Today I am off to fascinating city of Hanoi on a writing trip for four days. I’m really looking forward to spending time in This wonderful green city.

Early Morning at the Airport

I had an early flight which meant me getting up at 4.45 to Get to the airport. The last time I went to the airport on my motorbike the guys in the bike park had moved it about 100 yards upon my return. I spent about 45 minutes looking for it among to 10,000 others. Why they do this is anyone’s guess. So today I decided to do things differently. I rode to the train station, where there is a really secure small parking space. I then jumped in a taxi and finished the journey.

A very quiet Tan Son Nhat Airport

I arrived at the airport in ample time and was pleasantly surprise to see it less crammed than usual. I sat down with a coffee and a blueberry muffin and chilled out as I waited for my two hour flight to the nation’s capital city. Check in and security went faster than normal and I was soon seated in the departure lounge failing to snooze because of the constant stream of gate change announcements coming over the PA system. I don’t know what it is with Tan Son Nhat Airport but it seems that about 70% of flights experience gate changes.

Domestic departure lounge at Tan Son Nhat

First Impressions of the City of Hanoi

By business associate was there at the airport to transfer me to wonderful city of Hanoi. The completion of the new highway and the impressive Nhat Tan Bridge has cut the journey time into town from the airport, dramatically. It used to be quite a hassle taking up to 90 minutes. Now depending on traffic it can be achieved in about 30 minutes.

he new bridge over the Red River

The first impressions one gets normally when arriving in the city of Hanoi is that it is a very green city, and today was no different. There are so many beautiful tree-lined streets and parks as we are driving in. We had hardly got into the city when we were pulled over by a traffic cop. He reckoned we were driving in the motorbike lane. The “coffee money” paid, we continued on to the Legend Cafe, one of the really famous cafe’s in the city of Hanoi. It’s right on Hoan Kiem Lake. We sat, drank coffee, talked business and had lunch. This was actually our second choice for a coffee, the first choice proved impossible to park and after about 45 minutes we gave up.

Another tree-lined avenue
This would have been nice
More trees and more traffic
I don’t know why, but I really liked this tree
Buses waiting at Hoan Kiem Lake, viewed from the Legend Cafe.

Time to Eat

We both went with the spaghetti sea food which filled a corner in a very satisfying manner. I then checked into my hotel. In an amazing coincidence my client had booked me into the same hotel as I booked myself into 3 years ago whilst in the capital city of Hanoi on a holiday with friends. Even more spooky I got the same room!

This is all pedestrianised at the weekends, though it was quiet today


Simple but tasty food
Face masks
Hundreds of hotels in Hanoi but I managed to get the same one


A very Vietnamese looking shop

I crashed on the bed for an afternoon nap, then rose refreshed ready to hit town.  More in part 2.

I have been developing the InSeAsia website for three years. It genuinely is a labour of love. I have lived in Southeast Asia for 9 years and have no plans to ever leave.

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