Vietnam diary – Hanoi

Hello! I’ve just come back to Sweden after some amazing 2 weeks in Vietnam. And I’ve just finished editing some photos, to I thought I’d try to write a little bit about it. Starting with the first stop on our trip: Hanoi. Unfortunately I got very sick after leaving Hanoi, and I stayed that way for the whole trip 😦 so I spent most of my time sleeping inside of our hotel rooms. So I’m sad so say that I don’t have as much to write about as I would like to, but I will write about the things that I managed to do despite my illness! (and I’m feeling better now luckily)

We stayed for a couple of days in Hanoi, at Hanoi Elegance Ruby hotel, located in the very heart of Hanoi Old Quarter. And if you want to stay close to the old quarters, I would definitely recommend this hotel. It was a super nice hotel and the staff were very friendly, and they helped us with everything, such as booking a train down to Da Nang and guiding us to the station. And the included hotel breakfast was just amazing. If I go back to Hanoi I would definitely want to stay there again. I forgot to take any pictures of the hotel and rooms though, but it was very nice. Anyway, onto the other pictures!

One day we wanted to take some pictures of the city, so we took a cab over to Keangnam Hanoi Landmark Tower, which is a supertall skyscraper in Pham Hung Boulevard, Từ Liêm District.

Walking around Hoan Kiem Lake

busy streets of Hanoi Old Quarter, with crazy traffic. At first I was so scared trying to cross the streets!

I have no idea where in the old quarters this is, but the nightlife was crazy

I really liked being in Hanoi for some reason. Even though it’s become quite a big city, and it seems like it’s only getting bigger, it felt a bit more.. peaceful somehow. At least more so than HCMC that we visited later. But more on that later!


Food in Hanoi

The thing I enjoyed most about being in Vietnam was definitely the food. First of all, it’s delicious, and second of all… it’s so cheap! at least compared to prices in Sweden. I could have a complete meal with drinks for like.. 50 000 – 100 000 VND (Vietnamese Dong) which is like… around 15 – 30 SEK. and fresh fruit juice that you could buy almost everywhere for like 6 SEK. I really miss those. And although I didn’t take pictures of everything we ate, I managed to capture a few of my favourites.

One of my absolute favourite foods: Phở

Phở is noodle soup consisting of broth, rice noodles (bánh phở), fresh herbs, and meat. It’s a popular street food, and even though you can find it in restaurants pretty much everywhere, I think the best phở is usually found on the street. This was from one of those places, and unfortunately I can’t remember the name of the street but you can find street phở almost everywhere. And if you’re worried about eating street food, look for a place witch many people. That usually means good food hehe. And while you might not be as comfortable sitting on a small, wobbly plastic chair on the side of a busy street, it is definitely worthwhile!

And I think my favourite type of phở is definitely the Hanoi style. They tend to vary a bit around the country.


Traditional fish dish, cha ca

A traditional dish of fish fried tableside with herbs (including dill o_O), spices, onions, peanuts, and rice noodles. We decided to try the Cha ca Thang Long restaurant on 31 Duong Thanh Street, Old Quarter. Although there is a more famous restaurant called Cha Ca La Vong on Cha Ca street (a street named after the dish), we read better reviews of this place so we went here instead. And they only have the one dish on the meny, so you don’t really have to worry what to choose 😀

And while this restaurant was definitely a bit more expensive, where the whole meal cost about 160 000 VND per person (although still very cheap compared to Swedish prices since that’s only like 52 SEK) it was definitely worth a visit. It was really delicious.


Food experiences at Quan An Ngon restaurang

we also visited this big restaurant chain which offer lots of different traditional Vietnamese dishes. Another one of my favourites Vietnamese dishes are the fresh spring rolls, which can be made with lots of different kinds of fillings. On the picture above is Pho cuon (made with a thicker rice noodle sheet), but I think the most common fresh rolls are simply called gỏi cuốn (in the south) or nem cuốn (in the north). But vietnamese is very confusing so I think I’ll just stick with spring rolls for now.

Another delicious spring roll, nem rán (or chả giò in the south?) but these ones are fried. yum!

And one thing I had set my mind to was to try some weird foods. So I did. Here I tried whole grilled or fried sparrows. You had to eat them whole, and it was really weird. And I probably won’t try it again. Ever. But at least it wasn’t as bad as it looks. It tasted mostly like chicken wings, but very dry :p


More street food, Bánh mì 

I’m a bit sad that I didn’t take more photos of all the food we had. But I have some food photos from the other cities we visited as well, so I’ll post them later. Stay tuned!

My whole Vietnam diary:

Part 1 – Hanoi

Part 2 – Ha Long Bay

Part 3 – Hoi An

Part 4 – Nha Trang and Dalat

Part 5 – Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)


11 thoughts on “Vietnam diary – Hanoi

  1. Pingback: Vietnam diary – Ha Long Bay |

  2. Pingback: Vietnam diary – Train to Hoi An |

  3. Vad mycket fina bilder! Så roligt med all konstig mat alltså :’D Och hjälp vad jag vill prova Pho-nudelsoppa, undrar om det är sån superbuljong som i Ramen som man måste fixa i 4 dagar innan, så det kanske är omöjligt att laga här hemma :_:

    • Sofia, jaaa det är verkligen jättegott! buljongen är väl det knepiga, men tror nästan den är lättare att få till än Ramen 😮 dock testade jag en Pho på den där restaurangen YOI som faktiskt var riktigt god! (såg att det stod två vietnameser i köket hehe) den smakade väldigt autentiskt, lite annorlunda kött bara, men soppan vad fantastisk! så den kan jag rekommendera att testa 😀

  4. Pingback: Vietnam Diary – From Nha Trang to Dalat |

  5. Wonderful photos! We’ll soon visit Viet and Camb. So excited for this beautiful land.
    And, haha, you food posts are truly interesting, ….Sparrows look tiny…How many did you have? They seem to replace protein bars 🙂 LOL …. Cheers from Miami…

    • Jenny, oh thank you so much 🙂 Vietnam is amazing! I only had one sparrow haha but that was enough! I hope you’ll have a great time on your travels ^_^

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