Honeymoon trip to Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Japan 1 2 3 4 5 6

May 11th-12th, 2013, Hanoi Vietnam

We did all our trip planning ourselves, with the help of the DK Eyewitness Vietnam and Angkor Wat travel guide. These days with everything on the internet, it's quite easy. We researched different hotels and chose Church Boutique Hotel at 9 Nha Tho (there are six of them in Hanoi) based on good reviews. The hotel was nice, close to the historical center, and offered a good selection for breakfast. Both of us really liked Vietnam, with Hanoi being my favorite at least in terms of food. As I found out, the country is still quite divided even into the modern day, with many southerners only rarely if ever traveling to the north. Perhaps for this reason, there is quite a bit of difference in the cooking style. The Vietnamese food found in the United States is more typical of the southern part of the country, which makes sense given the history. I found the northern food to be more savory and more based on seafood and vegetables, which I like. Strangely, the southern food tasted more Chinese to me, which doesn't make much sense, since it is the north that actually shares a border with China.

In Church Boutique Hotel in Hanoi
Delicious food in a restaurant across the street
Besides the food, this restaurant also featured a ridiculously steep staircase.
Typical cityscape
The next day we went for a walk around the Hoan Kiem lake
We also visited the Jade Mountain Temple on an island in the lake
We then walked up the Old Quarter, where we saw a lot of assorted weirdness being sold on the streets
We also visited numerous temples. The first one is probably Bach Ma temple, but not sure. We managed to tag onto some hostel-based tour group. Later, view from a typical cafe.
Visit to Hanoi would not be complete without having monkfish at Cha Ca La Vong. This restaurant has been serving only this single dish for over a century. It was good, although a bit pricey.
That evening we met up with a lady working for the Vietnam branch of Sandra's company and had dinner with her. Later we went to see a typical water puppet theater. Also a shot of the motorbike craziness typical of Vietnam.
Breakfast pho in the hotel before heading out to Halong Bay
More sightseeing after coming from Halong Bay
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