{Hanoi} Highlights


Last week we spent a few days in Hanoi – a place I love to visit over and over for its architecture, lakes, great shopping and vibrant street life.

Something I love about returning to a place several times is that once you’ve ticked off all the requisite must-sees you can focus on more important issues, like seeking out the city’s best coffee (in case you’re new to this blog, you won’t find much on the typical tourist sites Vietnam and the rest of Asia have to offer (yawn!) – it’s more about the fun and frivolous stuff, like food and shopping!).

Some highlights from my latest Hanoi jaunt:

  • Stopping at cute cafe La Place for a lemon mint freeze and cha ca lunch while overlooking the cathedral
  • Macarons from L’Epicerie du Metropole, the delectable little deli at the chic Sofitel Metropole

  • Our Parisienne-style room at the same hotel, with happiness-inducing splashes of red in the bedroom and bathroom

  • Shopping in the Old Quarter, which never seems to get old (especially on Nha Tho, Nha Chung and Hang Gai streets)
  • Surprisingly good natured bargaining, and feeling like I actually got some bargains
  • Early morning walks in less than 25 degrees celsius and wishing it could stay that way all day
  • Ginger icecream at Fanny’s (amazing Vietnamese ice-cream brand) after circumnavigating Hoan Kiem Lake in the Hanoi heat, post early-morning too good to be true chill

  • Seeking out (and finding) crushworthy cafes, like the leafy Trung Nguyen on Dien Bien Phu (above) and boho Cafe Nola – posts to come soon!
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6 Responses

  1. nateniale May 3, 2010 / 2:37 pm

    Hi! Great blog! I’ve been to Vietnam twice and was in Hanoi the first time. One thing I simply love to do in Vietnam was going to an outdoor cafe and have the amazing Vietnamese coffee!

  2. A Lady's Life May 3, 2010 / 2:52 pm

    Very nice shot of the old quarter building.
    Lemon mint freeze sounds delicious.:)

  3. ourman May 4, 2010 / 2:09 am

    Glad you had a good time. I love Hanoi but I know it winds some people up. I tend to like people who like Hanoi. It’s a good filter.

  4. Cate May 4, 2010 / 7:35 pm

    Good to see Hanoi again. Loved this city – minus the scooters. I guess it has eveloved into a graceful lady since I was there. Thanks for the wee small trip back here.

  5. Miss Footloose May 5, 2010 / 6:14 pm

    I’m all for the “fun and frivolous stuff” of life in foreign countries. I’ve lived in a number of them and it’s usually not the tourist locations that I find myself enjoying.

    Unfortunately, I’ve not been to Hanoi. Le sigh!

  6. Xander May 6, 2010 / 6:27 pm

    I love love love Hanoi! Such amazing food, beautiful architecture, and just a great pace. It ranks as one of the best food cities I’ve ever been to– and cha ca is definitely one of my favorite dishes there. Looks like you had a fantastic few days! X

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