Going to the reception!
Going to the reception, playing billiard on the street, making a little fire,
Near Le Tai To statue and park is an official building and, one evening, I stepped across these venerable ladies preparing to go to a reception; They arrived by taxi-bike, and then prepared their clothes and appearance before going to the building; in some way they looked very noble to me.
In the small streets between the opera house and the Museum of history, it is very quiet and people install even billiard tables on the street, other make small fires, quiet place where people have a rest from their hectic life on the busy streets.
And this lady carrying her few goods (for sale?) , she just deserved to be photographed!
Everywhere in Hanoi, are interesting street scenes, to me, watching people was one of my “fondest memories”.
Halong Bay - Paradise on earth
First of all, Halong Bay is not at all off the beaten path - there's just no category in VT so far which it fits in. Never mind that, Halong Bay is a must when in Vietnam and therefore one of the places visited by numerous tourists.
Halong Bay is a world heritage site of the UNESCO and definitely deserving this honour. In one word: It's paradise!
What is it that makes Halong Bay so special? Consider the legend: A dragon who hit the ground with its tail, thus creating more than 3000 islands in a turquoise sea... Halong Bay is one of the natural wonders of the world and the best way to explore it is by ship. You can either rent boats on your own or - what most people do - go with an organized tour from Hanoi. I did the tour and it was really great. We stayed on the boat overnight and as it was a warm night slept on deck beneath a starry sky. The only sound to be heard was the lullaby of the waves and the wind. The air smelled salty like the sea. A single shooting star crossed the night sky. (Well, this was a lie) I was completely happy...
Enough of this dream. Go there, find out yourselves, and tell ME if you love Halong Bay the same.
Hanoi has been touted as Handbag Central, and Tien Dat should be handbag central of Hanoi. There shop is literally exploding with handbags of all shapes, material, sizes, and color. Tien Dat specializes in beaded and emobroidered bags, as well as shoes and scarves. bags, bags and more bags! about $5-$20 depending on size of bag and how elaborate they are
Getting around Hanoi
The most convenient, and safest way to get around Hanoi is by Taxi. They are plentifull and pretty cheap. Depending on the taxi company, a trip within the city center shouldn't cost you more than a dollar or two.
Personally, I get around on motorbike, but if you don't know the city, and keeping in mind that traffic is absolutely mad, this might not be the best option for a short-term visitor.
Bicycles can be rented, but that is probably even more dangerous than a motorbike, and only really advisable within the Old Quarter.
Forget cyclos, the cyclo guys are a pain in the neck, and most roads these days are banned for cyclos. Again, this might only be an option for the Old Quarter.
Cheap and Yummy
Actually me and my mate really liked this place coz it was really near our hotel (Camelia 4) so it was really convenient when we were beat and didnt know where to eat. The food was good of course - Since I'm from Singapore, while many of the dishes were already very asian, it was still very tastily local and a couple were uniquely delicious.
Note: They've done so well, i suspect, that they actually opened another outlet just down the same alley! One can only imagine the tasty food there. =P I can't remember the name, but it was one of the vegetable dishes with a really difficult name (at least for me). We selected the grilled version and it was yummy! =) The beers there were also cheap (as with the rest of hanoi).