Hanoi was our first entry into Vietnam and yes the city can be chaotic but our warm reception at the hotel and smooth check-in made sure we settled quite quickly, after an almost 24 hour journey. Generally we choose well known hotel groups but have recently decided to explore boutique hotels and were definitely not disappointed.
Our hotel, the La Siesta Trendy is located in the bustling Old Quarter and has a modern feel but did not lose the Asian hospitality. We received welcome drinks and snacks on arrival and they even organised a birthday cake for me. The heart shape towels and roses were lost on us but couples will enjoy this.
The great thing about the city was that despite arriving quite late it was still buzzing, and the hotel restaurant was open allowing us to take in the night views before hitting our comfy beds.
Hanoi is best explored on foot, and hence why we opted for a walking tour of the city. The first thing you notice in the morning are the locals enjoying their morning meal of Phở on tiny bench stools . Unfortunately we couldn’t join them but did manage to try some local Vietnamese egg coffee at the famous Giang Café.
The city walking tour is not strenuous and enjoyable once you get comfortable with the traffic and crossing the roads. Do not be afraid, just walk into the street and the sea of bikers will part! We took in the sights along the way from the bustling Old Quarter to the distinctly calmer French Quarter which overlooks serene views of the Hoan Kiem Lake.
The rest of our day was spent immersing ourselves in Hanoi’s history. We paid a visit to Hoa lo Prison and the Vietnamese Women’s Museum and one of the local markets. We didn’t spend a great amount of time in Vietnam’s Capital (1.5 days) but do think that it is more than enough to enjoy the sights and sounds if you are pressed for time. We would definitely recommend staying in the Old Quarter.
Stay tuned for Part 2 in our Vietnam Series! Happy Monday!