Recent Trips

HANOI: DIY City Tour #2

It was only last year when I got to experience much of what Vietnam had to offer with a 3 week visit to Hanoi & Halong Bay. Lucky enough for me, I'm back to the capital of Vietnam with a little spare time to explore more places that I missed out on my previous trip. I wandered through a couple of places, the more significant ones, I'll detail a little bit more below.

When you do a quick search of places to visit when in Hanoi, the Temple of Literature will always come up on that list. It was a sunny day when I decided to check it out, and there were a lot of tourists that day, too. There's an entrance ticket that you need to get for 10,000 VND to enter this Confucian temple, but that's a very small price to pay to see one of the most historic cultural sites in the city. The temple occupies a big lot, most parts being filled with grass and trees (which offer a good shade on hot days.)

After walking around the temple grounds, I headed on to my next destination - St. Joseph's Cathedral. One will immediately notice the neo-gothic style of this Roman Catholic place of worship. It also faces a small plaza where one can get a good vantage to take in the beautiful details that adorn the structure - notice the stained glass windows and tall bell towers. Here's a tip: You can even get a good view of the cathedral, and some authentic Vietnamese coffee along with your brunch at a quaint café called La Place just like I did!

Temple of Literature

St. Joseph's Cathedral

La Place Cafe
Moving on to the next destination, I made my way to the One Pillar Pagoda, which was adorned with flags in commemoration of Buddha's recent birthday that time. This sight showcases the unique architecture of Hanoi, and remains to be one of its most significant landmarks.

For a nice view of the city, I went to Skyline Hanoi in the Old Quarter. I also had some delicious food at their restaurant to complement the great view at their rooftop. Here's another (food) tip: Try their spring rolls!

One Pillar Pagoda

Skyline Hanoi

For a weekend trip, Hạ Long was the city of destination once more. This time though, I got to experience a different side of the city. (Visit my post here if you want to read about Halong Bay!) We went to Sun World Dragon Park where we enjoyed a couple of adventurous rides, less the long lines. It was like Disneyland or Universal Studios in a way, but it was almost empty when we visited. That doesn't mean we didn't have fun though. We also spent a day at Sun World Halong Beach, which was a great place for some activities!

Sun World Dragon Park

Sun World Halong Beach

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