The Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi
The Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi

Charming Hanoi

The Charming Ha Noi of Vietnam Hanoi is the elegant capital city of Vietnam sprawling its way along the Red River banks. There are many lakes, parks and leafy quarters which make the city just freshly green all year round.

Ha Noi was first built in 1010 by King Ly Thai To who checked and found out that Feng-shui here was exceptionally good for the prosperity of the kingdom that time; Ha Noi was called Thanh Long meaning "the city of ascending dragons" then. Ha Noi is among the top lists of destinations for those who long for Vietnam vacations.

The West Lake, Hanoi, Vietnam
The West Lake, Hanoi, Vietnam

Hanoi's architecture is the blend of Vietnamese, Chinese and French. The city is known to the locals as three main areas: The Ancient Citadel Area (11th century) which was home to the Royal Family; The Old Quarter (Ancient Business Area) dating back from the 11th century was the business quarter of Old Hanoi; The Frech Quarter with French architecture dating back from the 19th century as home to French residents of Hanoi during their time here.

The Turtle Tower, Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi, Vietnam
The Turtle Tower, Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi, Vietnam

My family moved into Hanoi when I was 10 years old. The city was too overwhelmed for a boy who had been brought up amid wild and green mountains in the far-northern area of Vietnam. I had been more used to wild buffaloes plowing the green terraces than weaving chaotic traffic always full of mopeds and noise. Our new house was just by the airy and breezy West Lake which offered me a few free dips every summer morning. Every day, after school, I went to Bach Thao Park to seek new adventures with a few newly-made friends. My carefree childhood in Hanoi was full of fun and adventures.

A street vendor in the Old Quarter of Hanoi
A street vendor in the Old Quarter of Hanoi

Autumn in Ha Noi is like no others. It was here that autumn changed my life! I found myself waking up one morning caressed by the soothing breeze of fall with the news that I got admission to university! I ran for my bike and flew like a crazy boy down Thanh Nien Road to meet with other buddies for the coffee of celebration. That morning never fades out in my memory...

Young girls selling tea by the Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi
Young girls selling tea by the Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi

Seasons after seasons, I grew up with Ha Noi. The city seems to share the same rhythms with my heart and soul: be it when gathering with friends in the city parks; be it when mulling over my favorite hot coffee amid the old Town; be it the late nights I tumbled my way back home from the heavy Bia Hoi Stuff (draft beer)...

Young girls by Hanoi Cathedral
Young girls by Hanoi Cathedral

I'm about for an new adventure of life when my new project calls for my presence half of the country away from Ha Noi. Amazingly Ha Noi is heading into fall earlier than usual. I just wanted to take in as much as I could before leaving...Morning started with a walk in the chaotic Old Quarter watching traffic weaving through the smoke of my dear hot coffee as always. I suddenly didn't want to do anything, just liked to keep it this way forever. The sudden rain just set in and stopped, just like to bid farewell.

Leaving Ha Noi this time I'm sure I'll be away for a while. I'm off back to the mountains researching the new Vietnam holiday experiences. I'll help to bring all Vietnam travel experiences be it savoring the fine cuisine, be it getting lost in the culture; be it a hardcode biking adventure.... a complete one!