Beautiful day at Wareham, Dorset, England.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Keinton Mandeville, Somerset, England.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Birmingham, England on May 19th!

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Exploring Hanoi, Vietnam

On Monday, we spent a few hours wandering around Hanoi. Our hotel is located right in the center of the old quarter, and there is enough to see just walking about watching daily life that we didn't need to go very far. Still, we put on a lot of steps!

It is most fascinating watching the traffic. I took a couple of videos for you further down.

A clear sky day here in Hanoi, but there is so much smog that the blue sky doesn't look very blue. Kind of a hazy grey, despite the sunshine. Hanoi is classified as the most polluted city in the world, in fact I saw this article out just yesterday...

8 million registered vehicles. Most of them scooters. And at some intersections, you would think that they are all on the road at the same time. 

Lady selling flowers from her bicycle.

Quiet street near our hotel.

The central streets all have sidewalks.

But as you can see from the photo abo0ve, you can't actually use the sidewalks because they are already being used as parking lots for the scooters. That, and many businesses extend their business out onto the sidewalk itself. As a pedestrian, you spend most of your time walking on the side of the road.

Scenery along the way.

Funny dog.

All fake plastic flowers.

I took a video of one particular intersection, but wasn't able to capture it at its busiest. Still, you get the idea. Cars, scooters, bicycles, and pedestrians all making their way in various directions without running into each other. The traffic dance of Hanoi...

Hanoi Water Tower. Built by the French in 1894.

On a small side street.

At one of the old citadel gates.

War Memorial.

Citadel Tower.

Huge empty plaza.

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.

Hanoi Botanical Garden.

We walked over to the Hanoi Botanical Garden and paid the 2,000 dong (ten!) entrance fee per person. Not really a botanical garden, more of a city park in our opinion. But still, it's a nice quiet spot in the middle of a big busy city.

There are a couple of very sad looking cages housing a few birds and monkeys. Nothing photo worthy, until this peacock decided to put on a show for his mate. Actually, he seemed like he was doing it more for us. When we wandered away, the feathers went down, but as we passed by again later he raised them up for us again. It was pretty odd.

Not something you see very often.

Pretty fellow!

We walked by Truc Bach Lake.

Oddly, the photo above doesn't show just how hazy and smoggy it was.

I took another traffic dance video for you...

The streets of Hanoi.

We found a little hole in the wall street food place just around the corner from our hotel. The family running it is so friendly, and the food is delicious and cheap. We went there for a snack Monday evening and decided to try the Banh Cuon (steamed rice pancakes).

Our cook!

The pancakes are really super thin. The lady even got Ruth involved with how to cook them, but her first effort didn't turn out very well! She did a little better the second time. They are so thin, that they are difficult to get off the pan, expect this woman did it effortlessly. Practice makes perfect, I guess!

Ruth took a video for you...

She had to show us how to eat them. The pancakes are then wrapped up with small bits of meat, and topped with dried onions. She brought the plate over, then a small bowl of "soup" as she called it. Then you add whatever condiments and spices that you want to. You pick up the pancake with your chopsticks (we are now quite proficient at eating with chopsticks!) and then soak it in the "soup". You then place it onto a spoon and eat it along with some of the liquid from the soup.

Banh Cuon. Absolutely delicious!

Cost was 35,000 dong ($1.40 USD, $1.95 CAD) per person. I think we'll go back for more for breakfast!

Today, we will spend some more time wandering this morning. Then we'll make our way to Hanoi airport (30 kms outside the city) in time for our evening flight to Bangkok.

Nice price drop on this GCI Outdoor Bleacher Seat. Many people use them as canoe seats as well.

And in Canada...


  1. I love the mural with the bike, feel sorry for the peacocks in that tiny cage, and the food sounds delicious (and so cheap!) Would not like the air pollution or the throngs of traffic. All interesting, but not a place I'd want to stay for too long.

    1. I loved that mural too but then I am a sucker for murals.

      We also felt sorry for those two peacocks but we felt worse for the monkeys in their cage that we saw, it made me think of what zoos were like back in the 60's!

      Like you, we could never live in Hanoi or stay there very long, a couple of days was enough. Definitely an interesting city but the pollution is horrible.


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