Thursday, December 25, 2014

VIETNAM HANOI TRAVEL 2014: Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Hoen Kiem Lake & Old Quarter Pub Street

If you would like to visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, do check out the opening hours and opening days as it is not open the entire day and everyday. They are also really strict and would not allow you to enter even if you're 5 minutes late...
Please also remember to dress "appropriately". By appropriately, I meant no sleeveless top, short pants or mini skirt...Keep your look "decent"

We were at the entrance at 10.15am and the Mausoleum closes at 11am...what adventurous people aren't we? :-P
They were so many people lining up to go in, you would need to line up 2 by 2 and no drinks are allowed inside. Do not worry as there is a place for you to put your stuff...

Also, be very silent when visiting the mausoleum as a sign of respect for Uncle Ho a.k.a Ho Chi Minh the father of independence of Vietnam which everyone adores...

After visiting the Mausoleum, you can also visit his old house, the museum and also the one-pillar pagoda
According to the guides there, Ho Chi Minh is a very simple person hence, you will not find any form of "lavish-ness" in his humble abode

The Museum

I read an article online that says, the most successful men in the world which includes Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, wears clothing that are very fact, they ALWAYS wear the same clothing. I guess a visionary man is always thinking about new innovations instead of what to wear the next day...

I used to mind my partner dressing sloppily but now thinking about's ok la, just as long as there's credit limit of my credit card....MUAHAHAHAHAH!!! Happy Wife=Happy Life :-D

The Mausoleum

Chilling with Uncle Ho :-D

One pillar pagoda

Dear Vietnamese god, please make 2015 an amazing one! More travels, more money, my own property, new car, Wang Lee Hom lookalike husband...kaythanksbye :-D

We then headed back to the Hoen Kiem lake area as I wanted to go to City View Cafe to try out a Special type of coffee
Nope, not this one....this is just their normal Vietnamese Coffee
This one!!! What is it you ask?
Yogurt Coffee!!! or also known as Cha Phe Sua Cua...mum and Nick find it to be too weird but I was ok with it as I love yogurts
Mummy's Fresh Orange Juice

After stirring and mixing it up, this is how it looks like :-D
The beautiful view of Hoen Kiem lake :-D

The infamous roundabout

Of course, we needed to buy souvenirs for family and friends back home so we headed to Intimex which is located around the lake to see what we can find

Vietnamese Coffee by Nescafe
For City Tours, I would advise you to take this Open Air Electric Car...No we didn't try it but it is definitely MUCH better than getting scammed by one of those random taxis that has altered the algorithm of the meters

So cute!!! These 2 sleepy cats!!!

Banh Goi was another item from my to-eat list and I was insistent to give it a try though it was quite a walk...
No regrets as it was bloody delicious!!! It actually looks like and has a similar texture with the yao char gwai/ham chim bang in Malaysia...just that the method of eating it is different

Over here, you dip it into the dipping sauce pictured above
Minced pork, Glass Noodles, Wood-eared mushrooms are part of the ingredients

This place was located very near the Church and it is right opposite these row of shops...
Took a stroll to the church for some touristy shots since we were already in the area

After "lunch" we headed back to the hotel to rest before dinner time
For dinner, another funny story, I had reservations made at the Famous Bobby Chinn Restaurant.
So we called a cab and headed to the direction of the West Lake to the supposedly "Restaurant Bobby Chinn"
This blurry pictures are of the wall that commemorates 1000 years of Hanoi being the capital of Vietnam
So funny story short, the Restaurant Bobby Chinn in Hanoi actually closed down a long time ago and relocated to Ho Chi Minh a.k.a!!! FML!!!
Technically I wasn't wrong as the website is not updated and still have this particular branch address as the one and only restaurant...So, we took a cab back and forth for nothing...ok, at least we managed to catch a glimpse of the West Lake albeit in the dark...

That's what travels are for right? The ADVENTURES that it comes with!!!
If you need to hail a cab, I highly recommend this cab company as they are honest and do not overcharge you

So in the end, our "Fine Dining" became a Banh Cuon street side meal. I have no regrets though as it was another item on my to-eat list
Also, it was delicious as hell!!!
This is the address if you would like to try this street food
So what is Banh Cuon? It's texture is similar to what we call Hong Kong Chee Cheong Fun in Malaysia but for the filling, it consist of minced pork and woodear mushrooms

You also dip it in this sour dipping sauce before eating it...
This dish is always served with the pork "cake" pictured above. We paid RM32 for the 3 of us which I thought was kind of expensive considering it was on the road side and basically just Chee Cheong Fun...but it was delicious la. So whether the lady boss was scamming us tourist or not, the experience was worth it...
In Hanoi, you will find a LOT of shops selling all these communist propaganda posters which was used to gain supporters for the communist party
We bought quite a number of these posters as a lot of quotes (whether it had any hidden agenda or not) rather meaningful

Yup! So 3 nights in a row, we headed back to Ma May street as it is not as dangerous as the other streets with motorist constantly honking at you and trying to kill you...
Nick tried this Pork Satay which I thought was just so-so...20,000 VND per stick (RM3.20)

I really enjoyed sitting down, enjoying the cool night breeze while people watching

Nick's green tea

Shisha is a big pastime amongst the youth in Hanoi too...
I decided to try Shisha for the first time...but failed miserably T__T

My mum, posing like a gangsta :-D
Another to-do item on my list. What's this? jeng jeng jeng...
Cha Phe Trang a.k.a Egg Coffee

It would pass off as a dessert instead of a cup of coffee as the "whisked egg" part of the coffee is extremely thick and rich...

We also spotted a skinny!!! Maybe he went on diet?

We chilled for a few hours till all shops were closed

If there's 2 food item that I would recommend for tourist to buy it would be the dried fruit chips and 3-in-1 vietnamese coffee pictured above and...if you are into all these key chain thingamajigs, it's pretty reasonably priced too...

The next day, we woke up early in the morning to head to the airport to catch our flight back to Malaysia

Beef Pho one last time

And stir fried beef pho a.k.a Pho Xao

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