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Vietnam - October 2019 - First Day in Hanoi

Added: Monday, November 18th 2019 at 3:38am by Maria

(This is a diary of my trip to Vietnam and as such, there will perhaps be photos and videos that might not be of any interest to anyone else but myself so please feel free to skip through if you find it too boring.  I am posting them here purely to journalise the day to day events of my trip).


After an overnight stay in Singapore, I arrived in Hanoi about mid afternoon on the 22nd of October.

Like China, this is one of the countries in Asia that requires a Visa stamp in your passport which I (thankfully) applied for on-line prior to my arrival.  But I still had to queue up at the Visa counter to pay for it and get the stamp in my passport. 

The queue was so long, it took over an hour and then I had to go to the immigration counter where they check your passport before allowing you through.  Another horrendous queue which took a further hour and by this time I was really stressing that the vehicle/driver I had organized to pick me up would be gone. 

Thankfully I was able to get in touch with them and he waited for me.  (Thank goodness for cell phones and Whatsapp!!)

Finally outside the arrivals hall, searching for the driver which only took a few minutes as he was standing close to the exit doors, holding a card with my name on it.

It's quite a nice modern airport with very modern facilities, I was pleasantly surprised.

The drive from the airport would take approximately 45 minutes depending on traffic.


My first glimpse of the city.....



My hotel was located in the "Old Quarter" of Hanoi, far away from the luxurious 5 Star hotels in another part of the city.

Very typical of streets in Asia....

Hanoi has plenty of these buildings which are very narrow but a few stories high.

My hotel was not what I was expecting, it was one of dozens of mid-range hotels on a very long street right in the center of the Old Quarter.

I was not happy with the first room they gave me but fortunately the hotel owner was present and he very kindly upgraded me to a much nicer room but way up on the 8th floor which was the top floor and the elevator only went up to the 7th floor.

But I was very happy to compromise, what's one flight of stairs when I had a much nicer room and I was the only one up there on the 8th floor.

The room was very spacious, clean and very cool.

I had a balcony with some gorgeous potted plants and a view of the city.

It had a very substantial closet to hang up my clothes and generous shelves for everything else.  And an electronic safety deposit box in the bottom of the closet.

There was a good sized fridge beside the closet, (the grey box with the yellow flowers in a vase) great for bottles of drinks and fruits and snacks.

There was a flat screen TV on the wall and two very comfortable easy chairs and a coffee table.

the wooden floors were super shiny and very clean as was the bathroom.

There was a generous bedside table with drawers on one side

and a make-up/dressing table with mirror on the other side and lots of power points for charging devices.

The gold lampshades above the bed reflected beautifully on the gold designs on the wallpaper.

Opening these glass doors at night to let the cool breezes in, better than air-conditioning!!

This room cost me US$28.95 per night. 

Yep, that's right....it cost me a total of A$553.75 for 13 nights = A$42.50 per night which converts to 28.95 US dollars per night!!  I think I did okay with this one!!

After unpacking and having a little rest, I started feeling peckish so I decided to go out and buy some supplies for my fridge from one of the dozens of mini-marts in the streets around the hotel.

I also decided to have a nice little evening meal of Vietnamese spring rolls and found a restaurant dedicated solely to this delicious street food in all it's various forms, including the famous rice paper rolls and crispy fried spring rolls.

I settled on one very long crispy fried spring roll which was served cut up into bite size pieces with rice noodles, fresh herbs and greens, and dipping sauce.

The way you eat this is by making a parcel using one of the leaves to envelop some noodles, then a piece of the spring roll and top with herbs, roll it up into a little parcel and dip into the sauce. 

Delicious is an understatement!!

After the meal I went for a walk around the streets and found myself totally lost!!

But it was fun and interesting as you will see in this video I took of my little walk.


Needless to say, I found my hotel and retired for the night on a very beautifully comfortable bed!!

(to be continued....)

User Comments

Great adventure, not sure I could do that! Beyond my comfort zone! :)

that's what makes it an adventure!!! {#basic-laugh.gif}

Wow, your hotel room was great...at less than 30.00 per night, the price was great also.  You did well.  

I am so glad the owner was there, otherwise I probably wouldnt have gotten the upgrade...{#basic-laugh.gif}

I like the part in the video where you say "I'm lost. (giggle) Holy crap, I don't know where I am" ...made me laugh. {#basic-cool.gif}

Your hotel room... what a deal!!! 

glad you enjoyed my momentary angst about being lost....{#rofl.gif} {#rofl.gif} {#rofl.gif}

As for that hotel room, yes it was a real bonus!!...{#basic-laugh.gif}


I also like in your next blog where in the video you again mentioned being lost. {#rofl.gif} There seems to be a pattern. You always manage to find your way back home though. {#basic-cool.gif}

I love these travel logs. You do them so well. 

Getting lost is part and parcel of these adventures and it's fun..{#basic-laugh.gif}

I'm glad you enjoy my travel blogs, it's a lot of work so it makes it worth the effort, thank you. {#basic-laugh.gif}

You handle it so well (with a chuckle) ...you're a trooper and a pro. {#basic-laugh.gif}

I enjoyed this very much. Loved the motel room.

Thanks Wendi, lots more to come and I think you will enjoy Vietnam as much as I did...{#basic-laugh.gif}

 I like traveling with you, even though I am not there. lol

I would love it.

Armchair traveling is a whole lot cheaper!!....{#basic-laugh.gif}

 hahaha  a good name for it. 

Very nice hotel, buildings and tons of people everywhere. A lot of hustle and bustle all over the place!

pretty much sums up most of Asia Dani....{#basic-laugh.gif}

Very true, lol.

I think I saw a couple of things I remembered when I was there in 1974 during the Nam conflict. Bro. Doc

you will see so much more Bro Doc....{#basic-laugh.gif}

I am sure I will. And what I have seen some of the same things are still there from 1974. Bro. Doc

Beautiful!  I love those videos, they kind of made me feel right at home, lol!  And the motel room was beautiful. 

thank you Miss Ellie....{#basic-laugh.gif}

the room was lovely  xx,,i like pancake  rolls too...!!

Yes I was happy with the room.  No not pancakes...rice paper rolls...{#basic-laugh.gif}

am sure they   are tasty xx!!

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