Tag Archives: Old Quarter

Hanoi (Day 3: Imperial Citadel, Pho Bo, Egg Coffee, Legend Beer)

After a night of drinking, we woke up a bit later than the usual. For breakfast, we had complimentary vouchers at the hotel but decided to skip it for some authentic Vietnamese food.

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We came looking for Pho Suong located at Trung Yen Street which is one of the side streets inside the Old Quarter. We tried out their Pho Bo which is basically beef pho.

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Having some hot beef broth that morning was just what I needed. Ahh…comfort food!

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We also went Cafe Giang for some Cafe Trung (egg coffee). At first, we did not notice that there was a second floor which is where I would recommend that you stay. I also tried their Cafe Sua which is coffee with milk.

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Later on, we visited the Temple of Literature. A lot of students visit this place to pray for good luck.

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Our next stop was the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology. I personally removed this from our list of places to see but the hotel staff insisted that we go and visit the place.

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Definitely a must see if you are an ethnic and cultural buff. I have been to several Asian countries and have visited similar museums. Also coming from a country rich in tribal culture, I think Westerners will appreciate this place much more than I did.

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For lunch, we went to Quan An Ngon. I was expecting a hole in the wall type of place but it was the complete opposite. I wanted to scream tourist trap but their food was surprisingly tasty!

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We headed to the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long that afternoon. I was surprised to see that this was a UNESCO site as I have not done my research about this place.

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There are a couple of things you can do around the citadel. Apart from the walled surroundings, the Flag Tower was just around the other end. Also, this place was used as a secret headquarters during the Vietnamese War. The old and new blend with this one.

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It was interesting to go around the buildings that housed offices hidden underground.

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There seems to be a lot of renovation going when we visited. Some areas are still being excavated. Hopefully, there will be more areas open and more things to see when I return in a few years or so.

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We also visited Dong Xuan Market. I was expecting a more touristy place to buy souvenirs but it seemed more like a wholesale market for locals. Some sellers were already packing up when we went so we really did not spend a lot of time in the market. Instead, we went back to the Old Quarter and walked around the streets to buy our goodies. We bought around 2 kilograms of ground coffee to bring home.

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At night, we visited Legend Beer to get a glimpse of Hanoi for one last time. We grabbed some drinks and light snack while overlooking the organized chaos below the streets.

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We grabbed some quick dinner at a nearby street BBQ place. One last meal before we head back.

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As we waited for our airport pick-up, I felt mixed emotions about going back home. From chasing sunsets in Tanjung Aru to catching the sunrise in Mount Kinabalu to our layover in Kuala Lumpur and finally bia hoi Hanoi, this trip is definitely one for the books!

– The Tourist Pao

 

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Hanoi (Day 1 ½: Hanoi at Night, Old Quarter, El Gaucho Steakhouse)

After our afternoon tour around the city, we went back to Essence Palace Hotel to avail our free massage at Essence Spa. The spa is situated in Essence d’Orient Hotel & Spa which is just a walking distance away from our hotel. As the name implies, both hotels are from the same group of companies.

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From our wonderful spa experience, we took a rickshaw to take us around the Old Quarter to get to our dinner place.

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Quite frankly, our afternoon experience was just okay. But once we headed out at night, we started to feel more into the trip.

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I did not expect this part of Hanoi to be even more beautiful at night.

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We even passed by Sofitel Legend Metropole which even looked more grand in the evening.

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For dinner, we made a reservation at El Gaucho which is a popular Argentinian steakhouse in Hanoi.

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From our beef soup to wagyu tartar to our USDA ribeye main dish, we were carnivores that night!  A-woooo!

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We went back to Hoan Kiem Lake after dinner.

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This part of town is much calmer at night if you know how to get used to the wild motorcycles around the city. Most of the attractions like the Huc Bridge and Turtle Tower were lit up.

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Before midnight, we headed back to our hotel to get our first decent rest in the last 3 days. Tomorrow is another big day for us!

Hanoi (Day 2: Halong Bay, Bia Hoi Corner)

– The Tourist Pao