The capital city of Vietnam is a popular destination for food, culture and adventures. It also happens to be the closest place to the Natural World Heritage, Ha Long Bay. CANDID visited Hanoi this summer and here is a recap on what we got up to during our time in the capital.
– HANOI, THE CAPITAL –
We flew to Hanoi on a morning flight to meet up with the family after roughly three months since the last time. We had told them in advance to pack lightly due to a packed itinerary throughout Vietnam. This was because we were changing hotels every second day and used different types of transportation. (We’re talking about flights, buses, trains and cars for a family of eight) I can’t even begin to tell you how grueling it was to meet our family at the arrival hall. With more than thirteen luggages combined it was safe to say that none of our family members knew how to pack. Despite for the miscommunication, off we went!
While heading for Hanoi city we were greeted with one of the worst storms ever. We’re not going to lie, it was a a major deal-breaker to see our hotel under water. The entire day was filled with heavy rain pouring through dark clouds and the streets was filled with all kinds of dirt. It really made us question if we should cancel our trip to Ha Long Bay the day after. It continued like this until the evening, so we spent most of the day recovering from the jetlag.
Our hotel was located in the Old Quarter (one of the best areas to stay in if you ask us!) Although it was under water during the day, but nighttime was a complete different story. It seemed like the Old Quarter was the place to be with all its night time activities. You’ll find restaurants, night markets, nightclubs and retail stores while walking through the 36 streets. A very great place to hang if you like the hustle and bustle.
The Old and French Quarter is separated by the scenic Hoan Kiem Lake. With its French-boulevard architecture, the French Quarter is a nice place to wander when in need to break-free from the chaos of Old town. This is the place where you’ll find high-end shopping streets, five star hotels and majestic buildings.
Hoan Kiem Lake
Hanoi French Quarter
Hanoi Opera House
Ngoc Son Temple
Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh
HA LONG BAY – A NATURAL WORLD HERITAGE
While Hanoi was pouring down, our hotel under water and puddles overflowing the streets; we were on our way to a world heritage. At first everyone decided to cancel the Ha Long Bay trip due to fear of the storm being at its worst out on the coast. With that being said, I managed to convince my sceptical family to join. The reason was simple; it would be very hard for another opportunity so we should rather get soaked or die trying.
Fortunately for us, the natural world heritage was a four hour drive away from the city, which meant a different climate and geographically far away from the dark clouds. Ha Long Bay was so beautiful with its perfect weather. Not too humid, not too warm.
It took a storm to truly appreciate the sunshine.
Not a moment at Ha Long Bay went by unappreciated. We explored the hidden caves on bamboo boats, went sea kayaking, and visited exotic locations where the action adventure movie “Kong: Skull Island” was filmed. It was memories for a lifetime and an experience we will never forget. Ha Long Bay is a place you should experience if you travel to Vietnam.
With a team of eight people; booking our Ha Long Bay trip through Klook.com was of tremendous value.
We’ve said this numerous times, but visiting the cities of Vietnam was definitely one of our greatest trips so far in life. We got to experience so many corners of this country with our family, try a variety of traditional food and go on all kind of adventures. Till next time, Hanoi!
Love, Candid Travels