Left behind the wonderful Hoi An, in a gray, rainy morning, with Vietnam Airlinesflight (always excellent), we arrived in Hanoi. Here begins the third part of the journey that will lead us to explore the north of the country.
But first, catapulted into the chaotic vortex of Hanoi
You know the feeling of being suddenly woke up with a bucket of icy water, screaming in your face and shoving? Here, that’s what I felt when the taxi left us right in the middle of Hanoi.
Already the initial impact was totally different from what we had in Ho Chi Minh. Hanoi occurred immediately as a real big city, more mature and structured than the spartan and rough Saigon. Hanoi has a lot more stressful and busy traffic of Ho Chi Minh, not only rivers of scooters, but also many cars and therefore a swirl of sounds, noises and smells. A crazy chaos. The streets of downtown are iperaffollate of shops and restaurants: an explosion of life, light and sound to make you dizzy.
Hanoi street food paradise
Although only stayed for a few hours (but we’ll get back to it, for a couple of days), Hanoi seemed a haven of street food. Along the streets Vietnamese restaurants of all kinds, many people eat on the street, grill, sizzling rice that cooks in the wok, crazy scents surround you at every step.
Shocked by all this mixture of emotions and sensations, and starving, we stopped to dine by a local resto named “My Pho”, a nice family-run place, spartan, but with very delicious dishes. And very cheap!
The train to Sapa (Lao Cai)
Once made our stomach happier, we headed towards the train station, to finally take the famous night train that, in ten hours, will take us to Sapa, to the north on the border with China.
The train that we have chosen is the Fanxipan, and the 4 berth cabin are quite good, clean and quiet. We then had the good luck to share a cabin with a Polish adult couple, very nice and cute and with them we spent the first hour of the trip talking a bit ‘of our lives and travel experiences.
This will be a long night, the sixth of this wonderful journey.
Transition day due to the various transfers. Nothing especially then, a little rest even for my Leica M.
- Book a taxi in a few clicks! Grab a taxi, it is similar to Huber service, and allows you to find a taxi or a car to any transfer at much cheaper prices. We have discovered and used (through the official app) to Hanoi airport. While the hotel proposed to us, for the taxi to the center, about 550,000 VND, with Grab, we spent 280.000VDN! Really useful and consigliatissima!
- My Pho, great local restaurant in the central area. delicious food and very low prices. A command of 3 dishes (pho and two rice-based) and two drinks, for a total of 155,000 VND.
- Train to Lao Cai: Although a little more expensive, the Fanxipan is a good choice, the price of 36USD per person