We thought that we would want to get in and out of Hanoi, considering how many South East Asian cities we’ve already been to and not been all that impressed with. We got in late on our first night and left at 11am the next morning for Cat Ba island but in that time we decided that we wanted to come back and spend a bit more time exploring the city.
On our first morning before leaving, we went for a walk out to the central lake. Within a few minutes we’d been surrounded by young Vietnamese wanting simply to practice their english with us. It was a Sunday and apparently it’s one of the popular things to do for students on the weekend. At first we were suspicious that they wanted something from us but soon realised that they just wanted to chat – a very welcome change after being on our guard with people for such a long time. We spent an hour or so chatting with different groups about where we are from, where we are going in Vietnam and yes, we do have kangaroos in Australia.
When we were in Cat Ba we spoke to a couple who did a street food tour in Hanoi that they loved, so we decided to make our way back for another full day here to explore and experience some of the street food. Our tour guide was Miss Moon – an extremely lovely and enthusiastic young Vietnamese girl who walked us around the old quarter and took us to some local food haunts that we would never had tried. On the menu for the day was: Crab meat noodle soup, a sweet egg-custard filled role, Vietnamese savoury pancakes, springrolls & moonrolls, fresh fruits with coconut milk, beer, bbq pork noodle soup and Vietnamese egg coffee… needless to say we were bursting at the seams by the end of it. Liam loved the pork and I was a big fan of the coffee (coffee, egg white, honey and a teaspoon of beer).