Vietnam - Hanoi, Halong & Hoa Lu Tam Coc

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Photo of Vietnam - Hanoi, Halong & Hoa Lu Tam Coc 1/23 by A.T
Photo of Vietnam - Hanoi, Halong & Hoa Lu Tam Coc 2/23 by A.T
Photo of Vietnam - Hanoi, Halong & Hoa Lu Tam Coc 3/23 by A.T
Photo of Vietnam - Hanoi, Halong & Hoa Lu Tam Coc 4/23 by A.T
Photo of Vietnam - Hanoi, Halong & Hoa Lu Tam Coc 5/23 by A.T
Photo of Vietnam - Hanoi, Halong & Hoa Lu Tam Coc 6/23 by A.T
Photo of Vietnam - Hanoi, Halong & Hoa Lu Tam Coc 7/23 by A.T
Photo of Vietnam - Hanoi, Halong & Hoa Lu Tam Coc 8/23 by A.T
Photo of Vietnam - Hanoi, Halong & Hoa Lu Tam Coc 9/23 by A.T
Photo of Vietnam - Hanoi, Halong & Hoa Lu Tam Coc 10/23 by A.T
Photo of Vietnam - Hanoi, Halong & Hoa Lu Tam Coc 11/23 by A.T
Photo of Vietnam - Hanoi, Halong & Hoa Lu Tam Coc 12/23 by A.T
Photo of Vietnam - Hanoi, Halong & Hoa Lu Tam Coc 13/23 by A.T
Photo of Vietnam - Hanoi, Halong & Hoa Lu Tam Coc 14/23 by A.T
Photo of Vietnam - Hanoi, Halong & Hoa Lu Tam Coc 15/23 by A.T
Photo of Vietnam - Hanoi, Halong & Hoa Lu Tam Coc 16/23 by A.T
Photo of Vietnam - Hanoi, Halong & Hoa Lu Tam Coc 17/23 by A.T
Photo of Vietnam - Hanoi, Halong & Hoa Lu Tam Coc 18/23 by A.T
Photo of Vietnam - Hanoi, Halong & Hoa Lu Tam Coc 19/23 by A.T
Photo of Vietnam - Hanoi, Halong & Hoa Lu Tam Coc 20/23 by A.T
Photo of Vietnam - Hanoi, Halong & Hoa Lu Tam Coc 21/23 by A.T
Photo of Vietnam - Hanoi, Halong & Hoa Lu Tam Coc 22/23 by A.T
Photo of Vietnam - Hanoi, Halong & Hoa Lu Tam Coc 23/23 by A.T

Hanoi is a beautiful city, imagine motocycles on the road coming in all directions and there are no traffic lights to control the traffic. Yet, motorists and pedestrains still manage to manoveur their way through traffic. Also, even though language barrier may be a problem to some.. the locals here are still friendly and will flash you a wide smile.

That's amazing and welcome to Vietnam.

In Hanoi, there are several sites that you can visit such as the temples and pagodas. But if you are looking for something more... you need to get out of the city. You might want to check with the hotel that you are staying in if they are able to help you with day tour arrangements. Day tours are fairly cheap so its worth it, considering they will pick you up or drop you off at your hotel.

Photo of Temple of Literature, Hanoi, Vietnam by A.T

This was a really unique structure with a pillar supporting the pagoda above water. Don't expect much from as it is just a pagoda. There surroundings are not that fantastic, with constructions everywhere and loads of tourists.

Photo of One Pillar Pagoda, Chùa Một Cột, Đội Cấn, Hanoi, Vietnam by A.T

Nothing much here, just a picture spot when you are walking past this monument.

Photo of Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Hùng Vương, Hanoi, Vietnam by A.T

If you are planning to do some shopping in Dong Xuan market... you will be disappointed. This market is more of a textile market. If you are interested in buying shoes, it is located at level 1. Other than that, this market generally sells textiles and dry goods. You are better off doing your cheap shopping at the Old Quarters night market.

Photo of Đồng Xuân, Hanoi, Vietnam by A.T

Hoan Kiem lake is a picture spot... you may choose to visit the Ngoc Son Temple which is located along the lake or you could just stroll along the lake. It gets pretty crowded along the lake at night.

Photo of Hoan Kiem lake, Hàng Trống, Hanoi, Vietnam by A.T

The Hoan Kiem distict is where the old quarter is located. You are able to explore the area by foot but I would strongly recommend you have a map on hand because we got lost several times as the streets look the same. If you are looking for food, cafes, shopping and the night market, this is the place to be. Our hotel was located in this district and it was so convenient because you can get food pretty much at your door step.

Photo of Hoàn Kiếm, Hanoi, Vietnam by A.T
Photo of Hoàn Kiếm, Hanoi, Vietnam by A.T
Photo of Hoàn Kiếm, Hanoi, Vietnam by A.T
Photo of Hoàn Kiếm, Hanoi, Vietnam by A.T

We took a 1 day tour to Halong Bay. In my opinion it was over-rated.. Basically the tour bus picked us up from the hotel in the morning and it was a 5 hour bus ride to the area to board the junk. Cruising along the junk took about 2 hours where lunch was served on board and they also took us to visit a cave. After which, we were cruising along the bay and then it was back to the tour bus to take us back to Hanoi city. Perhaps it was because it was a 1 day tour, that we did not take in enough sites of Halong Bay which did not made it that enjoyable. If you have the time to spare, you might want to opt for a 2 day Halong Bay tour. Taking a 1 day tour was exhausting, considering you spent about 10 hours travelling to and fro to Halong Bay.

Photo of Halong Bay Vietnam, Hanoi, Vietnam by A.T
Photo of Halong Bay Vietnam, Hanoi, Vietnam by A.T
Photo of Halong Bay Vietnam, Hanoi, Vietnam by A.T
Photo of Halong Bay Vietnam, Hanoi, Vietnam by A.T
Photo of Halong Bay Vietnam, Hanoi, Vietnam by A.T
Photo of Halong Bay Vietnam, Hanoi, Vietnam by A.T

We also took a day tour to Hoa Lu Tam Coc. I personally enjoyed this tour more than Halong Bay. In the morning we were brought to visit a temple in the Ninh Binh province. After which we had a buffet lunch and off we were for a boat ride along the river. The sights that you see, can only be seen when you are on the boat. What's more, the boat ride takes you through 3 caves. The entire boat ride was enjoyable but take note that towards the end of the ride, the local may demand you for a tip. Normally the tip would be about 2 USD per person... so please do not give more than that. Even though, the local may stop the boat half way and start to demand for more money from you, just stay firm and not to give any more money. Because ultimately, they will still bring you back to shore.And the best part of this tour was a bicycle tour! Each of us had a bicycle and you can either follow the tour guide or you can explore the area on your own (just be sure to be back by the time given). It was a very different experience because I feel like a local!

Photo of Tam Coc, Ninh Hải, Hoa Lư, Ninh Bình Province, Vietnam by A.T
Photo of Tam Coc, Ninh Hải, Hoa Lư, Ninh Bình Province, Vietnam by A.T
Photo of Tam Coc, Ninh Hải, Hoa Lư, Ninh Bình Province, Vietnam by A.T
Photo of Tam Coc, Ninh Hải, Hoa Lư, Ninh Bình Province, Vietnam by A.T
Photo of Tam Coc, Ninh Hải, Hoa Lư, Ninh Bình Province, Vietnam by A.T
Photo of Tam Coc, Ninh Hải, Hoa Lư, Ninh Bình Province, Vietnam by A.T