Hello again! I have been thinking about doing a vlog after The Cupcake Girl Goes Solo in Vietnam+Cambodia series is over. Maybe you guys can send me some ideas or questions you want me to answer. Send me a message and put #CupcakeGirlVlog on the first line so I can keep it in my inbox. I’d like to not plan my answers before doing the video. 🙂
I was walking along Hung Vuong and this girl chatted me up and I thought she was being friendly. I responded in kind, but apparently, she wanted to sell me stuff. $1 for 5 pcs of postcards. Yes, that IS cheap but seriously? I refused and she followed me until I got to Quan Thanh Temple (VND 10,000).
This is one of the four sacred temples built in each of the cardinal directions to protect Hanoi’s citadel from evil spirits.
Koi fishes in this fountain, uhh, pond?
Huyen Thien Tran Vu.
I had Cong Caphe in my list of cafes to try in Hanoi because I was told they have really good coffee and knew that they had a branch in Dien Bien Phu street. I thought it was nearer, hence, I walked. And walked. And walked.
I didn’t see any tourists but I saw a lot of interesting stuff, though. Such as more yellow buildings and a lot of luxury cars driving by.
I was so happy when I finally saw this sign because it meant I was in the right direction. I have been walking in 39-degree weather and my brain have started to get sun-fried, so I honestly swore to myself that if the coffee was bad, I’d leave a scathing review on the travel blog that recommended it. Hahaha!
I am a huge fan of quirky cafes and this was a hit. I don’t understand some of the items in the menu (it was in Vietnamese) so I just pointed out photos of drinks that looked interesting. This was Coffee with Coconut Smoothie which I never knew would be such an interesting and flavorful combination!
Lime Smoothie – please note that this is not the name that was on the menu. Haha!
After spending VND 90,000 at Cong Caphe, I went to Cot Co Tower. The photo below is NOT of the tower (just an FYI you guys haha).
Cot Co Tower is right across Lenin Park. The park was captivating, to say the least. It was delightful to watch how a normal weekend in Hanoi is to its’ residents. Teenagers of different races were skateboarding, playing football, and hanging out with their friends. Our looks and culture may vary on the outside, but we all are similar in more ways than we know.
By the time I finished taking photos in Lenin Park, I only had 30 minutes to climb the Cot Co tower. I decided not to proceed since I really do not enjoy having to rush when touring. Hence, I decided to go to the Ancient Citadel. I walked the length of Nguyen Tri Phuong as illustrated in the map from City Pass Hanoi City Guide. However, when I tried going to Cua Dong street, a guard who unsurprisingly did not know how to speak English and had mistaken me for a Korean (I’ve stopped counting at this point), was gesturing for me to cross the road. I was pointing to the map, but he kept shaking his head and had started ushering me to the opposite side. I ended walking to Phan Dinh Phung street which was quite far.. Ugh! Out of frustration and hunger, I made a decision to head to Thien Phat Vegetarian Restaurant in Hang Hanh street. Only to find out that it was already closed for business! T_T I ended up at the adjacent restaurant, Buon Dua Le Cafe. My first order was of Coconut Yogurt with ice.
I had the chicken curry with rice. Sorry to say, it was a bit bland but everything is delicious when you’re famished.
I was paying for my meal (VND 160,000) when Thuy asked me where I came from. She literally squealed when I told her I’m from the Philippines because she’s a Kath Niel fan! She’s now a Facebook friend and we keep in touch – I update her when they have new projects so she could watch it online. Hah!
It’s not even a quarter of my trip to Vietnam but I have already met a lot of interesting and genuinely nice Vietnamese people in Hanoi. The atmosphere is pretty similar to the environment I grew up in at home. You have to be very careful to avoid petty theft and there are a lot of people who is looking out to take away your hard earned money. But just like any other city, not everyone is like that at all. You just have to take the good and the bad and enjoy the authentic experience. 🙂