Captivated by the charm of Hanoi, Vietnam

Back in 2012, I did a two-week ThailandCambodia backpacking trip. It was an eye-opening experience for me because back then, I wanted to pursue a long term nomadic lifestyle. Travelers who chooses to follow the ‘banana pancake trail’ usually end their trip in Vietnam or Laos. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t reach that part. I had to go back home and wait for two more years before I’d step in the land of the ascending dragon.

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No need to wear a mask to hide how I feel towards Hanoi!

 

I might be reading too much travel blogs who raves about their ‘cool and relaxing’ stay in Hanoi. Early last year, some good friends of mine asked if I’d like to join their Cambodia-Vietnam backpacking trip. I was sold with the idea at first, but when they revealed that Hanoi is not part of the itinerary, I politely declined.

Last November, I received an email from Cebu Pacific Air to take part in their Hanoi Familiarization Tour. I replied with a big YES right away. I remember feeling pressured with work related stuff that time and I needed a break. The workaholic deserves a weekend vacation!

Coming from Pangasinan, I just slept for a few hours and packed my things for the late night flight to Hanoi. I had no idea about the weather condition, but I just packed my usual ‘travel uniforms’. From the moment I met my trip companions while having dinner in the airport, I knew I’ll be having a great time!

Manila-Hanoi Flight

Cebu Pacific Air services Manila-Hanoi v.v. flights three times a week (Manila-Hanoi: Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday/Hanoi-Manila: Wednesday-Friday-Sunday). The trip lasts for three hours and ten minutes. We arrived at past midnight, which means our only option is to go straight to the hotel and rest in order to recharge for the upcoming activities.

Cebu Pacific Air’s Inflight Meal: Thai Curry Chicken with Mangoes

 

By the time we passed the immigration area and baggage counter, we met a smiling fellow named Duc, our tour guide for the whole duration of the trip. What my travel mates noticed right away is his bubbly personality and his British accent.

Overnight Stay at CROWNE PLAZA WEST HANOI

We stayed in Crowne Plaza West Hanoiย (check rates)for the night. Though I’m eager to explore Hanoi’s City Centre, a part of me felt bad that I wouldn’t be able to maximize my stay in such nice property.

Our room at Crowne Plaza West Hanoi
Our room at Crowne Plaza West Hanoi
Do not underestimate the power of Crowne Plaza's Pho Bo to make you feel good!
Do not underestimate the power of Crowne Plaza’s Pho Bo to make you feel good!

The thing I miss about my short stay here is the Pho Bo (Traditional Vietnamese Noodle Soup). Is this how heaven tastes like?

Rainy Morning Tour in Hanoi

It was raining when we stepped out of the hotel vicinity to board our luxurious tour bus. I won’t deny that I’m thankful for the fact that I don’t need to plan or think of anything for this trip. That’s one of the big advantages of being in group tours if you’re lazy ๐Ÿ˜›

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Gazing from our bus window is a blissful moment. I immediately saw the influences of French, Portuguese and Chinese in terms of the architecture. The number of motorcycle drivers (with high heels!) is impressive.

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With fellow Pinoy Travel Bloggers at the Ho Chi Minh Complex (Ba Dinh Square)

 

Our first stop is the Ho Chi Minh Complex, where the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, One Pillar Pagoda and Ba Dinh Square is located.

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Micaela standing under the umbrella ella ella eh eh eh…
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One-Pillar Pagoda


Temple of Literature

 

November is graduation season in Vietnam!
November is graduation season in Vietnam!

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We were surprised upon reaching the Temple of Literature. November isย graduation season in Vietnam and it was fun to watch the new graduates pose for group photos and selfies while wearing their togas.

We were photobombing the graduates when this photo was taken
We were photobombing the graduates when this photo was taken

The overwhelming number of students and tourists that day didn’t bother me at all. Happy with the gloomy weather to be honest ๐Ÿ˜›

May your future be as colorful as the balloons!
May your future be as colorful as the balloons!
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This proves that I am not the only one who wants to souvenir photo taken
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Confucius
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The Gold Turtle

 

The Temple of Literature is divided into five courtyards. In normal days, this place is said to be the perfect spot to be when you want to escape from the busy streets of the Old Quarter. Did you know that the Temple of Literature is Vietnam’s oldest university? Founded more than a thousand years ago, it was built to honor Confucius. I admire how they were able to preserve the traditional Vietnamese architecture of the place.

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Watching every graduate take photos with their togas and diplomas gave me so much positive vibes. You know that feeling of finishing something in order to start anew with life? The positive energy is contagious!

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New graduates feasting over Vietnamese noodles at the sidewalk. May I join, please?

 

We spotted a number of locals eating lunch on the sidewalks. Can I join? Please?

For lunch, we dined at the fancyย Green Lotus Restaurant, where my fascination with Vietnamese food started.

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Vietnamese Cuisine 101 at Green Lotus Restaurant
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So delicious I forgot to list down the names of the dishes served #epicfail

 

What I love about travelling is learning how local dishes should be eaten.

Luxurious accommodation, cold and gloomy weather, interesting morning walk tour and a delicious Vietnamese lunch – I’m definitely captured by Hanoi’s charm.


Up Next: Cyclo Tour in Hanoi’s Old Quarter, Ha Long Bay Cruise, Puppet Show and More!

Have you been to Hanoi in Vietnam? Share your story on the comments section below ๐Ÿ˜€ Special thanks to Cebu Pacific Air for making this trip possible!

9 Comments

    • Senyorita said:

      Oo nga sana maulit! Ito rin ata first trip natin together ๐Ÿ˜€

      April 9, 2015
      Reply
  1. KUMAGCOW said:

    Sana makasama ako next time…. wala ako dyan e haha… pero mahilig ako sa pho ๐Ÿ™‚

    April 4, 2015
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      Next time ๐Ÿ˜€ Hindi pa nga pala tayo nagkakasama sa trip… sa movie set visit or press con lang palagi ๐Ÿ˜›

      April 9, 2015
      Reply
  2. Namiss ko tong trip na to! See u soon Mica ๐Ÿ™‚

    April 5, 2015
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      Nakakamiss nga ๐Ÿ˜€ See you soon Melo ๐Ÿ˜€

      April 9, 2015
      Reply
  3. Zascha said:

    Hanoi is one of the places I’m looking forward to going to the most during my trip. I’m looking forward to reading more ๐Ÿ™‚

    April 6, 2015
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      Thanks Zascha! Hope that you also visit Manila after your Hanoi trip (you can book via Cebu Pacific Air! :P)

      April 9, 2015
      Reply

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