Arrive in Hanoi, purchase visas ($95usd each) and get 40min hotel transfer to city. It's pitch black and so couldn't see a lot on the way here. Just a few neon massage signs flashing away.
Check into hotel to get some sleep. Hotel room not too bad, air con, TV and fridge. Bathroom is clean. Shower was good, but you have to share it with the hot water heater and the exposed power supply cable.
6am just woke up to the sound of Vietnam: a thousand scooters, car horns, some lady shouting down the road and a litter of cats screeching away!
You can take the boy out of England but you can't take England out of the boy. 1st morning breakfast on 6th floor of hotel - 2 full English breakfasts with tea please.
One step out of the hotel and we knew we were in vietnam! A stroll through the old quarter this morning fighting with the scooters when crossing the roads, the smell of breakfast pho (Vietnamese noodle soup), little Vietnamese ladies walking the streets with their cone shaped shade hats and two baskets of goodies balanced across their backs. Sweet pastries and fresh fruit on every corner, mmm mmm mmmm!!
We walked down silk street to Hoem kiem lake which houses Ngoc Son temple on an island in the middle of the lake. An tiger beer and milkshake at a small lakeside cafe for elevens's and off to the temple of literature for the afternoon. Traditional courtyards and architecture creating the most amazing place just to sit in the sun and find our zen for a few hours - total cost = $1!
Lunch was found in a cool restaurant outside the temple of literature called Koto. Traditional Vietnamese food cooked by trained under privileged kids. Food was awesome, followed by a Vietnamese spicy tea, also awesome. Hot ginger, lemongrass and honey while watching the traffic fly by.