Blogger: Lauren Lucy Crowley
Ha Noi is the capital of Vietnam, best known for its ancient architecture and a rich culture with Southeast Asian, Chinese and French influences. At its heart is the chaotic Old Quarter, where the narrow streets are a splurge of street stalls, food vendors and colourful lanterns. Conveniently the city is organised into different categories, (for example there is jewellery street, sunglasses street, shoe street… ) so useful for shopping!
We spent our first day wandering around and exploring our new surroundings. There is a spa on every street corner and so we decided to splash out a whole 4euro for a relaxing pedicure after our travels! We then wandered through the cobblestone streets admiring the trinkets and treasures in every window. The shops were full of delicate brightly coloured crockery, stationary, books, clothes, handmade bags…. I wanted everything! If you’re looking for knock -off items.. Ha Noi is your ultimate shopping destination!
There is an abundance of coffee shops around the city, and so we took advantage and sat down to watch the world go by (on teeny tiny chairs), sipping on refreshing iced coffees. We then enjoyed a delicious dinner down by the waters edge before spending hours trying to find our way back through the windy streets to our hotel! (I think its all part of the experience to get lost!)
There are some fantastic places to go on an adventure from Ha Noi such as CatBa island, Lan Ha Bay, Sapa…. the list is endless! After much debate we chose to go to the world famous Halong Bay on an overnight trip, and the far less well known and well kept secret Mai Chau! Blog posts on each to follow soon! Stay tuned!
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