Saturday, October 6, 2012

Coffee at Vietnam

Vietnam is pretty famous for its coffee. When I was making our itinerary for our trip, I made sure that there will be free time for coffee.

We were going to Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. Located north of the country, Hanoi is known as the city between the rivers and the second largest city in Vietnam. Since we purchased out tickets during an airline sale, choice of dates was limited. Nite to self, check the yearly forecast o the country first prior to booking. September is the time where the season changes in Hanoi, from summer to fall. Summer seems to be also a rainy season for Hanoi, and since I was planning on going to Halong Bay, I was praying it doesn't rain so the view won't be ruined.

And finally, it was time for our flight. Since the airline only has a few flights going to Hanoi, our trip was set Saturday (late night) to Wednesday (early morning). And since this is the most ideal schedule, almost everyone that we rode with going to Hanoi were also the same as the ones we went home with.

Our flight arrived early Sunday midnight, just enough time to let us rest for a whole day of city tour for the rest of the day.

Suggested places to go is the Ho Chi Minh museum, followed by the One Pillar Pagoda, the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Presidential palace, the Flag tower, the the Temple of Literature which are actually walking distance from each other if you are up for it. It is important to note that the mausoleum is only open in the morning from 8:00 am to 11:00, and is closed Mondays and Fridays so it is best to start early and wear long pants rather than shorts.

Clockwise from the top: Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, One Pillar Pagoda, Ho Chi Minh Museum, Flag Tower

After a tiring but fun stroll along the area, you can head off to Old Quarter for lunch. After lunch, you can head off to Hoan Kiem Lake
Were the Turtle, the Huc bridge and Ngoc Son Temple can be found. The lake is also next to the water puppet show.

The Hub Bridge

If you are interested, you can visit St. Joseph's cathedral. The church was built in 1886 in the neo-gothic style. Near the church are coffee shops which are fillef with people sitting down on small stools placed on pavements around the street, which is the common site to see through out Hanoi.

St. Joseph's Cathedral

We decided to stop by for some coffee after attending mass. We chose a place that wasn't so crowded and order iced coffee and iced tea to cool down. We were curious at what the people were eating while drinking coffee and we realized that they were sunflower seeds, it seems that the snack is abundant in the place.

After coffee, it was finally time to head back to the hotel to rest our tired feet. After a quick rest, we headed off to old quarter to check out the night market, nothing really much to see though. Since all our energy was used up, we just ate dinner at the restaurant next to the hotel. Aside from coffee, your Hanoi trip will not be complete without trying their Pho noodles (both dry noodles and with soup) and rolls.

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