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Vietnam (Day 20) Hanoi Sweet Hanoi

We said our goodbyes to Ninh Binh and made our way via car back to Hanoi (2 hour drive). Our driver (pre-arranged with Toan) picked us up as scheduled. We couldn't resist stopping on the way out of Ninh Binh for a few more pics. 

In no time at all, we were settled back in at La Siesta. Warmly welcomed, we felt like we had returned home. First things first, we headed straight to Red Bean. I know, I know - so many food places in Hanoi. All that street food goodness begging to be sampled. But, Red Bean is just so good! And, I got my Rooster :) And, that bun cha!!

It's Saturday, so streets were blocked around the lake for the weekend to make it more pedestrian-friendly. It was a whole different vibe from our earlier stay with more families and a gazillion more people on the streets. Ma May Street is in the center of the closed-off (to vehicles) street so we took the kids out in spurts retreating back to the hotel for breaks. It is an awesome location and the vibe is top-notch. 

Molly led most of the way (by her belly) - first, grilled pork on a stick and then, on the hunt for ice-cream. 

The street was filled with lots of street performers, young backpackers, and an increased police presence. It was great fun watching the performers - some real talent!

The Mother Ship aka Home Sweet Home

Rob insists that he did not bargain his purchase "up" (again) hahahaha, but I don't know. Those sellers looked pretty happy.

We decided to make our way through Beer Street after depositing the kids back at the hotel. It was crazy crowded, think NYC Times Square at NYE! An interesting sight was watching the police try to clear street space by making the restaurants remove their tables and stools, but as soon as the policeman passed, they would stretch them right back into the street. 

Rob went out again solo close to midnight to take a look around and came back to report that the police where shutting everything down telling all the tourists to move on. We think there must be some sort of curfew? The only businesses that they seemed to leave alone were the backpacker hostels, which he described as crowds of partying kids. Also, there were a few clubs on our street that remained open, but we don't know how late. He said a lot of tourists were using the ATM, so he did the same and said it would give him evidence if he got questioned for wandering alone 😂. So after about 20 minutes, he returned to the hotel and was shocked to find that the lobby no longer resembled the same lobby we have known during our stay. All the regular staff are gone and there was a crew of young men sleeping out in the open. They had even pulled in their motorbikes into the restaurant. We concluded that they were hotel "security". Of course, he took no pics the whole time he was out. I guess he was too nervous being out there late night alone. Goodnight from Hanoi!

Up Next: Heartbeat of Hanoi


  1. New wallet?
    Did the vendor prove it to be real leather by holding a lit cigarette underneath?
    We too loved Ha Noi on a Saturday night with the extra people, cars, bikes all going about their business.

    1. Haha, never heard of that before. Rob did purchase a lighter in addition to his wallet. I liked all the alley streets that night. It was too crowded for me near the lake though, so the Ma May location was perfect.