Vietnam Part One: Hanoi

19th Feb 2013

If any you follow me on twitter, you might have spotted a tweet or two while I was on holiday- yep, it was a lot of the ‘Gooddd morning Vietnam’ variety! Not quite original I know! It was a -Mum, Sis and me hol- which has become a yearly thing. With our family dynamic already changing since I moved in with the boy, it has become our way to keep close. Last year we went on a Holy Land cruise (I never got round to posting the pics!) and this year we went to Vietnam.

Hanoi, the capital was our first stop in Vietnam and my one word to describe the city is – bleak.

hanoi 1 Room with a view

Hanoi 2 Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Hanoi 3

Hanoi 4Inside Ho Chi Minh Residence- take a look at the pics hanging up.

What we saw: We booked a private guide through our hotel and saw Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, Ho Chi Minh’s Residence & the Temple of Literature with her. We went to see St Joseph’s Cathedral, Opera House, West Lake and shops in the Old Quarter by ourselves.

Hanoi 5Tapestry like needlework

Hanoi 6Bicycle display at the Museum of Ethnology.

Hanoi 7Some traditional ethnic costumes at the Museum (loving the Pom poms!)

Hanoi 8Shrine by the West Lake

Where we stayed: Hanoi Elegance Diamond Hotel. This boutique hotel is a real gem, fantastic location (its five minute walk from the West Lake) great room and exceptional service.

Hanoi 9Some of the decorations for the Tet festival (New Year)

Hanoi 10 vietnamtravelonline street foodPavements in Hanoi are for street food stalls not for pedestrians! image credit Vietnam Travel Online

Hanoi 11Colourful Basket/Masks

Where we ate: Koto restaurant by the Temple of Literature. Sofitel in the French quarter & Da Paolo Italian restaurant. All of the above were great places to eat. The street food culture in Vietnam is very big but my Mum’s a vegetarian (A fussy one too!) so it wasn’t an option for us. And I have to add a place to avoid- the Green Tangerine -well I’d recommend going for a drink in the courtyard because it’s a pretty place but don’t eat there. The food is terrible!

Hanoi 12Pretty paper cut postcards/cards

Hanoi 13Vietnamese Lacquer work

Hanoi 14Some vintage propaganda posters

Although I wasn’t a big fan of Hanoi, it’s an important stop in travelling around Vietnam. Many visitors travel to Sapa, Mekong Delta and Halong Bay from Hanoi (all are a few hours away) we didn’t though- out next stop was Ho Chi Minh City (formerly known as Saigon)

Part two is coming up soon….

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