Taiwan and Vietnam


Day 10

Breakfast at the hotel

After an average but much better sleep than the night before we all met down stairs for breakfast. They have a few things available at the buffet and a menu to pick from. The fresh fruit, bread and mini sausages from the buffet were nice but I also ordered French toast which wasn’t so good, it was just soggy sliced white bread. We also ordered spring rolls and apart from being a bit too oily, they were actually pretty nice.

The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long

Today we planned to just explore the area, which means a lot of walking. The first stop was the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long. The grounds were quite nice with manicured gardens and interesting architecture throughout. There were also a lot of kids in formal dress, we think they were celebrating their high school graduation.

We walked through the citadel and up to the roof then around the rest of the grounds and saw some paintings, ceramics and even military aircraft! There were more turtle statues and some more information about the folk lore surrounding it.

Hanoi Train Street

From there we started walking towards a recommended lunch spot called Banh Mi 25 but along the way there were plenty of sights to see, mainly a street with a train line going through it!

It was a bit like Shifen but there were signs and guards to prevent people from walking along the line, which is a little weird because there were cafes there with people out the front but it seemed like we weren’t allowed to get to them!

Banh Mi 25

We arrived at the restaurant and it was easy to spot because there was a queue out the door and it was very busy! They actually have more than one building in the area, so we followed the signs down the road to get to the second one and went up to the second floor but that was also full and then we spotted an extra floor and a tiny staircase that looked like a total after thought, it has a really low ceiling but we were able to fit… just.

We ordered a BBQ pork banh mi each and then we shared a beef and mushroom one. They were pretty good but I think our expectations may have been a little high.

Quoc Tu Giam Park and The Temple of Literature

Fuelled from lunch we decided to walk 30mins to the temple of literature. It was a very pretty place and had a some gardens to pass before the temple. The first garden was respect and second was success. This temple was built originally as a university and dedicated to Confucius.

The 100,000 Vietnam note contains a picture of part of the temple so part of the exploring involved finding where the picture was. Anth, Steve and Rob found this at the gate just after the garden of success.

Cha Ca La Vong

After the Temple of Literature we decided to take a grab back to our hotel. Grab is like an Uber for us but you can pay cash once you arrive at your destination. It was a short drive but we were tired from the day of walking.

We met downstairs around 7pm and decided to head to the famous tumeric fish place recommended by the hotel and my colleague. When we got to the restaurant it was packed and so they got us to walk across the road to their other building so we could fit 5 of us.

They only do one dish which is the tumeric monk fish that is on a pan that is put on a lit portable stove. While that is cooking you add fresh dill and spring onion to cook with that. To accompany this they gave us vermicelli, peanuts, coriander, mint and sauce. The man cooking the fish for us explained what to do. Get a small amount of vermicelli, add coriander and mint and peanuts, one piece of fish and some cooked spring onion and dill then add some of the sauce over the bowl. We did this with every piece of fish until we were done.

The other interesting thing we had was passionfruit juice! It was super sweet and super sour and the same time, a really tangy juice but very nice.

Night Market

We walked back via the night market which was buzzing even though it was slightly drizzling. Rob wanted a jacket so he got that, Amy and Anth found some shoes and we shopped for souvenirs here and there. At the jacket shop there was a random phone stuck to the tree so Rob tried to see if it worked…

Hanoi night market hot dog

I don’t think the dinner was enough for Steve and Anth (probably due to all the onion in the meal). They found the man from the night before barbequing little sausages by themselves or putting it in a hot dog. Steve decided to have a late night hot dog since he’s breaking his diet! He had tomato sauce with it which he can’t remember the last time he had!

Then we did a bit more looking around and then arrived at our hotel ready to rest for our early start tomorrow.