Day 80

The journey to Hanoi was only 2 hours, but it leaves us a bit sad going from serene beauty to another grey city.

We hope we find the love for Hanoi everyone seems to rave about.

Pete has us booked into a small hotel in the old city, on a quiet street 1 row back from St Joseph’s Cathedral.

We drop bags and explore whilst we await our room. Hanoi old town is alongside a lake, we love a lake!


We walk round and since it’s Saturday they have pedestrianised some of it. Less motor bikes but lots of people.

Would love to say it’s growing on us… its not really.

We find a spot for lunch, veggie samosas which are actually just Vietnamese pancakes in disguise.

Deep fried and very greasy. More on that later.

Night time we hit a corner 2nd floor restaurant for a couple of beers to people watch over a busy square on the lake.

We wander through the night market to a vegan restaurant. We order and then…. both feel ill. We don’t eat.

The next 36 hours are a wipe out.

Food poisoning!!!

Day 81

Sunday. In bed.


Cancelled the Jeep Tour we booked.

Aircon starts spouting grey water and ice. We move rooms.

Day 82

We emerge on the Monday after a light breakfast in another hotel. No electricity this morning.

Decide on a walk round the lake.  It’s all we’ve seen so far!

A bit of easy shopping.

Safe food at night. European.

Day 83

Not quite back to normal but we go on the Jeep Tour.

Simon manged to get it moved which was a result.

Some people look daft in hats…

Starts with the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. Pete thought it read museum.

Both of us were shocked though when after much queuing and airport like security we had a chance to file passed the preserved body of HCM!!!

It was super surreal.

Turns out he actually wanted to be cremated and his ashes spilt on the top of Vietnams highest mountain in north, central and south Vietnam. So he could watch over a unified country.

Instead he has gawkers likes us filing past.

There were a million school kids and students paying their respects too.

The little ones spent their time waving at us and wanting to chat in English!

After that good start we also saw his houses and nice gardens.

The tour included.

Driving past the 5k ceramic mural.

A visit to the ancient University where scholars were taught before getting into government or becoming a local mandarin. The guide explained the Taoist beliefs, the 4 elements, belief in astrology and the teachings of Confucius.

Next stop was to drink egg coffee in a hip backstreet café.

The place was made out of recycled stuff and up a flight of stairs down some backstreet… with views of a mechanic shop. Very random..

My first. It was like a smooth meringue custard. Yum.

Then on to walk on a live railway bridge. The oldest in Vietnam. A bit dangerous for me!

Last stop was to see the infamous train street. Having drinks on train street whilst the train whistled passed your knees was a great experience; classic Hanoi.

Done by 12pm in time for a bit more shopping.

Still a bit ropey, we end the night eating salad and soup in really good vegan place.

Hanoi we didn’t see at it’s best, or ours.





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