For my 12th trips in 2018 I went to Hanoi for a few days in December with my partner while we were in Hong Kong
Pan Pacific Hanoi
I found a great flight-and-hotel package with Cathay Pacific to stay at 5* Pan Pacific at a very reasonable price. I chose it for its views of Trúc Bạch Lake and West Lake. Somehow narrow streets and the hustle and bustle of the Old Quarter just did not appeal to me.
As it turned out the hotel surpassed my expectations – the excellent services, the spacious room with a view of the lake and the peace and quiet of the Pan Pacific Club lounge from which Tran Quoc Pagoda could be seen
The Seafood buffet at Pacifica Restaurant was really scrumptious !
Being so near to Trúc Bạch Lake and West Lake, our first destination was a visit to Trấn Quốc Pagoda on West Lake. It is amazing to note that the pagoda was originally built in the 6th century!
Trấn Quốc Pagoda
Hop-on Hop-off Hanoi City Tour
On some occasions I think hop-on hop-out bus is the only way to look around a city. And this was one such occasion. We had thought of walking to the Old Quarter, but one look at the crazy traffic quickly changed our minds! So we took the tour from Stop Number 6 outside Trấn Quốc Pagoda
Not only did nobody stop for pedestrians at zebra crossings or even at green lights for pedestrians, but the noise from the tooting horns was deafening! It’s comparable to Catania in Sicily, Sanya in China ……
Thăng Long Imperial Citadel – A UNESCO World Heritage Site
There was a lot going on at Stop 8 of the tour, notably the Imperial Citadel, but also a glimpse of the grounds of Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and national Assembly House
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
This elegant building was where stop 12 was conveniently located
Hoan Kiem Lake
This is in the hub of the city frequented by locals and tourists alike. Here is where the Turtle Tower and the red wooden Húc Bridge are located.
Sunset on Hoan Kiem Lake
Hanoi is a green city with lots of tree-lined roads. My memories of the city are its history, elegant old buildings, friendly happy people, beautiful lakes, lots of young backpackers as well as the chaotic traffic. All these combine to give Hanoi its unique charm.
Finally, here is magnet number 160 and me at my usual pose!!