I am not a writer. I am just the person who is addicted to travels and has passion for capturing every single piece of traveling memories in words
(My Irish visa)
Today, I am quite upset being informed that I would not be able to come to Indonesia in December. The thing is that AIESEC is in trouble of supporting the exchange participants like me to get a visa. I have no idea why it comes in all sudden. Because as far as I’m concerned, the previous participants could travel without any problem raised. This comes as an unexpected surprise that I have never thought of. Instead of playing it by ears, I should find out what I would and could do meanwhile.
Here are some things I can think of now:
Still confused and frankly frustrated over this problem.
I will stop complaining anyways and start by giving you some suggestions about where to go and what to do in Hanoi. Before I traveled to Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh city, I did not search any information about traveling, such as where the tourists usually visit or that sort of things. I have some friends there who are absolutely the local, so I followed them, did what they did, ate where they ate, even though they may not be mentioned in travel books.
So, in this post, I would give you a list of what we usually do as the local. It may not be the way you or your friends who fly over miles to reach here can find in books. But yeah, here are what I recommend you to do if you wanna know or experience a really local youth life.
(Note: It is written by my firsthand experience)
1. Drink beer at the crossroad between Ta Hien street and Luong Ngoc Quyen street
I love sitting there watching people and chatting with my friends with a cup of “bia hoi” (beer) in hand.
2. “Tra chanh chem gio” (Lemon tea)
There are a lot of places you can find this type of drink which is so popular among the youth. (I would say everywhere haha).
– Nha Tho street (next to the St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Hoan Kiem district)
– Nga Tu So
3. Ice cream
People tend to crowd to Trang Tien street to eat Trang Tien ice cream. I don’t prefer it too much because of its being much sweet. With my younger sister, I usually eat ice cream at Lotteria or KFC. It is the thing I like most in such fast food resto (Absolutely not the fried chickens haha)
4. Pho Cuon (one kind of spring roll. With beef)
You can google with the key word “Phở Cuốn”
I know a restaurant named “Ngon” in Phan Boi Chau street (Quite near Hoan Kiem lake) where you can all kinds of Vietnamese traditional food. But it, of course, is so expensive to become an item which I will mention on the list.
We usually go to Ngu Xa street (Absolutely close to West Lake (Ho Tay)) to eat this type of food, even though traveling from my apartment to there covers nearly a half of city haha.
At first, you should google to find some pictures of “Làng cổ Đường Lâm” (Duong Lam Old Village) to guess what I am recommending to you.
I visited it few years ago in search of some fresh air haha. When I was there, I met up with some travelers too who are all Vietnamese. It seems that all the tour operators forget to put this place in the attraction list for foreign tourists.
I was really into the ambience of the countryside there where I walked into some narrow alleys, watching the walls made by laterite. Come here and you can see some Vietnamese-styled old houses which are protected and preserved by both their owners and the local authority.
I am a bit sad when one only owner of those houses asked us for some money to “maintain the house”. It is not necessary and of course not compulsory or obligatory. So, be careful with this!
What I love about this village:
– A reall Vietnamese village (I was born and have lived in a village too, but mine seems to be more modern than Duong Lam village. Moreover, laterite walls and houses distinguish this village from others without doubt.
– A real arch village gate (which informs you that you are entering the village). My village has one too, but it is much smaller and not typical as the one you can find in Duong Lam village. (Hope you will find it similar to “Arc de Triomphe” in Paris haha)
– A lotus lake (if you come there in the summer, yes. I went there in May, so yeah, lucky of me)
– A everything-seems-to-be-small kingdom (Let’s go and check it)
How to go there: It is located in Ha Tay, which is the suburb of Hanoi. You can go there by bus. From Cau Giay bus station, you can take the bus number 70. (If I remember right. Will check it for certain). By the way, one day is enough to check it out.
6. Dinh coffee
The hidden coffee shop located at 13 Dinh Tien Hoang street. There is no sign for you to see and find. Try to get to 13 Dinh Tien Hoang (which is a bag shop as well), go into, climb the stair and try to get a sit in the balcon looking over the lake 🙂
7. Bread with beef soup Bánh mì sốt vang)
Alley 35, Thái Thịnh street, Đống Đa district.
(Will update more soon)