One of the main reasons we wanted to visit Vietnam to begin with was to take in the sites of Ha Long Bay. In order to get there, we had to station out of Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam.
Hanoi was my favorite area of Vietnam. We stayed at the Hanoi Brilliant Hotel & Spa, formerly known as Hanoi Morgans Hotel. It was very conveniently located around the corner from Hoàn Kiém Lake. Around the lake was tons of shopping, dining, photo ops, museums, and political buildings. Not to mention, for the first time during our trip, it wasn’t SCALDING HOT OUTSIDE. In fact, it was actually jeans and jacket weather once the sun went down. A much needed relief for us spoiled San Diegans.
At night, the square near the lake would fill with street performers, street vendors, people dancing, children playing, tourists gawking and much more. It was great to walk through the square and feel the energy of everything that was going on around us. It definitely helped us work up an an appetite and we happened to walk by a cantonese restaurant called Fu Rong Hua. It was a sign from the food gods. We were getting some Dim Sum, baby!
The following day, we explored some of the surrounding areas and visited the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum where we saw the changing of the guards, Hanoi Botanical Gardens, Ba Dinh Square, and a couple other historical sites that we happened to wander upon.