The Wandering Continues...

Sunday, June 01, 2008

May Holiday Part 2 - Hanoi, Vietnam

After Siem Reap we flew to Hanoi where the hotel’s driver had waited for us at the airport. We read traveler’s reviews prior to the trip and a lot of travelers have suggested us to use the available airport transfer from the hotel as there were many cases where the taxi driver took them to a different hotel (belong to the driver’s friend) and after an hour long drive from the airport to the city, you ended up staying at that hotel and paying more expensive hotel rate.

Our hotel is located directly in the old quarter which gave us easy access to the tourists’ areas. I met some other tourists and they all have heard about our hotel and the professional service that the hotel staffs provided to the tourists. If you plan to visit Hanoi, I will recommend you to stay at Hanoi Elegance Hotel. They have 3 locations and we stayed at their second hotel.

The downside of the hotel is because of the location in the old quarter, it can be very noisy at night. But the truth, the city is very noisy! There are thousands of motorbikes running around the city everyday and they sure know how to use the honk. I grew up in Jakarta where the traffic is also very bad. Currently I live also in Shanghai where it is also not the perfect example, but never have I heard louder traffic noise as it is in Hanoi. Sometimes I think they just make it as a competition on who is the loudest!

Hanoi is recommended for a day walking tour. Start your trip early to visit the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum (last admission is at 10 am) where you can see the embalmed body of the famous liberation hero of Viet Nam. From there you can continue walking through the presidential palace garden, the two ex-houses of Ho Chi Minh and finish in the one-pillar Pagoda.

As the story of Vietnam War fascinates us a lot, we decided to continue the trip to Hoa Lo Prison or also well known as the “Hanoi Hilton” where the Vietnamese kept the American war prisoners. Among them is the US Senator John McCain (currently running for President from Republican party). McCain was captured and held as Prisoner of War when his plane was shot down by the Vietnamese.

However, the history of Hoa Lo Prison is actually due back to the time of French invasion in Viet Nam. The prison was called as Maison Centrale and used to prison and torture many of Vietnamese political leaders. I went to the prison and I can still see the French Guillotine where they used to behead the Vietnamese prisoners.

After spending some time in the Prison, we headed back to our hotel and on the way we made a stop at the Cathedral and the beautiful Hoan Kiem Lake in the heart of Hanoi. Then we walked around the old quarter, did some souvenirs shopping and just relax for the night as we had to wake up early to catch the bus to Ha Long Bay.


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2 Comments:

  • Hello Eveline!

    How are you? Here is everything ok, too much work, as always.

    My daughter is very cute, she is the most special baby, very sweet and happy.

    About the work Martin Walter and Daniel Schmid are working in MHBR since June, 1st.

    Are you going to FCM? I am not going, because there are a lot of people from Brasil that will take part and another reason is that Anabela is too young to leave with Alex, she is still taking breast milk.

    And about life in China, Are you happy? Everything is ok?

    Best regards,
    Rosi

    By Anonymous Rosi, At 3:40 AM  

  • Hallo Eveline,

    wie geht es Deiner Schulter? Ist das Metall wieder draußen? Das wäre auf jeden Fall ein Vorteil für den Flug nach Deutschland, weil der Metalldetektor dann nicht anschlägt ;-)

    Viele Grüße aus einem sehr heißen LB.

    Claudia

    By Anonymous Claudia Munz, At 3:12 AM  

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