"a brief encounter" Hanoi by Audrey118
Hanoi Travel Guide: 2,747 reviews and 6,065 photos
Day One - Hanoi city- half day
Day Two - Halong Bay and overnight stay on cruise
Day Three - Return to Hanoi - half day
Day Four - back home
Day One -
we got there just after the lunch hour, checked into the Sofitel Metropole - an elegant refurbished colonial hotel - part ot the Legends of Indochine hotel group (Raffles Hotel Singapore is among one). And then we had a quick bite and made final arrangements for our cruise to Halong Bay. In the evening, we took a taxi to the Old Quarters and managed to look see at some shops selling local crafts, mainly homewares, and also good gifts. Some how we stumbled on the water puppet theatre and managed to get tickets...very very entertaining show. After that we went to Bobby Chinn's rest for dinner...we were actually too tired to enjoy ourselves.
An early start - we have to take approx 3 hours car ride to Halong city (there is nothing in the city) - to the port to catch our boat for an overnight stay. You really should not miss this boat overnight stay if you are in Hanoi - Halong Bay is one of the many many Unesco World Heritage...i believe there are as many as 1969 floating limestone rocks around the bay. The view at all times, all angle changes, even from a far it looks to me like shades of grey at its best...looks almost fake like pop up cards!!! The cruise was totally relaxing....you just kill time doing nothing but enjoying the view, breathing in fresh air, hear the crickets, the waves lapping and occassionally ponder on God's creation.
On our return - like hungry ghost (it was the last day of the ghost month according to Lunar calendar), we headed for the very famous brunch at Sofitel Metropole - the spread was not terribly big, but it had enough choice to make you wonder what it will do to your waistline. Famous for its traditional french fare, I headed for their slow cooked duck - stuffed with foie grass...yikes - I was terribly concern over the hepatis and bird flu...I also devour the salmon cooked perfectly - slightly pink inside with sorrel sauce and yummiest squid ink risotto - which I had so many ladles!!! and also had very very delicious clam chowder. I enjoyed the chowder soup becos of its light texture as opposed to the original rich broth!!! you can dunk more in when it is light...slurp. Desserts was interesting - with soupy choc cake set on Chinese soupspoon, and the perfectly timed Cheesecake and also again - chinese soup spoon creme brulee.
After the hefty lunch, i needed to walk off some calories, so we headed back for more shopping at Old Quarters. Started off at the St Joseph Cathedral - and walking down the maze liked bustling town - it is just amazing how you can keep on buying stuff and still have your wallets bottomless!!!
The evening was ended with a rather light and easy entertainment, yet enchanting at the old dame Opera House - with guest soprano from Bangkok - she really sounded like twetty bird doing the Mozart's Magic Flute (one of my fav)
The last day - a half day - started to pack our bags loaded with some souveniers and after that but we managed to jet out to the northwest of the city to catch a glimpse of the tourist attractions to the HoChihMinh mausoleum, home, and also to the One Pillar Pagoda, and another cab ride to the Temple of Leterature. And our trip ended here - us bidding our good byes to the concierge staff at the Sofitel M - they are really deep down honest, frendly, frank lot..... they really made my stay a wonderful one.
Thanks to Sharrie - for inviting me to join her on yet another adventure!!! I would never known of Halong Bay if not for u. ..... cheers
- In a nutshell:must go back for big time shopping!!!
The puppeteers hid behind the screen where they wooden puppets with long bamboo. Imagine standing in water for an hour... more travel advice
The highlight of the accompanying musician was the lady who played skillfully the Single Stringed Monochord instrument.... more travel advice
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