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50 REASONS TO FALL IN LOVE WITH HANOI AND HALONG BAY, VIETNAM

HaNoi. The Vietnamese metropolis has been one of the most favourite travel destinations in Southeast Asia. It continues to draw tourists from around the globe because of attractive and charming reasons that the city and the country have to offer. Old yet striking architecture, traditional cuisine, vibrant however relaxed lifestyle, inviting natural resources, cheap and affordable street food and souvenirs, and the list goes on.

After my recent homecoming to the Philippines, I opted to visit Hanoi en route to Dubai where I am currently based, as I have not been to Vietnam. In retrospect, I’m glad I made the decision as my experiences in Hanoi were all pleasant and memorable!

Despite Hanoi is one of the most touristy cities that I’ve ever been to, I didn’t mind when I roamed around with so much other people from various countries. Hanoi, itself seems like me in the sense that, it doesn’t give a damn whether it’s labeled as touristy or otherwise (as for me, I don’t have a problem being called a tourist while traveling, because I am). For as long as the destination offers me something unique, something pretty, something priceless, something local, then no one should dictate how I’d eat Bun Cha or drink my egg coffee in Vietnam.

The world wide web and the bookstores around have enough travel guides about Hanoi. And so, here’s my very personal travel visual diary as always, that details how I indulged in the Vietnamese capital for the first time.

Please enjoy my

50 Reasons to Fall in Love with Hanoi and Halong Bay, Vietnam

and let me know of what you think.

HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
1. The Old Quarter. The place to be in Hanoi for food, old architecture, meeting people.
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
2. Coffee culture. To simply put it – coffee is life in Hanoi! I love the chill and cool vibe!
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
3. Motorcycles are king of the road. Chaotic, however they define the city.HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
4. Cyclos must be the queen, or at least, second best to motorcycles.
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
5. Beer is cheap in Hanoi. I’m not alcoholic however, I taste local drinks all the time!
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
6. Rooftop bars, restaurants. Never leave your appetite, Vietnamese cuisine is to die for!
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
7. And the panoramic view or skyline? A quaint visual feast!
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
8. It’s a touristy place, yet it’s part and parcel of being Hanoi. Accept it and you’ll love it!
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
9. Pho. What’s a visit to Vietnam without tasting Vietnamese soup?
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
10. Cong Caphe. Best coffee shop ever in Vietnam in my books. Go figure!
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
11. Industrious women. Female Vietnamese street merchants prove they’re not lazy race.
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
12. Street life is life in Hanoi. Modest and unpretentious.
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
13. Street food. Lots to choose from! Spring rolls, noodles, soup, Asian food at its best!HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
14. Eating on streets. Very Vietnamese! Flex your knees on those monoblocks and eat!
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
15. Bun Cha! Grilled pork and noodle, leaves and dipping sauce. MY FAVOURITE!
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
16. Egg coffee from Giang. Creamy and tasty hidden gem literally in Hanoi Old Quarter.
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
17. Hoan Kiem Lake. Focal point of public life in Hanoi. Never miss it!
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
18.Paper crafts. Street arts! Lots of them!
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
19. Relaxed lifestyle. Hoan Kiem Lake is always inviting to while away time. Never resist.
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
20. The Huc Bridge in Hoan Kiem Lake. Iconic as the lake and as the city.
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
21. Vietnamese souvenirs. Cheap, pretty, fascinating.
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
22. Kids at Temple of Literature (first Vietnam National University). Seriously inspiring!
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
23. Money matters. You’ll become instant millionaire in Vietnam!
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
24. Inspiring devotion. Despite their chaotic streets, Vietnamese’s faith is inspiring.
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
25. Fried Spring Rolls. 
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
26. Fresh Spring Rolls.
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
27. Dong Xuan Public Market. It’s a must visit for cheap and good finds.
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
28. French Quarter. Although I favor Old Quarter more, it shouldn’t be missed.
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
29. Hanoi Opera House. One of the legacies of French colonial era in early 20th century.
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
30. Clam Soup (and Fried Spring Rolls). OMG, I miss having this after I relocated to Dubai.
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
31.(The exteriors of) Saint Joseph Cathedral. Imposing in Hoàn Kiếm District.
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
32. The interiors of Saint Joseph’s Cathedral. It exudes peace and calmness.
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
33. More street foods! More fun!
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
34. Fresh produce sold on the streets. Very Southeast Asia and I love it!
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
35. Inviting and charming restaurants like Highway 4 located in Old Quarter.
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
36. Vivacious Vietnamese.
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
37. Vibrant night life at Hanoi Old Quarter. Bars, night markets, coffee shops, the works!
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
38. Halong Bay. 4 hour-trip from pre-arranged Day Tour by hotel in Hanoi = Halong Bay.
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
39. Boats at Halong Bay. 
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
40. Emerald green waters of Halong Bay.
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
41. Fishermen’s water village in Halong Bay.
hanoi
42. Over a thousand islands and you spotted a familiar one.
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
43. Stalactites and stalagmites in caves in Halong Bay.
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
44. Boat men and women who paddle the bamboo boats in Halong Bay.
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
45. Kayaking in Halong Bay.
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
46. Freshly cooked seafood dishes in boat tour in Halong Bay.
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
47. Mung Bean cakes. Uniquely Vietnamese sweet treats.
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
48. Turtle Pagoda in Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi.
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
49. Train and homes along the rail tracks at Old Quarter, Hanoi.
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
50. Vietnamese songs and music.
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
My loyal travel buddy, @GeloTheBear in Old Quarter, Hanoi, Vietnam.
HANOI VIETNAM by DocGelo.com
Cảm ơn bạn (Thank you), Ha Noi, Viet Nam!  -Hugs, @iamdocgelo

Details of my trip to Hanoi :

  • Travel Duration : from 12MN of November 5 to 12MN of November 8, 2017, total of 4D3N.
  • Accommodation : Paid Hanoi Graceful Hotel, located at Old Quarter.
  • Brief review of hotel : Quality service, hearty breakfast included on the package, clean room.
  • Day Tour to Halong Bay : 50USD per pax, including transportation, Huge ferry boat at Halong Bay, bamboo boat ride/kayaking, lunch (excluding drinks), pre-arranged by the hotel
  • Brief review of Day Tour to Halong Bay : Lively and informative tour guide, clean and huge tourist bus, punctual and on the dot of schedule. Good food on the boat, fantastic and restful experience on the deck of the boat.
  • Hanoi has its own charm, despite with chaotic streets because of thousands of motorbikes and cycles however, food, coffee, culture, tradition are enough reasons to revisit someday! I’m craving for Bun Cha now!!!

Have you been to Hanoi? How’s your experience?

4 Comments

  1. I suddenly missed Vietnam through your post, Doc Gelo! especially their coffee (I’m not a coffee drinker, pero exemption yung Vietnam) tsaka yung bahnmi! And yes, the Temple of Literature is a must-see.

    • docgelo docgelo

      Hello! Thanks for visiting my site and sharing your insights about Vietnam!

  2. Thel from Florida Thel from Florida

    Beautiful pictures as usual. Love, love. love. Appreciate it very much.

    • docgelo docgelo

      Thank you, Thel!

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