9th Jun 2016 - 13th Jun 2016. 4 nights.
15,809km travelled. 4,599km travelled excluding flights.

I got my final overnight sleeper bus to get to Hanoi, which took about 13 hours.

I stayed at the Capsule Hostel in the Old Quarter.

Cathedral, opera house, water puppet theatre, Hanoi flag tower

Hoàn Kiếm Lake

Temple of Literature, Vietnam's first national university, built in 1070. There were graduating students taking photos when I was there.

Hỏa Lò Prison is a prison that used by the French to hold Vietnamese communists and later by the Vietnamese communists to hold US prisoners. It is now a museum showcasing the poor treatment by the French and great treatment by the Vietnamese of the prisoners. It was known sarcastically as the Hanoi Hilton by the American prisoners.

One Pillar Pagoda (built in 1049), Ho Chi Minh Museum, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Presidental Palace

West lake and Trấn Quốc Pagoda

I went on a one day trip out to Halong Bay. It's roughly four hours away so a lot of the day was spent in the bus. It was a bit cloudy at first but the sun came later. We stopped off at a "fishing village" where you could go kayaking or take a trip on a bamboo boat. We then headed over to the Kissing Rocks and finally went through the Thiên Cung cave.

The Old Quarter is the part of the city with narrow streets, which can get pretty crowded at night. There is some weird law against drinking outside on the street so every half an hour the police sound a horn and then come around and everyone (as well as the plastic tables and chairs) has to squeeze inside for a minute or two until they go past and then you can sit outside again. There are also lots of fake clothes and shoes to buy on certain streets. I spent a while trying to find a tourist agency as there are a huge amount of fake agencies with the same name. In the fourth picture you can see them all beside each other – the real one is further down the street.

For food I had some beef stir fry, bún chả and spring rolls, icecream served in a coconut, Hanoi style phở, bánh mì.