Hanoi was beautiful, as always. My wife, daughter and I returned last night from 4 days there. It’s very close and convenient (direct flight – closer than Bangkok) and even 4 days was enough, though I would have gladly stayed longer.
Here’s a famous temple on an island in the lake in the center of the city.
Here’s the fantastic Halong Bay (we took a full-day boat trip on the Bay, with seafood on the boat and stopped to look at some awesome caves on an island).
The Temple of Literature, a 1000-year-old university.
The famous Vietnamese water puppet show.
Lots of great art and artists in Vietnam. Many fancy galleries selling terrific modern art (in the US$1,000 - $10,000 range) derived from Vietnam’s historical background in Chinese art, polished by many years of art training by the French. Here’s a few common street-shop artists mostly making copies of others’ art.
Here’s a typical street.
But to understand the traffic, you really have to see it in action.
Of course, we ate lots of delicious food, in particular bowls of pho, the traditional noodle soup. We also visited Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum and saw his dead body, a strange experience, as well as visiting his house and various other sights. However, the best sights are probably the nice lake (Hoan Kien) in the middle of town and the Old Quarter, with its French colonial buildings, tree-lined streets, and hustle and bustle. We also bought all kinds of cool souvenirs – beautiful lacquer trays and dishes and carved stone boxes for ridiculuously low prices, etc.
Hanoi’s just the tip of the iceberg. Vietnam is crammed full of awesome sights and tastes from top to bottom. But, Hanoi’s pretty damned nice.