Vietnam
Hoàn Kiếm

Here you’ll find travel reports about Hoàn Kiếm. Discover travel destinations in Vietnam of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

334 travelers at this place:

  • Day69

    Hanoi - eine total verrückte Stadt

    December 10, 2018 in Vietnam ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    Wir landen 15 Uhr. Als wir auf unser Gepäck warten, begutachten wir den Himmel. Es sieht regnerisch aus.
    Nachdem wir unser Gepäck haben, werden wir für 18 Dollar abgeholt vom Flughafen. Und wie sich herausstellt lohnt sich das! Wir sind mitten drin im Gewusel und bekommen den Verkehr hautnah mit. Von allen Seiten quetschen sich Mopeds und Autos vorbei. Es wird ununterbrochen gehupt. Und wir sitzen sicher in unserem Taxi.
    Es gibt keine Regeln und auch wenn die Ampel auf rot steht, wird gefahren. Wer konsequent und sicher auftritt gewinnt. Das gilt auch für die Fußgänger. Willst du eine Kreuzung überqueren, musst du loslaufen. Ohne zu zögern. Wenn du zögerst, quetschen sich die Mopeds von allen Seiten vorbei und du bist gefangen.
    Am ersten Abend stresst uns das extrem. Der Verkehr, die vollen Straßen, die Gerüche, die vielen Menschen. Und das Wetter. Unerwartet sind in Hanoi 14 Grad und Regen. Darauf sind wir nicht vorbereitet und wir haben kaum dicke Sachen dabei. Von einem Tag auf den anderen sind in Hanoi die Temperaturen um 15 Grad gefallen. Das dauert meistens nicht lange an, doch leider sind wir genau in der Zeit hier. Also planen wir komplett um und buchen direkt einen Zug, der uns am Montag weiter in den Süden bringen wird.
    Nachdem wir 5 Millionen Vietnamesische Dong abgehoben haben, machen wir uns auf den Weg in die Altstadt. Die, wie vorab geplant, nur 2 Straßen neben unserem Hotel beginnt.
    Als wir zögerlich an einer Kreuzung stehen (niemals zögern - immer laufen), lächle ich einer Obsthändlerin zu. Großer Fehler! Sie reagiert sofort und hängt mir ungefragt ihren "Obststand" über die Schulter. "Foto, Foto," sagt sie und wir wissen beide in dem Moment, dass wir da nicht mehr rauskommen. "Okay, dann kaufen wir deine Ananas." Leider haben wir noch keine Ahnung und kein Gefühl fürs vietnamesische Geld. Im lauten Gewusel und hin und her, greift sie in das Portemonnaie und gibt uns Rückgeld. Als wir uns trennen, ahnen wir beide schon, dass das jetzt wahrscheinlich ein großer Schein war. Schlaues kleines Ding.
    Am Ende kosten uns 500 Gramm Ananas und das Foto, 18 Euro. Eigene Dummheit. Und auch nicht dramatisch. Wir haben ihr wahrscheinlich einen freien Tag ermöglicht. Trotzdem rennen wir danach noch einige Zeit mit blöden Vorurteilen im Kopf rum und "schreien" den aufdringlichen Obstverkäufer und Süßigkeitverkäufer schon von weiten ein lautes "Nein" entgegen. Ihr Trick: sie greifen einen gezuckerten Windbeutel aus ihrem Korb und legen ihn ungefragt in deine Hand "zum kosten". Aus Reflex greift man zu. Aber nicht mit uns. 18 Euro haben uns belehrt. Und in den Tagen in Hanoi laufen wir mit Händen in den Taschen durch die Straßen.

    Nach 2 Tagen gewöhnen wir uns immer mehr an Hanoi. Es gibt viele kleine Gassen zu entdecken. Überall wird auf der Straße gekocht. Die Vietnamesen sitzen auf kleinen Hokern und schmeißen Fleisch, Fisch und Muscheln in ihre Töpfe. Wir sehen wie ein halbes Schwein mitten auf dem kleinen Fußgängerweg zerlegt wird und überall warten Händler mit Gemüse und Früchte in Körbe darauf, dass sie uns etwas andrehen können.
    Letztendlich sind es nur die Wanderhändler, die sehr aufdringlich sind.
    In den Restaurants und Cafés werden wir herzlich begrüßt. Wir versuchen Vietnamesisch zu lernen und die Vietnamesen interessieren sich für Deutschland und versuchen Deutsch zu sprechen. Wir fühlen uns willkommen.
    Am ersten Abend landen wir in einem typisch - einheimischen Restaurant. Auf Empfehlung unseres Hotels. Ich bin froh, dass sie uns nicht in eine Tourihöhle gesteckt haben. Ich esse meine geliebte Pho Ga, die ich in Berlin auch sehr gerne gesessen habe. Und zu meinem überraschen schmeckt die Nudelsuppe genauso wie in Berlin. Bei Ralf gibt es Currytopf mit Reis.
    Im Allgemeinen kann man das Essen mit dem in Deutschland aber nicht vergleichen. Es grenzt sich auch vom Thailändischen ab. Ich muss mich manchmal noch etwas an die Gerüche gewöhnen. Hier wird viel in Brühe gekocht. Fleisch und Fisch wirkt noch sehr weich. Die Vietnamesen lassen oft Haut und Fett dran. Was mich etwas abschreckt. Außerdem sehen wir bei einer Tour durch die Stadt, einen Stand mit gebratenen Hunden. Irgendwie habe ich das Gefühl, das Vietnam einen kulinarischen Einfluss von den Chinesen hat oder andersrum. Die Restaurants sind auf die Touris ausgerichtete. Also landen wir erstmal doch in Touristenhöhlen. Manchmal müssen wir uns auch erstmal rantasten.
    Auf der anderen Seite hat Vietnam durch die Kolonialzeit einen kulinarischen Einschlag von den Franzosen. Es gibt Croissant, Baguettes, sehr guten Café und Froschschenkel. Außerdem das berühmte Ban Mi, was ich auch noch probieren werde.
    Durch die Kolonialzeit gibt es hier wunderschöne Gebäude und Fassaden. Alles ist sehr schmal und schlauchartig nach hinten erbaut. Wir lieben diesen Stil. Wir lieben diese Balkone. Es hat was romantisch-chaotisches, wenn die Fassade blättert, erdige Farben aufeinander treffen und sich überall Pflanzen ihren Weg suchen.
    Und dann wird ein Teil der Altstadt dicht gemacht. Die Fußgänger dürfen auf den großen Straßen laufen am Wochenende ohne vom motorisierten Verkehr erdrückt zu werden. Und von einem Tag auf den anderen ist Weihnachtszeit. Alles platzt plötzlich vor Schmuck und Weihnachtsdeko aus den Nähten. Es gibt sogar Stände mit Weihnachtskostüme für Babys bis Rentner. Total verrückt. Und die Temperatur steigt auch wieder.
    In der Woche wird die Temperatur wieder auf 22 Grad steigen. Der "Temperatursturz" war nur für einige Tage. Das ist normal für den Norden. Länger dürfte es auch nicht kalt sein, die Vietnamesen haben keine Heizungen.
    Heute geht es mit dem Nachtzug nach Hoi An. Dort werden wir uns für 3 Wochen einrichten.
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  • Day1479

    Asia Tour - Hanoi - Vietnam

    March 31 in Vietnam ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    Arrived in Hanoi at 12pm after leaving Hanoi at 9pm the previous day... I was absolutely shattered so I headed straight to my hostel to check in and get some sleep. I barely made it to my hostel I was that tired. I was so happy to see the bed, it was super comfy and private. I fell asleep and woke up at 9pm extremely hungry, I headed out to find food and went back to bed as I had to be up in the morning as I was heading off to Ninh Binh on a day trip and I knew as soon as I hit the pillow I’d be back out again.

    From what I saw of Hanoi it looks cool, but not as good as Saigon or Hoi An
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  • Day2

    More of Hanoi

    June 30 in Vietnam ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    As I mentioned yesterday, the excursion outside the city we were hoping to do had basically proved impossible. It really only gets visited during a couple of religious festivals, so regular tours aren't running there at the moment. We looked into a few options with public transport, private drivers and the like but it all sounded a bit too difficult and/or expensive for a Tentative site three years away in the pipeline!

    So we opted to just hang out in Hanoi instead.

    It was a bit cooler today - still very hot but not heatstroke inducing like the previous day. Had a much later start after a relaxing hotel breakfast, then headed out. First stop was nearby train street, a Hanoi institution where the train runs directly through a residential neighbourhood, only a few inches away from the houses. In typical Communist style, a large industry of cafes and shops had sprung up, all competing with the cheapest coffee and the best seats to watch the train come through.

    Completely by coincidence we'd arrived about 15 minutes before a train was due, so we shared a beer and I had a coffee while we waited. It was indeed very close! Though a few minutes before the train approached, they moved all the chairs and tables inside and we cowered on someone's porch.

    Next stop was the Hoa Lo Prison, also known as the Hanoi Hilton. This was a prison built by French colonialists, and there was a lot of heavy-handed rhetoric about the appalling conditions Vietnamese patriots were subjected to by the evil French. The next section had lots of happy and smiling American pilots being held in the prison by the North Vietnamese army, without any apparent trace of irony. These days most of the prison is actually gone, it's just a couple of administration buildings. But still interesting to see.

    Quick stop for a late lunch before we headed to the Water Puppet Theatre. Apparently a Vietnamese tradition, this was a very Chinese-style puppet theatre where the puppets are sitting in a pool on long poles, being controlled from behind a curtain and accompanied by live music. The stories were all in Vietnamese so obviously we couldn't follow it, but it was amusing enough and quite well done.

    Last stop was a bia hoi shop, where they sell fresh beer. I'm a bit fuzzy on the details, but it's basically a non-fermented beer that they've brewed that day. No brand, and it's very cheap. I think we paid about 12k dong per glass (about 0.75c), which seemed to be on the high end. Shandos said it was about 1.5k dong when she was here in 2005 - that's inflation for you!

    Back home where we wandered around for a while trying to find some spring rolls without much success. Eventually we just ate at a place a few doors from the hotel.
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  • Day1

    Day 2

    October 1 in Vietnam ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

    After a well needed lie in we grabbed some breakfast in the hostel and headed out for the day. We walked through the madness that is Hanoi old quarter and managed to avoid being hit by any Bikes - I’m convinced Aishling will walk into a bike rather than being hit by one cause she gets so distracted by everything that is going on . We then went to ha lao prison . A prison that was originally used by the french when they occupied Vietnam to hold and torture Vietnamese political prisoners. During the American war it was then used to hold American soldiers.
    After the prison we headed to Hoan Kiem lake to the note coffee shop , a cafe where with your drink your given a post it to write a message and stick somewhere in the cafe after years it’s now covered floor to ceiling with different colourful post its.
    We then headed back to the hostel to catch the rugby.
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  • Day163

    Good morning (or is it night?) Vietnam

    February 16, 2017 in Vietnam ⋅ ⛅ 73 °F

    After travelling 14,900 miles, two journeys >24 hours and visiting 7 international airports in just a few days since San Jose, we are now in Hanoi, Vietnam. We arrived on Wednesday evening and have spent a couple of days exploring the city and trying to recover from our jet lag. The jet lag is proving more difficult than Costa Rica - our own fault for arranging a schedule that traversed 13 hours of time zones in 5 days I suppose (UK is 6hr ahead of Costa Rica & Vietnam is 7hr ahead of UK)....

    On our first day in Hanoi (after having woken up at 2.30am) we wandered around the old quarter, exploring the streets and learning how to cross the road. I have never seen so many mopeds in my life (it makes Italy look positively tame!) and you need some nerve to cross the road, especially with a 4-year-old in tow... Every street has a theme, with shops mostly selling the same type of thing - so far we've seen silk street, toy st, moped repair st, jewellery st, jade st, light st, hardware st and noodle st, amongst others. Our hotel is near Hoan Kiem Lake, so we walked along the lake shore and also visited Ngoc Son Temple, which is on an island in the lake and you get to it by walking across a picturesque red bridge. The temple gardens were small but a lovely tranquil haven from the bustle of the city, with beautiful bonsai trees. We sat by the lake eating a snack after the temple, when a group of local secondary school children asked to interview us about New Year for a school project (see picture). They found it hilarious that we don't wear any special clothes or eat any special food at new year! It was interesting talking to them. In the afternoon we went to see the water puppet show, thinking it would be a great thing to do with Solana. Unfortunately she fell asleep in the sling on the way there and when we woke her up to see the puppet show, she was scared and didn't like it! A shame because it was actually quite good and I ended up missing most of it... Solana fell asleep again later in the afternoon; we tried to wake her for dinner but she was so tired she was unrousable, so we ended up taking her out asleep - she slept through dinner and the walk back!
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  • Day164

    Hanoi

    February 17, 2017 in Vietnam ⋅ ⛅ 77 °F

    We started the day at 1am when Solana woke and couldn't get back to sleep - we all finally managed to drop back off around 5am, only to struggle to get up again at 7... We got a cyclo taxi (like a rickshaw) to Ho Chi Minh mausoleum site in the morning. The ride itself was fun, if a bit hair-raising with traffic coming at us from all angles at intersections! We got to see Ho Chi Minh's house on stilts, the one pillar pagoda and some lovely gardens with plenty of bonsai trees and koi carp swimming around. There was a nursery trip visiting at the same time too, which was cute to see. We have seen a bit of wildlife so far in Vietnam, although nothing on the scale of Costa Rica - bird count now about 7 and mammals 3 (black squirrel, bat and rat!).

    In the evening we went out to the night market, where we enjoyed wandering round the stalls (with Solana in the sling on Laura's back so she didn't get lost - it was pretty busy!). We invested in a neck pillow for Solana, to help her sleep on buses, trains, etc - hoping it will be a good investment of 100,000 Dong (about £4)! We also ate at an open-air restaurant there - tasty fried beef noodles, cooked on a little burner outside - 2 dishes plus beers for about £6.50 (which would have barely bought us a piece of cheese in Costa Rica!). Solana managed to stay awake until around 8:30pm and we re-packed, ready for our trip to Halong Bay.
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  • Day33

    Day 33 - Hanoi Arrival

    October 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!
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Hoàn Kiếm, Hoan Kiem

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