This trip to Vietnam was different from the other trip that we took in February. Something felt different. We were not anxious because we want to take our time and visit the country and then settle down in Saigon.
When we arrived in Hanoi, the streets were quiet and wet even though our hostel was in a backpackers’ area. The one thing that you can’t get away from is the rain. Rainy season in Vietnam is roughly between May and September.
You see the French influence from the structures when you walk around the winding streets of Hanoi. Hanoi is filled with many restaurants and wonderful shopping.
Our first meal in Hanoi was a bowl of Pho Bo for 20,000 VND (1 dollar). We noticed that the Pho from the south and north are somewhat different. Some say it’s the broth. All in all northern or southern pho is great!
We went on a walking tour of the city at the French Quarter near the lake. We walked around the city taking photos of locals and the city, as the country was getting ready to celebrate Vietnamese Independence Day.
The rain was very overwhelming and we ended up going back around our place for a dinner. We ended up going to a small bar, which sold a Liter of Bia Ha Noi for 10,000 vnd (50 cents). We spent an hour there and one dollar later we were off. We picked up a few beers and banh mi sandwiches and spent the night drinking and talking about our travels.
The final resting place of Uncle Ho is a must-see when visiting Hanoi. It is an extremely popular pilgrimage for Vietnamese as well, so arrive early. Opening Hours: Tuesday to Thursday & weekends from 8am to 11am
Nightlife in Hanoi is pretty straightforward. Party until its midnight then the local police comes by each establishment to make sure they are not operating. We went to a bar next to our hostel in which the business owner told us the night before cops came by a few minutes after midnight and he had a few patrons and he hid them in his house. It reminds you that you’re in socialist Vietnam. In Saigon, however have completely different rules, which are similar to in the west.
We have met many interesting people along our way and we look forward to what Vietnam holds for us over the next few months.