After having spent some time in Ho Chi Minh City (population ~8 million), Hanoi feels like a small, manageable town. The city still has around 6 million people but its narrow streets full of local stores and the countless connecting alleyways give you the impression that you are not in the capital of Vietnam. The feeling is lovely and many travelers prefer it over the hustle of Ho Chi Minh.
The best part of Hanoi was meeting up with my (Simon’s) parents. They were traveling through Asia to celebrate my mom’s 60th birthday and we were able to coordinate a reunion in Vietnam. We hadn’t seen them since last May and so we couldn’t miss this opportunity. We spent the days walking around the city, visiting temples, and enjoying the fabulous northern Vietnamese cuisine.
Tracy and Tuchi at the Vietnamese Women’s Museum, a must-see attraction in Hanoi
Over the last weeks, we’ve been tasting bia hoi (fresh beer) in every city we’ve stayed in. This type of beer has no preservatives and thus has to be drank within 24 hours of tapping the keg. The beer is fresh and light, low in alcohol content (~4%), and extremely cheap—a glass on the street cost between $0.15 to 0.25 USD! Of course it is a very popular drink in the country and Hanoi has place called beer corner. Beer corner? We must investigate! Basically, an entire intersection is closed to traffic and people take over to eat and drink beer. We of course joined in.
We stayed in Hanoi for five days or so and we loved it. It was a great experience to be in a foreign and exotic country with my parents and we hope we get to do it again many more times 🙂
Don’t cut the wrong cable!
Your typical intersection in Hanoi