After getting back from HCMC, I flew to Hanoi immediately. Thankfully, I met a Filipina named Ging from Phnom Penh who helped me to grab a cab to domestic airport.
Hanoi is my departure city when I booked my flight. Since I have 2 days left before leaving, I opted a day tour in Ha Long Bay which is 2 hours from Hanoi. To read my Ha Long Bay tour, please click here – Ha Long Bay – Natural Wonder of the World
I spent my last day in Hanoi and this city never failed me. In every travels, I discovered that each places has it’s own charm and splendor. Comparison can help you describe things same with places.
For me, Hanoi stands out than Ho Chi Minh. Hanoi is a place of class and harmony. As Ate Ging told me, Hanoi is where the rich and educated Vietnamese lives unlike of HCMC which she described it as Manila’s Tondo (known as the slum area).
My route in Hanoi:
From our hostel, I started my day at President Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum at Ba Dinh Square, his stilt house and HCMC museum. Clearly, these places are dedicated for President Ho Chi Minh also called as Uncle Ho. At first I was like, “these people treat HCM as a saint!”. The queue to see his remains was extremely long, everywhere you go his faces are there – from street signs, walls, lamp post to towels, shirts, everything! They even named a city after him.
But after all of these curiosities, I learned that HCM was the rock of Vietnam. He reformed everything from government to economy. This man is worth all the praises.
After all the HCM places, I headed to the Fine Arts Museum. I was actually intrigued of what will I see here. I expected infrastructures and great works of engineering in Vietnam. Nonetheless, this museum showcases how fine is the art in this country.
The museum comprises of how Vietnam transforms from their origin, religion, economy and society. You will definitely enjoy if you are enthusiast in history and arts.
Across the Fine Arts Museum is the Temple of Literature. It said that this is the first and one of the oldest universities in Vietnam and Asia.
This place is where Great Confucius taught students of his learning. As a student who loves history up until now, walking in Temple of Literature made me feel like I had a glimpse of knowing this great man.
Confucius is one of my superhero in Asia’s history as he is a man of great quotations.
Here, I met Daniel, another solo traveler from Colombia who just finished his studies in London.
Since I get tired of museums, we decided to visit other places. Indeed, this man was a walking compass! Such a great time knowing him!
With Daniel, we walked from the Temple of Literature to St. Joseph Cathedral.
Unfortunately, it was closed when we arrived.
We walked down to Hoan Kiem Lake. The Lake area reminds me of Luneta Park in Manila. It is a good place just to sit down and take a breath of the old and new perspectives of Hanoi.
We spent almost an hour in exchanging stories. Travelers have the best stories in life if I may say.
While sitting down, we met a group of students. They were in the Lake to practice English with tourists and travelers.
It was fun meeting these students as they are learning and I get closer with locals.
After the Lake, I headed back to my hostel. My map says that my hostel is near the Lake, I decided to walk. Daniel influenced me a lot. HAHA. My flight going back to Manila was by 1AM. While walking, I bought more souvenirs for family and friends and got Ban Mih for dinner. My plan was to eat dinner and take a nap before my flight. Then I realized, I haven’t paid for my room on that night and my airport service!!! Waaaaahh!
At that point, my money is less than 500 Dong. I was like on panic attack that time. My prepaid card is max out and as I knew this was my last day. I almost look for a Filipino to borrow money or for Daniel. #desperatemoves
Gratefully, the hostel reception asked me to pay half of the price of my room. I just need to pack things and leave the room and be at the airport earlier than I expected. Due to my rookie mistake, I left the hostel by 8PM.
Flights get delayed, so staying at the airport made it more uncomfortable. But I was like shaking my head saying, “Oh, Jess! You are amazing” in the most sarcastic way. But definitely, this experience was very useful for my next adventure.