After a 16-hour train ride from Da Nang we finally made it to Hanoi, the capital city, and loved it instantly. In Hanoi you can feel like you’re in two continents at once. You can sit in a French cafe and sip espresso, then step outside and buy a Vietnamese sandwich from a street vendor.
The city is full of great cafes (you have to try a coconut ice cream coffee) and restaurants. The alleyways are lively, the streets aren’t as crazy as in Ho Chi Minh City, and the architecture is beautiful (very Euopean-esque). There’s a gorgeous cathedral just like Notre Dame in Paris and we just happened to arrive on Palm Sunday. People were spilling out of the church that’s how crowded it was.
There are also lakes within the city with walking trails, kind of like Ottawa. This was a great way to finish off our time in Vietnam.