Day 33 - Hanoi ArrivalOctober 12, 2017 in Vietnam ⋅ ⛅ 79 °F
What a long day...or was it 2 days?! We didn't sleep at all on the 10 hour flight from Rome to Bangkok...arriving at midnight Rome time, 5:00 am Bangkok time. Then, after a 2 and a half hour layover and a 2 and a half hour flight (with a little sleep), we arrived in Hanoi at 10 am local time. We got our Visas, got a taxi, and went straight to our hotel in the Old Quarter of Hanoi, right next to Hoan Kiem Lake. Fortunately, we were able to check right in. This hotel, Golden Moon Hotel, had the nicest room we have stayed in the whole trip. It is one of the nicer hotels I have ever been in. And it's $25/night, which is actually our most expensive accommodations in Vietnam. We set down our luggage and took a much needed 3 hour nap. We could have slept the whole day away but we knew we needed to adjust to the time, so we forced ourselves up around 2:00, took showers, and went out to check out Hanoi.
Hanoi is insane!!! The roads are wild, filled with motor scooters, pedestrians, construction, street food, children, and even a few tourists. We had fortunately seen some random Facebook/YouTube videos on how to cross the street in Hanoi before we got here (basically you just walk across slowly and the vehicles avoid you). If we hadn't just spent a few weeks in Italy with those crazy roads and drivers, I'm not sure we would have had the courage and confidence to do it. But we seem to have figured it out.
Our first stop, of course, was a pho lunch at a busy street vendor. YUM! It was so good (and $3.75 total for both of our meals). Hanoi is known for having some of the best street food in Asia and that is one of the main reasons we are here. After pho, we wandered the streets a bit until we found our way back to our hotel. We relaxed for a bit and I was about ready to call it a night, but Tim was somehow hungry again. We found a restaurant a couple of blocks away. I wasn't too hungry, but we got a couple of passion fruit mojitos, a couple of beers, and split veggie spring rolls and a chicken curry dish (all for under $15...which is actually very expensive here). The meal was pretty good, but I think we will stick to street vendors for the rest of our time in Hanoi.
Now, some reading, and then probably 12 hours of sleep!Read more