48 Hours in Hanoi [with kids] | Part Two

Fun Flying Four 48 Hours in Hanoi (1 of 1)Our second day started pretty similar to the day before; breakfast at the hotel, with one minor difference; there was no power!  The entire block was without power as something somewhere was getting repaired.

Citadel, Hanoi, Vietnam

Citadel, Hanoi, Vietnam

Fear not, the hotel were fully prepared; they lit candles and placed them everywhere, any room that was vacant they opened up to let as much natural light into the hallways and somehow they still managed to serve up a decent breakfast.

Eden loves to pose!

Eden loves to pose!

Eden thought having a candle lit breakfast was pretty awesome, and to be honest it was!

Fun Flying Four, Hanoi

We ordered a taxi (via our hotel) to take us to the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long; the former residence of the Vietnamese monarchs, where upon exiting the taxi every banknote and card fell out of Matt’s wallet and into the drain!

Fun Flying Four 48 Hours in Hanoi

He managed to rescue everything apart from one I.D. card but luckily it happened right in front of a group of guys and one of them fished it out for him!

these stairs were super steep!

these stairs were super steep!

The Citadel, while not quite as big as Hue’s (more on that another day) was beautiful and despite the heat we enjoyed walking around and we got some great views of the flag tower too!

notice the flag tower in the distance?

notice the flag tower in the distance?

I particularly loved the bright colors and rustic charm of the place.

Fun Flying Four 48 Hours in Hanoi

Since we were in the area we decided to walk to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, of course we approached it from the wrong direction (the Presidential Palace side) and some guards nearly chased us down!

I can not remember what this was about, probably Eden tickling Matt or something silly!

I can not remember what this was about, probably Eden tickling Matt or something silly!

Thankfully some nice passerby quickly told us our mishap and we scurried away keeping the guards happy.

Fun Flying Four 48 Hours in Hanoi (9 of 25)

It was clear that the lines were super long, it was hot and we weren’t all that fussed about going into the Mausoleum anyway so we found a place to order some cold drinks and just watched from afar, it was good enough for us!

Fun Flying Four 48 Hours in Hanoi

If we return to Hanoi, which I sure hope we do, we will probably brave the lines and head inside!

this was her "we doing more walking, how about we stay here a little longer' look!

this was her “we doing more walking, how about we stay here a little longer’ look!

Once we were a tiny bit refreshed we walked some more to the iconic One Pillar Pagoda, where everyone who wasn’t at the Mausoleum happened to be!  The temple, constructed of wood, sits on a single stone pillar and is designed to represent a lotus bloom.

I am not entirely sure where is was taken, I thought the Temple of Literature but now not so sure

We found a perch in front of the pagoda, people watched and had some more refreshments; we had a lot of refreshment breaks the entire trip!

One Pillar Pagoda, Hanoi, Vietnam

One Pillar Pagoda, Hanoi, Vietnam

You would think we would have had enough of walking but we are suckers for punishment so we hoofed it over to one last stop before nap time; the beautiful Temple of Literature.

Fun Flying Four 48 Hours in Hanoi (15 of 25)

Within the grounds are 5 courtyards, either the first or second contain animals cut out of shrubs which the girls loved to look at!

Temple of Literature, Hanoi, Vietnam

Temple of Literature, Hanoi, Vietnam

We were almost going to skip this temple but decided since we were already in the area we should go; Matt & I are both so pleased we did, it was definitely our favorite stop that day.

Fun Flying Four 48 Hours in Hanoi (17 of 25)

Then we decided it was time to head back to the hotel for naps!  Knowing it was going to be about a half hour walk back to our hotel, probably longer because we were still newbies when it came to crossing roads, we opted to return the way we came, by taxi.

my little explorer...usually always up ahead

my little explorer…usually always up ahead

We were extremely apprehensive about doing this because we had heard the stories and read the guidebooks in that it is easy to get overcharged in taxis.  So we thought it best to return using the same company that the hotel used.  Unfortunately, there were none to be seen.

Fun Flying Four 48 Hours in Hanoi (21 of 25)

In the end we risked it and sadly our gut feelings were right!  While the driver assured us his taxi was metered, and it was, his meter was completely rigged.

Fun Flying Four 48 Hours in Hanoi (22 of 25)

I was literally in the backseat watching the fare go from 20,000 VND to 200,000 VND and then when I loudly pointed it out to Matt, it would go back down to 100,000 VND.

Fun Flying Four 48 Hours in Hanoi (23 of 25)

As soon as we recognized where we were we asked to be let out.  What did we end up paying…270,000 VND ($12) and what did we pay for our taxi ride earlier that day to the same general area; 65,000 ($2.90) and that included a tip! Lesson well and truly learnt.

Fun Flying Four 48 Hours in Hanoi (24 of 25)

From here on in we always asked our hotel to order us a cab and we would make sure to always return using that same company.  Only once did we have to remind the driver to turn the meter on and it is probably no surprise but I would watch every meter like a hawk.

Fun Flying Four 48 Hours in Hanoi

After naps we literally just did what we did the day before and walked around the Old Quarter, it truly is amazing to do.

Fun Flying Four 48 Hours in Hanoi (25 of 25)

Worth a mention is the beer and ice-cream stop we made at Ooh! LaLa  on another one of those refreshment breaks we had! Perfect place for families with something for everyone!

That sums up our 48 hours in Hanoi, other than the food, which was amazing and delicious and has my mouth watering just thinking about it.

My food photography is terrible so no photos but we ate a lot of street food and particularly loved the DIY BBQ which had the most amazing dipping sauce.

Did we get to everything on our list? NO!

Was 2 days long enough? NO!

Were we excited to be leaving the busyness of the city, even if for only a day, YES! I can’t wait to share more details of that adventure next week!

48 hours in Hanoi – part 2 

  • Imperial Citadel of Thang Long (8.30am – 11.30am/2pm – 5pm, 30,000 VND adult ($1.30) children under 15 free)
  • Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (8.00am – 11.am, closed M&F, free – check regulations before going)
  • One Pillar Pagoda
  • Temple of Literature (8.00am – 5.00pm, adult 30,000 VND ($1.30) children under 15 free)

Just in case you missed it you can find here is a link to PART ONE

Linking up to Travel Tuesday

Travel Tuesday Bumble Bee Mum

14 responses to “48 Hours in Hanoi [with kids] | Part Two

  1. Hannah, I just discovered your blog as I was researching details on Minna Jima. Anyway, my girlfriend and I just bought tickets to Vietnam for a trip in November, and I would love to get details about hotels, transfers, tours, etc…

    I love the blog. Looks like you guys are truly discovering everything the region has to offer. May I send you an email for further details about Vietnam?

  2. You know.. I’m REALLY tempted to fly to Vietnam after reading your posts. Somehow Vietnam has never been a country I would think of bringing my kids to, despite it being so near to Singapore. But I feel slightly swayed reading about your trip with the kids. Looking forward to your next adventure!

    • You should totally do it! We all loved it. Have you been to Cambodia? Matt & I preferred Vietnam but I think the kids probably preferred Cambodia!

      • Cambodia??? Wow… That would be really exotic. I have the impression that Vietnam is safer than Cambodia, not sure how true that is though. Just a feel.

      • After Vietnam we headed to Cambodia, I didn’t feel unsafe but we were definitely warned a lot more to watch out for our belongings etc, even whilst riding in the tuktuks…the drivers would often tell us to put our legs through the bag straps etc

  3. We’re leaving for Hanoi, Hoi An, and Cambodia tomorrow. Your blog has been invaluable in our planning. Thank you!
    As an aside, I’m kicking myself because when I saw you and your adorable girls at the MGS Annex today, I thought you looked familiar but couldn’t quite place you. It later hit me that I had been following your adventures on your blog! Would have loved to thank you in person.

    • Oh Beth that is so unbelievably exciting I am very jealous! You’ll have a fabulous time! Too funny, I hope the girls were behaving lol! Sometimes I forget that people might actually read my blog!!

      • I wish I could have picked your brain for last minute hints and tips. We’re so excited and feel quite comfortable with our plans thanks to your blog.
        The girls were perfect. I hope they enjoy their “fancy” pillows.

      • They love the pillows!! My only advice would be too eat all that you can in Vietnam the food is awesome (& when you return and missing the food let me know as we just discovered a Vietnamese place!)

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