Day 11 – Hanoi 🇻🇳

We’re having an extra day than we had planned in Hanoi due to our Halong Bay Cruise being tomorrow. This morning we walked over to find the bigger lake (West Lake) in the city.. it was a little bit misty or smoggy and smelled a bit, so we weren’t too keen but wanted to check it out for our selves. 

After that we went to visit the Hanoi Prison Museum. The French kept Vietnamese prisoners here in colonial times and then American POWs during the Vietnam War. 

We both found this museum really interesting. After an hour or so in there we went to find Fanny Ice-Cream which was recommended in Lonely Planet as the best place for ice cream in Hanoi… and treated ourselves to some fancy Fanny Sundaes. 

We then went to find somewhere for lunch and found another little Bahn Mi shop (Vietnamese Baguette) We really enjoyed these whilst in Hanoi, and they were a really cheap way to get a tasty lunch, both of us ate and had a drink for about £2 

In the afternoon we went to Ho Kiem Lake again, which was all closed off from traffic for another graduation event, which made it a bit more peaceful, despite the crowds of people. On the lake there is a rare breed of tortoise which is a sacred animal in Buddhist culture. Over a pretty red bridge is a small island which has a temple dedicated to the Tortoise. Inside the building is the preserved body of the largest one ever found in the Lake (which was pretty big) and died in 2004. The island had a lovely pagoda which looked out on to the water. 

On the evening we went for dinner at a restaurant just around the corner from our hotel. With an early night to prepare and pack for our early start tomorrow.