Reached Vietnam at 9:30 am. We chose to stay at the Old quarters because most of the sightings were around this area. Old quarters itself had such a pure and unadulterated charm to it.You must take a walk through the quarters and silently enjoy their serene way of life. The streets are filled with tiny shops, fascinating wares, soul soothing aroma of food and sometimes jaw dropping images of unexplored delicacies. The lanes are small yet filled with so much of character. There was a charm in everything. The lanes did remind me of India. Strong and proud, yet humble and naive. Quite a fascinating blend!Next, we explored the Hoan kiem lake. I will be honest, I wasn't very impressed. It looked pretty basic and I have seen much better lakes than this. But then came the night, and I was taken aback and how! The lake was lit up and the view was beautiful! The peaceful lake beside the buzzing streets of Hanoi. It was like the best of both the worlds!Don't forget to walk through the 200 year old temple by the lake. There is so much of history in this temple. As per the folks, mostly students visit these temple and pray for success, education and stability. In return, they offer food, money etc to the deity. FYI, the late kings of Hanoi are their deity. They don't follow Buddhism or any other religion. This is specific to Hanoi.The rest of the night was filled with major explosions of foodgasm! Throw away your inhibitions and try to sample everything the street has to offer. Vietnamese cuisine was by far the most healthiest that I have sampled. And don't forget the hundred and one beer options! It's the land of beer!Tips:*Opt for crowded streets and avoid shady areas. *Double check on your meat! One vendor almost tricked us into sampling beef when we asked for chicken!*Bargain, bargain and bargain!!!!*They don't sell water on MRP. The best rate for a 1.5 litre bottle of water is 10000 dong.*Always carry a bottle of water and buy in bulk if you get a good rate.
Return from Ha Long Bay cruise. Explore the Old Quarter night market. Night stay at Hanoi.