Monday, August 27, 2012

Day 2: Hanoi-Halong

It was a Friday on our second in Hanoi, the day which we would be doing a bit of sightseeing before we left for Ha Long. The hotel’s breakfast was great – we had a variety of choices and the food tasted good. And since we were not coming back to the hotel to get our things, we checked-out really early that day.


Our first destination was Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. This is the final resting place of Vietnamese great father or uncle Ho President Ho Chi Minh's stilt house. Since it was a Friday, the place was closed. This place is closed on Mondays and Fridays only. Also, it will be closed in October and November. The day was really hot and sunny. Glad that the place was closed and that we do not have to join the queue to enter the mausoleum.


Instead, we went to visit Ho Chi Minh's Vestige in the Presidential Palace Area. This relic complex has become vital memories connecting to President Ho Chi Minh's 15 years of living and working from December 1954 to September 1969. Visitors will see the presidential palace, fishpond, orchard, cars, the house of 1954 and especially the historic house-on-stilts of Ho Chi Minh which symbolizes his living way of simplicity, modesty, gentleness and dedication for the nation and the people.


Our last sight-seeing before lunchtime was Temple of Literature. This temple is the oldest university in Vietnam, constructed in 1076. There are five courtyards include beautiful gardens, walls inscribed with the names of scholars, several altars and a small museum. The place was packed with local Vietnamese graduates that day. I guess there was a graduation going on and the students came here celebrating their graduation.


After lunch at Lion City, our journey to Halong started. It took us one afternoon to reach our destination though we made a short stop in between for a break. We were relieved that we are not staying at Golden Ha Long Hotel as we read a lot of negative reviews on that hotel. Instead, we stayed a night at New Star Ha Long Hotel, a new hotel in town.

After our dinner at a local restaurant, some of us went for a Vietnamese massage and man, I prefer Thai Massage a lot more. Since there was no activities after, the boyfriend, his friend and I, as usual, took a walk around the hotel in search for local food. We had roti kebab and seafood by the roadside before we called it a day.

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