A few days ago, we travelled to Vietnam for a few days of break.
We flew directly to Hanoi, which is just a 1.5 hours direct flight away from Hong Kong, so it’s very quick and easy to get to.
From the airport we took a taxi to take us into the city. The ride takes about 45 minutes, as the airport is quite far out of the city.
We stayed in the Hotel de l’Opera, which is very central and a great location to explore the surroundings. It is next to the famous Opera house which was built between 1901 and 1911 and is modelled on the Palais Garnier, the older of Paris’s two opera houses, and is considered to be one of the architectural landmarks of Hanoi.
Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam and also its second largest city, with 7.1 million inhabitants (so its larger than Hong Kong, but because it’s more spacious, it does not feel half as crowded!).
It is a fascinating blend of East and West, combining traditional Sino-Vietnamese motifs with French flair. It is largely unscathed from the decades of war, so there are many beautiful old houses dotted around the city.
We spent four days exploring and re-visiting the city (our first and only other visit was in February 2008, so six years ago). We walked around the Hoan Kiem Lake in the Old Quarter, ate many versions of the local speciality Bun Cha and different rice noodle rolls, drank too many coffees (but so good), tried the fresh Hanoi beer and met many friendly people.
Overall, we had a great time and recharged our batteries… so follow me over the next days when I tell you all about our trip to this fantastic city.
4 thoughts on “Back from Hanoi”
I had a lot of fun traveling to Hanoi! People say Ho Chi Minh city is better, haven’t been there can’t compare, but I really appreciated northern Vietnam. Only thing I didn’t like was that everything closed early.
When I went there I met an older British tourist, who told me he used to live in HK in the 70s. It was interesting and I asked him about it; he told me that Hanoi had a similar vibe to Hong Kong of old. Makes me think about Asian development from another perspective, Vietnam is on the path to catching up and doing relatively well perhaps…
I prefer Hanoi to be honest, it’s much more traditional and laid back than Ho Chi Minh. I enjoyed that there was no Starbucks, big brand advertising or lots of fast food outlets in the North. I don’t need to have a Burger King at every corner! That’s interesting to hear that HK used to be like that, I’d love to have seen and experienced it like that. Thanks for your comment Ray!
Thank you for showing us Ho Chi Minh’s different facets – as I have not been I found the photos most interesting. Now Hong Kong – have been some 30 or so times decades ago and, in the early 1960s and the onto 70s and 80s, it was a magical place to visit . . . am glad I remember it from that time :) ! Macao at that time, long ere high-rise and other modernities arrived, even more so!
Wow – I wish I would have seen Hong Kong back then, it must have looked so different! Thanks for visiting :)