As much as dad loves travelling, he is increasingly less keen to travel very long distances, so we figured meeting up in Hanoi is probably not a bad idea. It’s only a 2-hour flight from Hong Kong and only an hour’s time difference.
Travelling with dad and Margaret means travelling at a slower pace, good food, and very comfortable hotels. I must admit, I wasn’t entirely unhappy to say goodbye to bowls of Pho, Com and Bun in exchange for some delicious French cuisine, interesting fusion dishes and beautifully-presented Vietnamese food in elegant surroundings!
Hanoi served as the capital of French Indochina for 51 years, from 1902 to 1953. After the Geneva Accords of 1954, the city was proclaimed the capital of North Vietnam. And in 1976, it became the capital of reunified Vietnam after the war. It is Vietnam’s second biggest city, and like Saigon, it’s pretty intense. The old quarter is labyrinthine, so it’s best to just wander, get agreeably lost, then hail a cab, or a cyclo, or a motorcycle to your next destination. Modern yet primitive, there really is no better way to explore Hanoi by walking the streets, soaking up the sights, sounds and smells before retreating to somewhere quieter for a coffee.