We spent a week in Hanoi during the middle of February, giving us plenty of time to get to know this city. Everyday we took a walk through the area, exploring the backstreets, watching people prepare and then celebrate Tet, the Lunar New Year. We walked on the train tracks, went shopping in the markets, and loved walking around Hoan Kiem Lake.
Here are some of my photos taken prior to Tet, when the city was very busy and full of life.
Journey Through the Old Quarter of Hanoi
This lady was skinning and quartering live frogs right on the street. The looks on Tyler and Kara’s faces were priceless.
Just by chance, we stumbled across the train tracks running through Hanoi. Some people live right here, with their front doors opening right onto the train tracks. We saw people sitting outside of their house, cooking food or washing their motorbikes, and right before the train rushed past, they would have to gather all of their things off of the tracks. Wow, what a way to live!
Where We Stayed
We spent seven nights at the Hanoi Old Centre Hotel. This place was awesome. It has a terrific location, right in the heart of the Old Quarter. We had a family room on the sixth floor, giving us one queen and two twin beds with tons of space. The room came with a flat screen TV, refrigerator, and even a small balcony with perfect views out over Hoan Kiem Lake. From our balcony we watched the fireworks on Tet. Breakfast was provided every morning and was delicious, offering fresh fruit, pancakes, eggs, and my favorite, chicken noodle soup. The staff is very friendly and helpful. Hanoi Old Centre Hotel is the best place we stayed in while in Vietnam.
More Information about Vietnam
BEST OF VIETNAM: For a list of the best experiences in Vietnam, check out our Vietnam Bucket List.
ENTERING CHINA: We traveled from Vietnam into China by bus. Find out what it was like in our post.
CENTRAL VIETNAM: Hoi An is one of our favorite places to visit in Vietnam. From Hoi An, you can day trip to My Son Holyland, travel by car to Hue, and spend a few days in Hue touring the historical sites.
SOUTHERN VIETNAM: Cruising the Mekong Delta is one of the top experiences to have in Vietnam. Spend a few days in Ho Chi Minh City and from here, visit the Cu Chi Tunnels. For those wanting some beach time, journey to the lovely island of Phu Quoc.
TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY: For more information about the camera gear we carry, check out our Travel Photography Gear Guide. And tips and tricks for taking great photos in our article How to Take Better Photos while Traveling.
Planning a trip to Vietnam? Read all of our articles in our Vietnam Travel Guide.
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