Go: An afternoon in Hanoi

After spending the morning in Hanoi wandering, people watching, and drinking coffee, I decided I should do something at least a little cultural in the afternoon.  So I headed for one of the historic houses.  I chose Ngoi Nha Disan on Ma May Street.

For a small entry fee you can wander this vestige of old Hanoi.  To be fair, the house comes across more like a souvenir shop than a museum.  However, it is beautiful and there are some interesting displays of traditional handicrafts, along with some explanations (in English) of both the traditional houses and the handicrafts.  I would recommend a visit.

The famous water puppets!

In the evening, we  headed off to see those little water puppets in action. 

If you want to see a water puppet show, buy your tickets early, as the popular timeslots sell out.  We got our hotel to organise the tickets and paid the face value of VND100,000 (or US$5).  There are cheaper tickets available if you don't mind sitting further back.  To be honest, I wasn't that impressed with the show but I did enjoy seeing traditional musical instruments played.

What I liked best though, was wandering through the city and around the lake, soaking up our last evening in Hanoi.

For anyone that's interested, we stayed at the auspiciously named Pearl Suites Grand Hotel in Hanoi.  We booked through Agoda which offered a much better rate than that offered directly by the hotel. Contrary to what the name might suggest, the hotel is very compact, but the rooms are spacious.  The location is good, down a little street off the busy Ma May Street and walking to distance to everywhere we wanted to go.  The staff were beyond helpful and the transfer from the airport to the hotel was smooth and efficient.  When we left, the staff readily provided accurate information on all our transport options (not just the ones provided by the hotel), including the bus.

The breakfast was great.  A small but ample buffet and a wide range of hot food made to order, including the best french toast I've had in Asia.

Our "view"

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