The best part, a big bowl of Phở only costs 80 pesos when converted to Philippine currency. Phở is originally a breakfast thing but it is available everywhere at any given time of the day. I was all about phở morning , noon and night my stomach barely had space for other food as I was all about Phở during my 5-days stay.
St. Joseph's Cathedral (Nha Tho Lon)
Vietnam Backpacker's Hostel Hanoi Original offers complementary walking tour of the Old Quarter and the Cathedral area everyday from 10:00am. Yes, it's free, you just have to inform reception that you are interested to join.
I was offered the free walking tour by front desk upon check in but I declined it because I have a scheduled walking tour with Hanoi Kids the next day so as not to be redundant and therefore save time. I also wanted ro explore on my own first. My first time to do solo international travel so gusto kong namnamin.
I walked past St. Joseph’s Cathedral which I find intriguing. This one is the Hanoi equivalent of the Cathedral in Ho Chi Minh City next to the Central Post Office. St. Joseph's Hanoi is a late 19th-century Neo-Gothic style church serves as the cathedral of the Roman Archdiocese of Hanoi to nearly 4 million Catholics in the country. I find this surprising because Vietnam is a communist country but it seems they are friendly to Catholicism.
Sadly, I was told by my guide the next day that the time I was along the lake something really bad happened. The oldest and largest of the tortoise died for reasons still unknown. Many people mourned for the death of the revered animal.
Strolling along the lake gives you a sense of Hanoi life. Despite the hurried stride of millions of motorbikes around the city, Hanoi is still relaxed and laid back. That adds to the charm of this city in boom.
I ended up in the Northern section of the lake towards the famous Silk Street where I bought a few shirts for pasalubong and for myself. I also dropped by one Bun thang shop.
(Vietnamese Vermicelli Noodle Soup with Chicken, Pork and Egg.)
“Bun thang got its name because it is made up of a lot of ingredients, a bit like a pack of thuoc bac,” she explains. “It is also good for the health and makes you feel fantastic after eating a bowl of it.
This was where I shopped for a winter jacket without which I should have died in the sudden drop in temperature the afternoon after buying it and all throughout the days I moved to Halong City and left Hanoi. It was such a bargain. One has to be good at haggling though to get the best value out of your money when buying in Cho Do Xuan Market. This is the equivalent of Divisoria in Old Manila less the bad smell. I also noticed that some of the good are only sold in bulk. Too bad because I wanted to buy some gloves and other fashion items but they only sell by dozens.
Next, I will talk about my Free Walking tour with Hanoi Kids.
I will link it here as soon as I had it published. Cheers!