11th December, 2017
We wrapped up our final leg of Vietnam by spending our last week in Hanoi.
I must admit, it took a little adjusting after leaving behind the wonderfully peaceful and pretty Hoi An for the hustle and bustle of Vietnam’s Capital.
We tried our hand at Airbnb for the first time, staying in a 2 bedroom apartment in a quiet lane way. It was in a great location, only a 10 minute walk from the Hoàn Kiếm Lake. Once we had settled in and found our bearings, we really enjoyed our time in the big city.
We lapped up a couple of down days in the apartment, catching up on laundry and school work. There was a huge supermarket a short taxi ride away, so we stocked up on breakfast goodies and ingredients to make our own Banh mì for lunches.
Hanoi Taco Bar was a terrific spot for dinner with an awesome vibe (very Melbourne!)
It was a busy place with tasty tacos and brilliant margarita!
We also visited the iconic Note Coffee shop. A gorgeous multi-level cafe overlooking the Lake. They serve brilliant milkshakes and coffee (try the egg coffee if you dare…!).
Customers are given Post-it notes and pens to write a message, quote or a drawing and then plaster them anywhere in the cafe. It was very cool sitting there reading messages from travellers from all around the world!
On our last day, we had brunch at the Hanoi Social Club. A quaint little moody cafe down an alley way. Serving fresh food and decent coffee. The first time I’d had avocado in weeks – delish!
We celebrated Lily’s 11th birthday on November 24th. I managed to find some balloons and wrapping paper at a local store nearby. I’d done some shopping for her in Hoi An (a new dress and custom-made leather sandals), as well as sneaking a few gifts into my luggage when we left Australia.
As a birthday treat, we left behind the apartment for the night and headed to cruise Halong Bay. You can read all about that here.
She was a very lucky girl and when we returned to the apartment the next day, our Airbnb host Lan, had left a gorgeous cake for her. So thoughtful!
Our very favourite day in Hanoi was Sunday.
Each Sunday, the streets around the lake are closed off to all traffic. No cars, scooters, motorbikes or taxi’s allowed.
It was a chilled zone full of young families. Teens playing shuttlecock, giant Jenga and jump rope. It was such a delight.
There were bright balloons and market stalls. Buskers and live music. It was fabulous and definitely a must see if spending a Sunday in Hanoi.
We also visited the Temple of the Jade Mountain which is in the middle of the Lake. It was only a few dollars entry fee (children are free), just look at those colours! Incredible!
Before leaving Hanoi behind, I really wanted to visit the famous Train Street in the old quarter. We didn’t get there until about 5pm, and the sun was dropping. I figured it was better to catch a few average photos than none at all…?
Train Street is a very narrow street with homes of local Hanoi residents either side. The train runs through twice a day. Once at 3:30pm and again at 7pm. Imagine living on a train track!!
We absolutely loved our time in Vietnam. A month that we will never forget. So many experiences together as a family.
Our first 4 weeks of full-time travel together. It hasn’t always been smooth sailing. We’ve thrown a few tantrums…(Mum and Dad included…!), but we’re all genuinely loving our time together. No distractions. Just the 4 of us…and the world.
Here is our Hanoi Vlog if you’d like to check it out: Her Travelling Tribe on YouTube.
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Hope you’re well.