As we drove into Hanoi from the airport, we got our first taste of Vietnamese traffic. There seems to be some logic, some rules of conduct, but it was nothing like anything I understand. Our driver swerved all over the place, taking any space he could fit through, regardless of lane markings, red lights, other drivers indicating, honking wildly as other drivers pushed back. We drove through the teeming rain, past hudreds of motorcyclists, some doubled, tripled, or even quadrupled up on the bike, many on the phone or even texting, as they somehow managed to navigate the craziness.
We eventually arrived at our hotel, dumped our gear and crashed. It had been a long flight with the kids. Archie travelled well, fairly happy to entertain himself with watching TV, colouring, playdough, audio books, and even a decent amount of sleeping. Stevie, on the other hand, was a handful, wanting to get into everything, claiming everything as her own (all of the seats, toys, other people, food, the baby a few rows back), definitely not up for sleeping. Luckily Kate had planned for this, and we had a whole lot of toys, snacks, favorite shows on my computer ready to go. We tried to push her to sleep for a while, but that wasnt ever going to work, sio eventually we just gave up, and went with it. Eventually she slept for about 2 hours, long enough for Kate and I to finish a movie each.
Keeping the kids entertained.
Not much sleep was had on the first night. The kids were up early, so we grabbed breakfast at the hotel, beef noodle soup for Kate and I, and fruit, spring rolls, juice, custrard buns for the kids. We headed off to figure out where our AirBNB was for the next 5 nights. As chance would have it, it was less than 100m from the hotel.
We asked the very friendly girl staffing the travel agent that runs the AinBNB where to find good coffee, and she pointed us towards a place about 10 minutes walk away, Giang Cafe, a hole in the wall, where apparently egg coffee was invented. Egg coffee is amazing, kind of a soft sweet merangue on topp of a coffee. A great way to start the day, costing us 500,000vnd, about $3 for 2 coffees and a lemonade (which turned out to be soda water, but the kids coped). We made it up to them with an icecream by the lake afterwards.
Photo Gallery – Hanoi part 1
Archie and Stevie were treated like superstars as we wandered around Hanoi. The locals adored them, losts of cheek squeezing, head patting, photo ops, ooh’s and aah’s. Considering the severe lack of sleep, they both held up extremely well. We were pointed to a great Pho place for lunch, where Archie argued until he was blue in the face that he didnt like Pho. Then he tried it…… He likes Pho.
After a wander around the lake, we headed home to the Hanoi old Quarter Homestay for some downtime. Stevie crashed, Arch watched some Netflix, Kate and i relaxed for a while. We headed out at about 6 to do a 45 minute cyclo tour of the Old Quarters, before being dropped at the night markets. We were planning on grabbing some food at the night markets, but the kids were losing it, so we headed home, stopping for some pizza and a well earned beer on the way.
Day 1 was amazing, so much action, colour, great food, friendly people. The kids had a great day, with a few wobbly moments. Kate and I were pretty tired after a long flight, and a sleepless night, but are very happy to be here.
Stay tuned for more of our adventures in Vietnam…….