My time in Beijing, China is wrapping up fast. I can’t believe that I have been in this city for 5 days already! After 5 days of roaming around Beijing, I have to say goodbye to this wonderful city and move to Hanoi, Vietnam to feel and learn a piece of Vietnam for three weeks. From Beijing west train station, we take the 29 hours train ride on a hard seat going to Nanning which is still part of mainland China. From Nanning to Hanoi, it takes about 9 hours by bus. The bus from Nanning bring us to China border where another bus is waiting for us from Vietnam border to Hanoi. The bus transfer thing is included in the bus ticket we purchased in Nanning. Arriving in Hanoi, we hire a cab along with another group of backpackers that will bring us to the Old Quarter.
The Old Quarter in Hanoi, Vietnam is a bustling area of small, narrow streets that lie to the north of the Hoan Kiem Lake and is where I stayed during my visit to Hanoi. The streets here had merchants and households specialised in a particular trade, such as Bicycles, Plants, Electronics, Bags, Toys, Silk, Jewelry, etc. The street names nowadays still reflect these specializations.
Busy street of Old Quarter
The Old Quarter is a must see to soak up the atmosphere in Hanoi. A lot of things here will keep you busy – friendly faces, people watching, try foods, explore the markets, grab a map & take a look. Each street in this area got a special meaning with a special name and the surprise is that almost every street name are started by 'Hang '.
Water Puppet Theater
I stayed in Green Hanoi Hostel which is located right at the old quarter area so it was quite convenient for me to walk around. The streets are mixed side by side between traditional and modern but as what I have seen, it stands more on the traditional side and in my opinion, that is what the local people have been trying to maintain.
I found so many interesting things about the people, street and the culture. People in here prefer to get into group and sit outside on the street to do so many different types of actions and activities ' such as eating, drinking, chit chat'
Hoan Kiem Lake
St. Joseph Cathedral
Walking in the old quarter of Hanoi brings lot of surprises. You will surely never get bored. By walking in the street, there's always something to discover, to look at with amazement which seems to be never end. When you're in the old quarter of Hanoi, Just walk, get lost and take pictures! It's a wonderful experience.