Flag Tower of Hanoi, Ba Dinh Square, Vietnam Mausoleum and Hanoian streets.
The old city tower that translates the feeling of the Vietnam war.
This gigantic old city gate
Vietnam’s Presidential Palace
Cats really look good in Vietnam, and they are everywhere!
Always bring your walking shoes with you because you’ll see a lot in this area. If you are fond of history, people stories and locals, Hanoi can offer up so much in their laidback country!
A remain of an American aircraft that was managed to take down by Vietnamese woman in the Vietnam war
1.Ask your hostel for a free maps.
2.Go to tripadvisor and schedule for a free food tour or tourists destination free tours.
3.Bring water cause you’ll definitely get thirsty walking.
1300: Dong Xuan Market – Lunch
So yeah we had a free tour from our hostel! And we miss you much Ban.
Dong Xuan is an 1889 structure that was struck by fire and rebuilt. This is Hanoi’s cheap market for souvenirs and Vietnamese items alike. As typical Pinoys, you know what it always happen when it comes to shopping – Bargain and asking the sellers to lower down the price so we would buy many!
Once one a famous apartment in Hanoi. As time goes by, so this has aged too.
Bun Cha: Rice thick noodle with grilled pork or beef of your choice. Vietnam is also a foodie country! Everything here is authentic and you have to curse your western or Asian food! Our choice was a meatball grill, vinegar/salty/pepper sauce and a noodle.
1400 – 1500: Jollibee, Ngoc Son by day, Hanoian streets once more & St. Joseph Cathedral
I insisted to go back to Ngoc Son lake to see its scenery by day. We had a view of it by night and I’m personally curios of how it would look by day.
We were surprised that along strolling around Hanoi, we never knew that a Filipino brand would own the streets solely by Jollibee. We are after Hanoian food so we never actually tasted Jollibee there though we know that the menu would be different.
The very famous and crowded Ngoc Son temple
Last landmark to visit there was St. Joseph Cathedral. I think the only catholic establishment in the city!
1700: Leaving Hanoi
It was a bittersweet departure. We booked our bus ride to Vientiane, Laos through our hostel.
We tried looking for a seater bus but is impossible. Glad as well cause we met friends along the way in this journey going to Laos!
1. Book your travel bus to your hostel. Most of Hanoian hostels are equipped with everything. If you are short in time, your hostel can serve you all your tour needs.
2. If you have plenty of time and just really are curious about the price differences between tours and trips, there are agencies in everywhere in Hanoi that you can inquire in.
3. About crossing the Vietnam – Laos border: Bring extra food and water as you travel to Laos. We weren’t happy about our experience in our 18 hour trip to Vientiane. Be ready to be in hell!
4. You’ll be picked up from your hostel to a “waiting spot” by your tour office. In our case, we thought we were scammed because we waited for almost an hour to wait for the bigger bus to arrive. We also met friends in the “waiting spot” who would travel as well with us to Vientiane and transferred together to a bigger bus to a sleeper bus to Laos.
5. Expect the worsts in your travel bus! You’ll be dumped at the back of the bus next to the smelly bathroom. Just because you are not the same race as them. Food would suck as you go more remote in Vietnamese provinces, unless your taste bud can take it. Language barrier would be more real that you would end up not ordering a food because they can’t take orders until they would dismiss you.
Hanoi is a historical nation and a foodie! I have so much to say about this country and their smiling people. My hostel added a good experience in the place. I would go back and want to experience their rich Pho again, their Banh Mi, their culture, the people and their weekend party!