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In the Land of Motorbikes – Hanoi, Vietnam


Welcome to Vietnam!

Hanoi is the 2nd largest city, its name means city between the rivers.

The currency here is called dong.

21,000 dong = 1 dollar

The cost of the amazing egg coffee = 20,000 dong


Coming from peaceful, bike friendly Luang Prabang and landing in Hanoi, capital city of Vietnam is a shock to the senses. I needed some time to adjust, just crossing the street was a challenge. The advice I received beforehand (when crossing just go for it and don’t stop, motorbikes will steer around you) came in handy. I had one, busy day here and retreated to nearby Halong Bay.

Upon returning, I thought it unfair to not give Hanoi the time it deserved and I stayed for a few more days. I’m so glad I did! I saw the ancient art of water puppetry, incredible. I took in the weekend night market. I visited a great museum about the women of Vietnam. This gave me great insight on Vietnam life. Some women wake at 4:30 am to buy goods from the wholesale market and then sell them on the streets until 7 pm!

I also dove into the street food scene, which can be daunting to some travelers, but with the help with Miss Moon, an excellent guide, this became a highlight of my travels. Miss Moon knew the amazing secrets of the city, where to find the unique, rare and original eats. This included a classic cafe with “egg coffee” and the thin stuffed Hanoi pancake made with rice powder.

One of my favorite memories was watching this city unfold. I had taken a tightly packed sleeper bus and arrived at 5:00 a.m. To my surprise, the city was actually quiet, but in a matter of an hour it picked up pace. It was amazing to see entire street side restaurants being carried in on baskets balanced by a bamboo stick. Oh, and I can’t forget to include the people I met. The people of Hanoi love to practice their English and the conversations are wonderful.



Weekend night market, a walking street

You can find everything for sale on the streets of Hanoi.

You can find everything for sale on the streets of Hanoi.



Foodie expert, Miss Moon



Hanoi speciality, the pancake, rice powder steamed on silk, filled with mushrooms and eaten with sweet basil and cilantro.

There's a candy street! The streets in old Hanoi are named after what they sell, there's silk street, shoe street, coffee street and more.

There’s a candy street! The streets in old Hanoi are named after what they sell, there’s silk street, shoe street, coffee street and more.



A speciality served only near the New Year (here they celebrate same date as Chinese New Year)




Early morning noodle pick up.



Street side food set-up, everything is carried in!



Outdoor hair salon






Egg coffee, this coffee only spot opened in 1949, so tasty!



Water puppets, with live music and singing, the people controlling puppets are behind the screen standing in the water, such talent!



My favorite Hanoi treat, stuffed with sweet custard, the kids line up every morning for this hard to find spot.



One more favorite- tamarind broth soup, filled with tofu, noodles, greens, and crab.