With travel restriction slowly easing across international borders, travelers are beginning to take to travel to make up for the lost times in the past 2 years. Well, I am not spared of the travel revenge too but there are now a lot more things to consider when planning for a vacation. Technically speaking, my last travel was in Dec 2021 when South Korea commences VTL. 😊 Travel costs are definitely escalating coupled with meeting various requirement as stipulated by respective countries of visit which poses inconvenience in my opinion but yet need to step through before enjoyment can set in. 😂
I decided to start off my post pandemic travel by chilling out in Hanoi. This trip is more of an overseas staycay for relaxation and rejuvenation purpose. If I can recall, my last trip to Hanoi was more than a decade back.
Hanoi is a much greater place for sightseeing as compared to Ho Chi Minh City. So, I am certainly excited to visit this beautiful country again on this upcoming trip.
The moment is here…..the mood changes immediately upon stepping in to the airport for the departure. Woohoo…..
Always loved and enjoy the feeling of the usual ritual of traveling in style by starting off with a good meal prior to departure.
Feels good to be back here again. Compared to last year when I was here, ordering of food was via QR code and it will be served to you once ready. Now, its back to normal where you are able to self-help for the food selection. 👍
Wide selection of choice with good food quality as expected.
A truly authentic Singaporean dish.
A good selection of croissant, bacon and hash brown if you prefer Western style of breakfast.
After a satisfying and hearty meal, time to sit back and relax for my departure flight to Hanoi. 🙂
The familiar physical menu is being brought back too.
Perks of enjoying high life sky meal.
The dining experience somehow seems to have been compromised. The food items used to be served course by course but now they are served all in a single tray. The exclusivity element is no longer there. 🙄
Arrived at Noi Bai International Airport at the scheduled arrival time. Immigration clearance is swift and hassle free. Glad that it feels like back to pre-Covid days. There is no mandatory requirement for mask wearing both indoor and outdoor. This is one plus point of positive signs that things are going back to normal.
Enroute to the hotel via Nhat Tan Bridge, a cable-stayed bridge crossing the Red River in Hanoi linking Hanoi and Noi Bai International Airport.
Safe arrival at the hotel after an hour’s private car ride.
Happy with the spacious room size. 😊
Starting my first food trail with a late lunch at O Bun Cha.
Grilled meat with bamboo stick in the heat of charcoal, dipping in the sauce with clean, raw materials bringing the true traditional flavour.
Handmade with the traditional standard method and delicious crispy on every piece.
Add-on fried seafood spring roll and bonus roast meat.
Thereafter, took a leisure stroll and explore along the beautiful Hoan Kiem Lake.
Also called Tortoise Tower, it is a small tower in the middle of Hoan Kiem Lake.
The Huc Bridge is a footbridge over Hoan Kiem Lake.
Beautiful night view of The Huc Bridge.
A patriotic memorial of the Vietnam War.
You may catch a glimpse of the monuments around the vicinity of Hoan Kiem Lake.
Interesting iconic building in the shape of a ship near Hoan Kiem Lake. Feels as though you are on board Titanic. 😀
Visited Trang Tien Plaza, a high-end shopping centre that houses designer label boutiques. Miniature of Ion Orchard.
Enjoying local street snacks. Just like our savoury popiah but this is the sweet version. 👍
The night market at Hoan Kiem Lake comes to life at night especially with the live band event organised by VP Bank.
Having dinner at the nearby New Day Restaurant that serves up authentic local Vietnamese cuisine. It certainly brings back fond memories when I visited this same place a decade ago.
The difference between Saigon and Hanoi version lies in the spring roll filling. The former is made of meat with seafood while the latter is made of meat.
Oh, I love this dish. It just comes so well and definitely good to down it with a bowl of piping steaming hot white rice.
Another power dish to accompany with a bowl of white rice too.
A must order dish whenever I visit Vietnam. This one though nice but still cannot match up to the one that I had in Ho Chi Minh City, Ben Thanh Market. That one comes with generous serving of diced prawns and squids in it.
Another not to be missed item. Somehow, their fried instant noodles just takes so good. Goes extremely well with the red cut slice chili with maggie sauce and lime. 😋
Soursop smoothie, my all-time favourite drink in Vietnam. Somehow, the mang cau seems to taste different from what I had in Ho Chi Minh City. It’s not as power here. Slightly disappointed though. 😔
Breakfast is provided on the top floor of the hotel at Moonrise Roof Top Restaurant & Bar. This is the best part of staying in Vietnam Hotel where breakfast will be provided regardless of the star of the hotel you are staying in.
Breakfast spread at the Hotel is decent and nothing much to complain as one would normally expect. 😉
This is one power dish though the looks doesn’t justify it.
Took a leisure stroll thereafter to Dong Xuan Market, largest covered market in Hanoi where wholesale traders sell everything from shoes to clothes to household goods to food.
Another interesting local snack, glutinous rice ball with mung bean filling coated with icing sugar.
Holy mama! This is sinfully good if you are a sweet tooth lover.
A typical street along Hanoi Old Quarter and every street looks almost similar (to me). 😲
Ventured out to Hanoi Train Street next.
A unique attraction where visitors can watch a train speeding by along a cramped railway track.
A nice area to be in with cafes lining both sides of the railway track. You will get to see people sitting and waiting in anticipation for the train crossing which the timing is usually not fixed though there is a train schedule for it. So it is best for you to reach there earlier to capture a good photo spot.
Enjoying a nice cuppa while securing a great photo spot.
Finally, the long awaiting moment is here…. woohoo!
Wow…this is really up close and personal. A truly close encounter experience. A visit to Hanoi will not be complete without visiting Hanoi Train Street. 一定肯定必须要去打卡!
Next up, took a long leisure walk from Hanoi Train Street to Vincom Mega Mall Royal City to spend an entire afternoon.
This mega mall is akin to our Vivocity or KL’s mid valley mega mall. It houses a lot of shops, F&B outlets and a big supermarket, Winmart.
Had a super late lunch at Net Hue Restaurant at the mega mall.
Not sure why the dish name is called as such. It looks like prawn paste chicken but tastes like 排骨王 (pork ribs king) to me. 🤔
Was recommended by the hotel staff to try the banh mi at Banh My Ba Dan.
So happy to be able to try the truly authentic banh mi which I missed in my past Ho Chi Minh City’s days. 👍
Dinner is at Annam Indian Restaurant which has just opened last week and will have their official opening on 20 Aug 2022. They only have limited menu items for their soft launch.
Prepared in a different style from what we are used to having. Something new for a change and it is tastily delicious.
This is as good as it is with the spice that brings out the authentic flavours that a Chicken 65 is supposed to taste.
This is another pleasantly surprise delicious item. The spice just goes well with the chicken dum biriyani. Only difference is that they serve chunks of chicken breast meat which I loved as it is easy to eat. Definitely one of those satisfying Indian cuisine meal that I have had. I would highly recommend this place if you were to visit Hanoi Old Quarter.
Spending the remaining night by chilling out at Highlands Coffee.
Their desserts and drink are really good.
Day 3 – after breakfast, started the day by paying a visit to Hanoi Flag Tower.
This is a tower in Hanoi (stands at a height of 33m), one of the symbols of the city and once a part of the Hanoi Citadel, a World Heritage site.
While enroute, saw a statue of V.I. Le Nin at Lenin Park located opposite the Vietnam Military History Museum in Hanoi and this used to be the Chi Lang Flower Garden.
Headed off next to Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.
This is a mausoleum which serves as the resting place of the Vietnamese Revolutionary Leader and President Ho Chi Minh in Hanoi. Here, you will get to see the changing of the guards too. Just like what you see at Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taiwan.
Pit stop charging at Lotteria while on the way to Lotte Centre.
This is always so good and a must have in Lotteria.
Here I am at Lotte Centre after about an hour’s walk.
For those who are keen, you may visit the Lotte Observation Deck to have a dynamic bird’s eye view of Hanoi City. As I have been to multiple observation deck (which can last me this lifetime 😃) in my travel, have decided to skip this attraction for this trip.
Since I am already here, no harm checking out at Lotte Department Store. Similar to our Takashimaya Shopping Centre.
Enjoying a quick lunch at Pho Ngon 37 located on Level 3 inside of the Lotte Department Store.
Food is delicious and tasty as expected of a traditional Vietnamese cuisine. Definitely heavy carbo loading. 🤣🤣
Managed to locate Pizza 4P’s and there is no prize in guessing where to go for dinner next. 😉
Both soups are just so powerful and with standard. 👍👍
This is a must order starter in my opinion. The mash potato is so smooth in texture coupled with the cheese that is used as dipping sauce.
Holy Moly! Look at the flowing cheese oozing out from the pie. How can one take it?
This is by far one of the better Tiramisu that I have had (coming from someone who is not a big fan of Tiramisu). 😉
While strolling back, managed to capture a nice night view of St Andrew’s Cathedral Catholic Church, one of the earliest in the history of the Catholic Church in Vietnam. Astonishing beautiful building structure.
Ending the night by relaxing at Laika Cafe.
Cooling off with the refreshing pink grapefruit tea.
Time flies when you are having fun. I have come to the final day before homecoming. Will be spending time relaxing without any specific agenda on hand.
This is one example of the type of architecture that existed in Hanoi before the concrete era. This house is beautifully decorated with antique furniture, one of the very few old-style homes that still remains intact and open to the public.
There are a number of such interesting unique houses within the streets of Old Quarter that you can take time to appreciate them.
Having dim sum lunch at a Chinese Restaurant, Fu Rong Hua.
Oh mine, this is so adorable. 😊
Overall, food quality is of standard and I loved especially the wok fried flat noodles with seafood. It has a good “wok hei” that brings out the flavours of the dish.
To me, a trip to Vietnam is not complete without enjoying a traditional drip coffee in Trung Nguyen Legend.
I just loved their interior decor and it gives one a nice vibes when chilling and relaxing here.
Enjoying mango dessert at Yenly Yours.
Really damn good is all I can say. 😋😋😋
Happening beer street at Old Quarter Ta Hien Corner. A place for pubbing and F&B.
Being the final night here, decided to encore back a one for the road dinner at New Day Restaurant. A good start and a good finish to mark the end of a good trip. 有始有终.
Another of my all-time favourite drink in Vietnam other than Mang Cau.
A great place with great food and is their local favourite go-to place for meal as well.
Final cafe hopping at Atop House of Tea before calling it a night.
Freshen up with a cup of refreshing grapefruit tea with strawberry to mark the end of a trip.
Accounting for my loot for the trip. Woohoo…..😀
The day has come for home coming. Preparing to check out of the hotel and headed towards the airport for my flight back. Definitely an enjoyable 5D 4N trip after a fairly long break.
Here I am at the Noi Bai International Airport after a good 45 mins relaxing private car ride.
Enjoying a satisfactory meal prior to departure at the Song Hong Business Lounge before bidding farewell.
I am impressed with the quality and wide selection of food choices.
Cheers to good health and good-bye Hanoi. Will now be looking forward and counting down to my upcoming trip to Bangkok in 10 days’ time. Yeah!
Time to sit back and relax for my home-coming.
Final sky dining meal with a home taste Nasi Lemak.
The chocolate orange pound cake with vanilla sauce was a pleasant surprise. Short of near to perfection if it was served course by course.
Beautiful view taken from the sky while the plane makes its descent.