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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat
    Marmite the Dog's Avatar
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    Hanoi Highlights

    I'm off to Hanoi for a weekend soon, and I'm interested in any recommendations you lot might have regarding things to see & places to go.

  2. #2
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    Halong Bay (take the 2 day trip with night on boat), the old French district (you can't miss it, cheap hotels), the water Theater

    That's about it.

    I liked Saigon better, more interesting IMO.
    Last edited by Butterfly; 15-01-2007 at 11:56 AM.

  3. #3
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    ^ Cheers. I won't have time for the boat trip, but I do intend to wander about the French district. I'm also looking forward to some decent food and to visit a few bars to sample the local beer. I want to buy some artwork too.

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    Saigon is better for food. Hotels in Hanoi are overpriced and crap. I found one very decent one with free computer and ADSL internet in the room for only 30 USD, but it was always full.

    The rest are KSR hippie place, packed with cheap travellers, Aussies etc... you get the picture. Avoid the Sihn Cafe tours, none of them are the originals, but only copycat.

    You can find excellent French food at decent price around Hai Ba Trung and the expensive hotels might have some nice buffet for less 15 USD

    Overall Hanoi is not a bargain unless you stay in the KSR area (French district) with all the hippies eating their western food. Actually the best place to eat local food is on those small stools with the locals in the street. Kitchen open early, around 6pm, and they have those great dish to eat. You won't find them in the KSR area, you need to go down around the busy shopping streets. Can't remember the name of the street. I will check on my map.

  5. #5
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    I've been to Saigon on a rugby trip. There wasn't much call for culture, just booze, fanny and food. Pretty good actually, but this time I shall spend much of the time strolling around looking for things to waste my money on.

  6. #6
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    try spotted cow and the relax bar for a couple of drinks... friendly expat run bars - the staff are reasonably pleasing on the eye - tell em KW says hello and misses them.

    the little stool food places are called Bia Hoi = fresh beer, sit down start drinking (reasonable sort of home brew!) they'll bring out bar snacks as well - a few hours of drinking will cost u something like 1 or 2 dollars

    early morning walk arond the lakes is nice - buy some fresh bread rolls etc from the ladies with bread baskets wandering the streets, the coffee is damn good too.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingwillyhggtb
    try spotted cow and the relax bar for a couple of drinks... friendly expat run bars - the staff are reasonably pleasing on the eye - tell em KW says hello and misses them.
    Got a street name?

  8. #8
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    Found it.

    23C Hai Ba Trung

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmite the Dog View Post
    I've been to Saigon on a rugby trip. There wasn't much call for culture, just booze, fanny and food. Pretty good actually, but this time I shall spend much of the time strolling around looking for things to waste my money on.
    I worked there for a while in the mid-90's, haven't been back since my drinking buddy there got marreid in '99. I hear it has changed quite a bit, so any places I used to hang out at are probably history now. If you are interested in aircrafts and the Vietnam War, I can recommend the airforce museum, in the southern part of town. A bit difficult to find, but (IMHO) well worth the trip.

    Hanoi can be a pretty cold, damp, miserable place this time of the year, though. Bring a warm jacket, especially if you are planning on driving around on a motorbike.
    Any error in tact, fact or spelling is purely due to transmissional errors...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmite the Dog View Post

    Got a street name?
    sorry - at work - dont recall - but the motorsai boys will all know it, the relax bar is near ... umm i think Hilton hotel.

    another good one is the Barracooda bar - bit hard to find tho, i'll get back to ya with a contact, i think they have a rugby team over there - you could find a few blokes to have a drink with and give ya the low down.

    street food is good, particuarly come of the Bia Hoi's around the big church (replica of a Parisian one, memory failing me again) - just avoid the Dog ones, (they usually have the head and tail on the tray so u can tell what it is/was.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfly
    Avoid the Sihn Cafe tours, none of them are the originals, but only copycat.
    seeing as the original Sihn Cafe was in HCM and not Hanoi it figures that they are copies!...

    Last time I was there was 15 years ago and I have fond memories of it...delicious french bread fresh every morning was the highlight...it was a great little place for walking around so I never felt the need for a m/c..twill be interesting to see your pics marmers to see how much it has changed in the last 15 years...

  12. #12
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    Where do the free-lancers hang out?

    Also, I heard Hamoi is awash with cheap drugs, isn't there a famous square where dealers inject paying punters with a low-grade black heroin syrup, or is this an urban myth?

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    Quote Originally Posted by stroller View Post
    Where do the free-lancers hang out?

    Also, I heard Hamoi is awash with cheap drugs, isn't there a famous square where dealers inject paying punters with a low-grade black heroin syrup, or is this an urban myth?
    Dunno, but in when I lived there, there was the occasional joint surfacing at parties (especially amongst artists), and I was told there were still opium dens to be found in Hanoi, although the authorities were starting to crack down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stroller View Post
    Where do the free-lancers hang out?

    Also, I heard Hamoi is awash with cheap drugs, isn't there a famous square where dealers inject paying punters with a low-grade black heroin syrup, or is this an urban myth?
    no idea - but with the possible death penalty by firing squad would it be worth it???

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmite the Dog View Post
    I've been to Saigon on a rugby trip. There wasn't much call for culture, just booze, fanny and food. Pretty good actually, but this time I shall spend much of the time strolling around looking for things to waste my money on.
    Good to hear MTD, that you don't regard booze, fanny and food a waste of money.

  16. #16
    I don't know barbaro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmite the Dog View Post
    I'm off to Hanoi for a weekend soon, and I'm interested in any recommendations you lot might have regarding things to see & places to go.
    Don't know Hanoi well.

    But you should say: "doe cho day" to people.


    It means, "Hello, how are you?"

  17. #17
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    Some Bangkok based woman is posting a lot about Hanoi at the moment:
    Thailand Backpacking: Travelhappy.info

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingwillyhggtb View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by stroller View Post
    Where do the free-lancers hang out?

    Also, I heard Hamoi is awash with cheap drugs, isn't there a famous square where dealers inject paying punters with a low-grade black heroin syrup, or is this an urban myth?
    no idea - but with the possible death penalty by firing squad would it be worth it???
    Even withough the possible death penalty by firing squad would it be worth it???

  19. #19
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    Thanks for the tips so far. I should find out where I'm staying next week. Hopefully, it's not somewhere stupid like near the airport...

  20. #20
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    stay in the old city Marmite, and rent a bicycle

    it is a really nice place, I like it much better then HCM/Saigon

    first time I ate dog was there!

    and the first and only time I have ever been propositioned on a bicycle

    stopped at lights, a Viet guy comes up, also on a bike "you want Vietnam Madame?"

    I was also propositioned on a motorbike in Saigon, whem I was with a friend. Two girls came up next to us and gestured that one of us should swop with one of them. On closer inspection, however, they were katoeys
    I have reported your post

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silent Ninja View Post
    Some Bangkok based woman is posting a lot about Hanoi at the moment:

    I'm a bloke!

    Chris

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by travelhappy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Silent Ninja View Post
    Some Bangkok based woman is posting a lot about Hanoi at the moment:

    I'm a bloke!

    Chris

    Are you sure about that?

  23. #23
    Thailand Expat
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    Right, I'm off on Friday. I have booked into this place as it looks quite nice.

    HANOI ELEGANCE HOTEL

    $45 a night for a spiffing room with all modcons including your own PC.

    I'm looking forward to taking pictures of old Vietnamese people like they have in those inflight magazines. Ah yes, like this one...


  24. #24
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    Good luck with the weekender...we'll look forward to seeing the piccies from your new toy...

  25. #25
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    I'm not sure she can take pictures, but I'll give it a go.


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