I am SO excited to finally be sharing some of our pictures and stories from our trip to Southeast Asia. It was a completely wonderful trip that totally lived up to our expectations. The food, the people, the places were all enchanting.
When we first started telling friends that we were vacationing in Asia, more than a few looked at us like we were crazy. Ha! I’ll admit that we enjoy wandering off the beaten path more than most, but I think that you’ll see why we fell in love with these places when you see all of these beautiful pictures.
First up – Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital city.
Crazy, busy, noisy, ancient Hanoi. We only had one full day here but I easily could have enjoyed another day or two to explore. Staying in the Old Quarter, we followed a walking tour that wound us up and down streets that are named for the goods they sell — shoes, paper, tools, bamboo, wedding dresses. You name it, there’s a street that sells it and pretty much only it.
Along the edge of the Old Quarter is Hoan Kiem Lake which is popular place for locals to walk, meet and take public dance and exercise classes. One night we spotted a random group of ladies taking a free zumba-like class in a park area next to the lake which was beyond humorous.
We also had our first street food experiences in Hanoi. I had read that your best bet is to find a eatery that is full of locals and eat there so we did! After wandering for a few hours and feeling super groggy from the jet lag fog, we were happy to grab a squat stool and stop for a bowl of piping hot pho, one of Vietnam’s most popular and famous dishes.
Stayed at: Little Hanoi Diamond Definitely a basic hotel but great for a night or two. Beds were rock hard (pretty standard for Vietnam) but the breakfast was good and the service was amazing.
Best Food: street side Pho and sugar doughnuts from a street vendor
Highlight: wandering the streets of the old quarter and eating our first bowl of Pho!
Low: jet lag and the noise at night on the street. Be sure to get a hotel room away from the street if you want to sleep well at night.
Strangest Sighting: About a dozen brides and grooms having their portraits taken outside of a fancy mall, each with about 3 personal photographers.