We knew we would be back to Hanoi by about 3 pm after our 3day-2night Halong Bay Cruise. Since it would be the last evening in Hanoi we did not make any “grand” plan to go anywhere specific, just to rest and relax and go with the flow. The next morning we had arranged to leave our hotel at about 6.45 am, reach the airport by 7.30 am. At the airport we plan to have a slow and leisurely breakfast in one of the airport lounges before flying off at 10.30 am.
By end of the day
On our last evening we walked around Hanoi Old quarter and went “SHOPPING”! We bought sling bags, trekking pants and shoes. Our focus was on functionalities and quality. Branding was not important. We usually did not do shopping on trip because we did not want to bring back “white elephants” that got put aside but this time we found many useful and functional stuffs that we would put to good use. Hanoi was a great place to shop.
We were back to see the street train again. On weekdays the train passed early in the morning around 6 am and after 7 pm in the evening. The last time we were here at about 7pm and only got to see the train zoomed by in the dark of the evening.
This round we were here on weekend and on weekend the train arrival/departure frequency was more often and we wanted to see the train “zoomed” by in daylight. We were not disappointed. Watching the train speeded by in daylight and nightlight were different experience but one event that remained the same was both times some locals would pull me back when the train got close!
Shopping for shoes was not in my plan, but the night before we got a whatsapp message from home. “Please buy me a pair of boots with heels”. So off we went to the “shoe sector” of the Old Quarter. Canvas shoes, sneakers, heels, boots were everywhere. We walked from Hang Dau to Hang Thung to Lo Su. There were branded sneakers and running shoes sold at a very inexpensive price. All the sellers were telling us that the shoes were authenthic!
We found a pair of nice boots (no brand), it was made of fake leather but looked cool. The cost of the boots was vnd40000(usd17.20 , sgd24.00)
As we walked around the Old Quarter we kept coming across “North Face” shops selling North Face jackets, trekpants, bags at very very low price. How could they be real? But the sellers insisted that they were the real items. They were very proud that Vietnam was the country that officially manufactured North Face products and their shops carried the real stuffs. They even poured water over the surfaces of these products to demonstrate the “waterproof” quality of their “real” products. We ended up buying four sling bags, we bought them not because we wanted “North Face” products we bought them because we liked the quality, the workmanship and the functionality of the slingbags. Since we bought four sling bags the seller gave us some discount, so we only paid vnd130000 (usd5.60, sgd7.80) each.
Our last Hanoi Street food
We were on our way back to our hotel when we stumbled on “Bun Cha Dac Kim”, a shop that sold pork noodle. The pictures of the food outside the shop looked good and the shop was packed with customers. The real food on the tables of customers looked yummy too. We managed to find two seats on a low table just by the front of the shop and ordered by pointing to the pictures of the food we wanted.
The food turned out to be excellent! It was the best of the street food we had eaten so far. Two bowls of pork soup and a large plate of vietnamese spring rolls came up to vnd180000 (usd6.70, sgd10.80). Fresh vegetables and noodles were provided with no additional charges.
Our stay for the night
Our last night stay in Hanoi Old Quarter was in Hanoi Glance Hotel. We had two nights at the same hotel prior to our 3day-2night Halong Bay trip. When we arrived the luggage that we had left behind was already shifted to our room. We booked the room from booking.com some 15 days ago. The price for a double room with ensuite toilet and window facing the “inhouse” garden was vnd736000(usd31.50 or sgd44.20) a night. The cost also included breakfast for two.
Our room was very lovely, it looked like a honeymoon room.
The toilet was lovely and clean. Our bedroom window faced an internal courtyard which was nicely decorated.
Fly out of Hanoi
Our hotel had arranged a taxis transfer to the airport for USD15, it was so much lesser than the USD18 that we had paid for our transfer from airport to hotel (Classic Street Hotel). Both hotels were in the Old Quarter and only a kilometer apart.
Once we checked in our luggage and got our boarding passes we were off to a airport lounge. We found Song Hong Business Lounge that accepted “Priority Pass”. Wow the lounge was good!
It was a long time since we came across a lounge with such a good spread of food. We had a great time eating our breakfast leisurely. It was especially great for me because I disliked plane food.
After breakfast it was time to board our plane and return to Home.
VIETNAM WE WOULD BE BACK!