5th Dec, 2011

Trip to Vietnam (2): Hanoi and Ha-Long Bay

I still had to write about the second part of my trip to Vietnam: the capital Hanoi. I did this part of the trip by myself, which has its advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, traveling alone allows you to do just whatever you want without having to worry about others’ preferences. On the other, sometimes you miss having someone to talk to about the places that you see, and it can even get boring sometimes.

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The One Pillar Pagoda, one of the most well-known pagodas in Vietnam.

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Another must-see is the mausoleum where Ho Chi Minh rests in peace (when tourists allow it).

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At the Hanoi Museum, I came across these children, who given their faces when they saw a foreigner, must have come from some rural area in Vietnam.

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After a long morning of walking around at over hundred Fahrenheit degrees, there is nothing like a Coke and a Vietnamese Pho. There are many Pho restaurants in Seoul, but I must say that the taste of this soup was totally different from what I am used to have in Seoul. You could tell by the taste that the ingredients are much more fresh and natural.

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One of my favourite places in Hanoi is the Hoan Kiem Lake. It was quite close to the hostel I was staying at and I usally ended up my journeys having some drink by the lake. In a city full of motorcycles and hence quite polluted, this is one of the places where you can breath a fresher air.

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It seems that many locals shared my opinion, as the lake shores were always crowded with people sitting enjoying the fresh breeze from the lake.

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The Vietnamese people’s kindness is very well-known. This “taxi” driver did not hesitate to say hi to the camera when he realized I was taking a picture 🙂

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Already in Ha-Long Bay, it is quite common for merchants to approach the boats with tourists offering fruit.

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Ha-Long Bay, from the boat.

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Floating houses in Ha-Long Bay.

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The tour I took included a visit to the Dau Go Cave, one of the many caves in the area, located in the island with the same name.

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The cave was quite impressive. It reminded me of the Caves of Nerja, near my hometown, although I would say the Dau Go is more impressive, maybe because of the lighting that they use, which helps quite a bit.

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Hanoi is quite a messy city, you can feel that even on its buildings’ facades.

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One of the charms of Vietnam is that some times it seems like time did not go by in this country. This picture could very well have been taken hundreds of years ago.

 

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