It’s day two of our latest trip around South East Asia, and we’ve just landed in Hanoi. Hanoi’s current weather – a combination of high temperatures, high humidity and rain storms, ensures our flight some what bumpy. Some might prefer the term terrifying. Turbulence is a major factor as we fly over the north of the country, and poor visibility, thunder and lightning, ensured the trip was a test for even the most frequent of flyers.
It’s been three and a half years since we were last in Hanoi, and on first impressions, it appears not much has changed. The traffic is chaotic and the temperatures are through the roof.
Travelling around Hanoi
Upon arrival at the Tu Linh Legend hotel, we are warmly welcomed by the staff, who immediately upgrade one of the three rooms we have booked, and insist on feeding us a considerable amount of watermelon.
After dinner, we made our way to the heart of the old town for a few drinks. Heading through it and down a darkened alleyway, we find ourselves in what appears to be a combined garage-kitchen. As with many things in Hanoi, all is not what it seems however, and we are escorted up a series of stairs to a rooftop bar around five floors up, overlooking Hoan Kiem lake.
We were delighted to be in the possession of some ice cold beers; a little less delighted that the bottle opener for these beers was five floors below us! From here, we head over to something of a dive bar up the road, where we enjoy a couple more beers, before the place is closed down by the police. This reminds us that Hanoi is not a 24-hour city, and places generally close at midnight.
As most bars were now closed, we decided to head back to the hotel to continue catching up (drinking), which was only slightly hindered by having to wake the night porter to fetch us more beer. It’s good to be back, and great to catch up with an old friend.