Arriving in Hanoi: About the Old Town, Pho and Hoan Kiem Lake

Hue – Hanoi

The plane that takes us to Hanoi, the big metropolis of the North, arrives after only 55 minutes. Again, they are super-fast with the luggage. Vietnamese efficiency. After only ten minutes we are looking for a taxi, our luggage at hand. We approache a probably French guy who is waiting next to us and share a ride to the city with him, hoping to get some tipps. But he prefers to keep all the good things to himself and remains silent throughout the whole ride.

Sharing roughly costs us 8 Euros and we arrive safely at our hotel, Hanoi Chic Boutique Hotel. We enter our room, the Honeymoon Suite, and realize the bed was everything but honeymoon-iike – 2.80 meters wide. So we decide to take a stroll outside, get a first impression of Hanoi on the rest of the day and eat a little something.

Just around the corner we find fried bananas – the best in town! (I am starving so I’d say that about every fried banana.) The vendor, Bom, heard us chatting in German and surprises us by switching to a nice and fluent German with the typical Vietnamese accent. It turned out we ran into a man who had spent 14 years of his life living and working in Hanover, before he returned to his home country.

We are provided with extensive know-how about the best Pho in town, the famous Vietnamese noodle soup at house no. 69 right down the street. Finally, someone who cares for us! 🙂 In my opinion, the best quality sign for a place is when there are only natives at that restaurant – which is the case here. Unluckily, I don’t recall the name of the street.

We let the day end with a walk around Kiem lake, a beautiful spot close to Hanoi’s old town, which is a bit like Lover’s Lane…

Don’t be mistaken by the label „old town“. There is nothing historic about this part of Hanoi, no beautiful 19th century buildings, apart from the obligatory church here and there… The fun thing is that Vietnamese still operate their business in the same-named streets in the old town. There is, for instance, an entire street where shops solely specialize in kitchen appliances. Or hardware. Or auto supplies. Or tomb stones.

// hotel: Hanoi Chic Boutique Hotel via booking.com

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