Friday, July 13, 2012

Hanoi - Vietnam (My Tour Adventure)

From Halong Bay to Hanoi. In fact, the previous day itself for arriving in Hanoi by 8.00pm. Nothing much for the day (Siem Reap Cambodia). Impossible right by this hour? We had dinner and of course, we were told we can check out the shops within the vicinity of our hotel (Angkor Wat)l. I think some of the tour buddies did, but not me. I showered and since wifi was hell in my room despite me paying, I had no choice but to sit at the cramped up lobby for internet connection. For an hour and then, back to my room for good night everyone (Ho Chi Minh City). Next morning, by 9.00am, standing in the snaking queue for entering Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. Cold weather literally shivering me and oh-god! The rules before entering Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum? No camera, no hand-phone or switch off your phone, no laptop, handbags screened, hands by your side and no talking. Basically, no picture or video taking and silence must be golden. Then what once you walk in? At the riffles of the guards who stood like robots throughout and you taking less than 5 minutes for seeing HO Chih Minh lying in state before walking out. That's all? Yep. That's all. Honestly, I can't tell you if it's the original Ho Chi Minh or his wax. And so strict rules for seeing him or his wax? Duh! Glad I saw though nothing really like me feeling overwhelmed. 

Up next? To Ho Chi Minh Presidential Palace. Basically, Ho Chi Minh and his lifestyle till he left for heaven. All about him. His room, his car, his dining area, his, his and his throughout the Palace. 

Done. Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Ho Chi Minh Presidential Palace. Interesting? Intriguing? Okay. Quite an experience actually. Our next sightseeing? One-Pillar Pagoda. Crazy. In such a small area and everyone literally like fighting to go up and down the staircase for heading to the main altar. I wasn't like trilled in this temple situated along the narrow road. One Lotus Pagoda. Supposedly the architectural splendour of Vietnam. Pagoda structure completed in 1950s. Sitting on the lake stilts and its its design representing a lotus in the water. The significance of One Lotus Pagoda? Hope for ladies who want to conceive and of course, for health is wealth. 

Subsequently to? Temple Of Literature. God! Like a mad house right from the main road and through out the temple due to a special occasion for education honoring. Temple Of Literature by itself symbolizing Confucius, and for recognizing Vietnam's doctorates and high rank scholars. We walked in and we walked right to where the altar is right at the back. Seeing and praying, and me especially literally dashing out instead of being amongst the hundreds or even thousands.  

Next? Lunch in Sen Tay Ho Restaurant. Another concept to putting all the bus loads of tourists together for a buffet. Delicious food and huge selection no doubt, but, dining alongside so many people? What are we talking about? Comfort? Enjoying our meal or rushing for food?  

After lunch, shopping. Shop till you drop at the street stalls. Another shopping break like those we already had on the previous days. But this one, almost 4 hours. Like? Me taking a few rounds, around the shops at the streets and then, getting a coffee and being seated at the stall for the rest until time to depart. Such a waste to my time. Then again? Others seemingly haven't had enough of shopping. After shopping, dinner and back to the hotel. Next day? Our last day. The finale to our Vietnam and Cambodia tour. The end which started in the morning for sightseeing in Hoan Kiem Lake/Ngoc Son Temple. Like a must do if you are in Hanoi and Hoan Kiem Lake/Ngoc Son Temple being a historical site due to the tortoise legendary story.

Crossing over to the other side of the road, and for the start to our rickshaw ride. By then, rickshaws already on stand-by. Two to one, but myself, me myself by myself before rickshaw shooting off through the roads of Hanoi. Mind you, main roads and you being driven between the busses, cars, motorbikes, bicycles, lorries and every other vehicle in Hanoi. Ohhhhhh! Initially, I was literally shitting bricks, but after the first five minutes, I knew. I don't think death will be calling me due to the skills of my rickshaw driver. He just had it. He knew how to manoeuvre in the traffic without causing any harm to me. Did I enjoy the ride? Yes. I did. Like an adventure ride for seeing everything that popped up in front of me. Road side stalls, shops, government buildings, eateries, wedding photo shoot and branded outlets. Basically a live experience of being at the heart of Hanoi.

Ride over on the dot and guess what? Driver demanding for more than the agreed US1.00 sum. He literally persisting I hand over another dollar. Ah? I gave and then finding out also others were hassled too. The unspoken dirty tricks in Hanoi I suppose. We spoke about it over and over again and thereafter, our last meal for the tour. Quite a grand one, music and dolled up ladies serving us in.Nha Hang Thang Long Restaurant. Food? Food throughout our days in Vietnam and Cambodia didn't let us down. In fact, we loved every meal of ours, including the hotel buffets. This one? Another delight. 

After lunch or while at lunch? Some friendship exchanging numbers and subsequently, to the airport for returning home. Nine days of me being away from home and going back home now. Vietnam and Cambodia? Simply memorable. I definitely had a great time.   


  1. thanks to you we can see virtual tour of all this amazing places, love the idea of using sugarcane as skewers.

  2. Great restaurant....the food looks yummy too...:-)

  3. The food looks so yum. i started salivating looking at the pics.. nice post Navi dear :)

  4. What lovely food! Beautiful place!

  5. The food looks lovely and vibrant.

  6. looks yummy! fresh and healthy

  7. YUM! Everything looks so good Nava...I better get myself some food...these pictures really got me hungry.
    Have a great weekend :D

  8. What a variety! All the pictures look so tempting ...the steamed fish and the prawns have me drooling. These reminds me of the images on Food Safari.

  9. sound like the food taste good enough. Would love to taste those

  10. Food looks the post n pics...soo colourful post navi..u r really lucky sweethrt. .

    My recent one :Bourjois rouge edition velvet lipstick 02 frambourjoise !!!

  11. you had great spread!! Looks like a fun place..

  12. Will love to make reservation the food looks delicious.


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