After enjoying the cultural experience and beautiful views that Hong Kong had to offer, our next stop was Hanoi! I was so excited to visit Vietnam after hearing so much about it so we flew from Hong Kong to Hanoi ready for our next adventure. Before travelling, we had looked at transfer options from each transport place to the hotel and this one seemed really easy- and it really wasn’t! Yes, it was my fault!
Airport to Hotel
We went to the bus stops outside of the airport and we were already really confused. The number we wanted and had researched about didn’t exist so we didn’t know where to go next. I approached some bus drivers and tried to explain how to get into central Hanoi and they just wanted our money! We jumped on one and hoped for the best however it took us through the craziest of places and random fields looking like it was going nowhere near the city however eventually it did and we jumped in a quick taxi to take us directly to where we were staying.
Splendid Jupiter Hotel
We stayed at the Splendid Jupiter hotel in Hanoi which was perfect for what we wanted. It had a good sized room, a bathroom but the bed was extremely hard and was like sleeping on planks! For this part of the world, you have to understand the expense of beds etc and how difficult it would be for the local people to provide a nice hotel like this so we were fine with it. They also cooked a mean breakfast which gave us a perfect start to each morning!
Things to do
Hoa Lo Prison: this prison was really interesting to walk around and wasn’t too far from the centre of Hanoi. It used to hold political prisoners and then prisoners of war during the Vietnam war. One thing you must explore is the history in Vietnam as the Vietnam war still sadly affects many people today and is very much still engraved in their culture.
Ho Chi Minhs Mausoleum: visit the final resting place of the well loved leader Ho Chi Minh plus read all about the history behind him and his leadership. We went and it was really interesting and we saw his tomb however as his body was going through the embalming process we were unable to see it during our visit. It takes a good half a day spent there and I’d recommend going earlier if possible to avoid crowds at high peak season.
Ha Long Bay: you must do the Ha Long Bay tour if you visit Hanoi as it really is on of the wonders of the world and just breathtaking. It’s a couple of hours drive to the boat though so be prepared for a long day however it’s totally worth it. The boat gides past the hundreds of islands topped with rainforests and if you’re lucky , you’ll have a chance to explore one and visit inside the caves. It was one of the best things we did travelling and I’d recommend it to anyone! Most hotels offer these tours or who will know a couple company to recommend.
Take a walk and explore: if you really want to submerse yourself in Vietnamese culture then simply walk through the streets and see how the Vietnamese people live. You’ll see many of them eating on tiny little tables outside restaurants and houses and the vibe is great. There are also some AMAZING street markets nearby, I would definitely recommend the night markets for a great buzz and some street food.
- -Okay, so the traffic is a little cray-cray. Most people drive mopeds and well, they just don’t stop! The key is to join others crossing the road as groups are seen better than just your little self. Have some confidence when crossing, you’ll get used to it! 🙈
- Take some light clothing- it’s hot and sticky and you want to be able to enjoy your visit rather than suffer from a stingy heat rash like yours truly.
- Theres some lovely little restaurants hanging around, I wish I could remember the one we went to but it sold the best sausage gnocchi I’ve ever had and it was amazing!
- Buy lots of water and take some mosquito spray with you- those gnats don’t half love a good biting.
Have you been to Hanoi? What were your thoughts and would you go back?