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Chào Việt Nam

Just got back from around four days trip at Vietnam Hanoi and Halong Bay :) It was the independence day holiday in China that me and three good friends (Ika, Albert and Arbi) managed to go for a short trip to Hanoi. 

We reached Hanoi by taking 12 hours bus trip from Guangzhou to Ping Xiang, a city where there is the border of China and Vietnam. After passing the immigration things, we took another 3 hours mini van trip to the city of Hanoi. Pretty tiring though, it was. We started our journey with taking a walk and managed to get to the Hoàn Kiếm Lake.

Hoan Kiem Lake (Vietnamese: Hồ Hoàn Kiếm, meaning "Lake of the Returned Sword" or "Lake of the Restored Sword", also known as Hồ Gươm - Sword Lake) is a lake in the historical center of Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam. The lake is one of the major scenic spots in the city and serves as a focal point for its public life (data from Wikipedia).

Around the lake there was a market that sells souvenirs, bags, shoes and many other things. We did try one of Vietnamese food there called Nom, if I am not mistaken. According to Google (LOL) it was like Asinan Bogor with some pieces of beef cuts and served with something like mango juice or things like that. Cost VND 30,000 (about IDR 15,000 or USD 1.5) per serving.

The first night at Hanoi, we went to an old street called Ta Hien Street and what we did there was of course, eating LOL. This time what we were trying was the Pho Mai Que or maybe we can simply call it cheese sticks. What I can say about it is it was really cheesy (you don't say? LOL). And very late at night, Ika and Albert decided to have another late night dinner and so did we take a walk around the hotel and found our favorite menu at Hanoi, called Bun Thang (probably means Rice Noodle in Soup, literally).

The next day we booked a day tour to the famous Halong Bay. According to what the tour guide said, this place has around 1969 small islands. According to me, we can not call them all islands because some are just some standing rocks LOL I don't know.

The tour also took us to a cave inside on of the island on Halong Bay called Thien Cung Grotto (Heavenly Cave). It is situated on the south-west side the bay, 4 km from the wharf outside of Ha Long City. The way to Thiên Cung is a perilous one, covered on both sides by thick forest. After entering a narrow gate, the grotto’s 130-meter-long girth opens up. Getting in we are more astonished in front of the very animated and splendid beauty which is made from stalactite. On the east wall of the grotto, there is a grandiose and imposing picture with characters of tales (data from here). 

After the tiring one day tour (read : 10 hours on bus, 2 hours sightseeing *le sigh) we chose to end the night with another culinary trip haha. Street food was always on the top of our choice list, so that night we had some seafood something, some sticky rice and thing like Indonesian Lontong and another Bun Thang LOL.

Okay, last day at Hanoi. Again we took some walk and reached Statue of Ly Thai To. Lý Thái Tổ (974-1028) was the founder and first emperor of Vietnam’s Lý Dynasty (1009-1225). After ascending the throne, he moved the capital to Đại La (which he renamed as Thăng Long) in 1010, which in the end becomes present day Ha Noi (data from here).

Last report from Hanoi was about the new food we were trying at Hanoi. At our last day we tried some kind of Vietnamese spring rolls called Nem Ran and Nem Chua. We also visited an old ice cream store at Hanoi called Kem Tràng Tiền and tried its classic ice cream :D

Going to Vietnam was a great new experience for me and I did enjoy it very much. Hope you enjoy this post as much as I do :) Traveling has always made me feel sooooooooooooooo good.

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