Hanoi - city between chaos and relaxation


Hanoi is the bustling, almost chaotic capital of Vietnam. The metropolis offers a whole range of sights and is one of our starting points for immersing yourself in the culture of the Southeast Asian country.

Entry Vietnam – Visa on Arrival

As soon as we arrived in Vietnam we had to get our visa. Since we had already given all the data in advance, everything could be processed quite quickly. For processing, five Vietnamese in military uniform sit next to each other and work in an assembly line process. The boss sits behind it at his real wood desk in a smart suit and doesn't lift a finger. So Visa on Arrival works very well, after 20 minutes we had paid the 25 USD and had the visa stuck in our passport. Anyone who has forgotten their passport photos can have their picture taken by a friendly border guard for USD 2 (tested by Chris).

At the immigration counter we met a Pole and a friend who wanted to share a taxi with us to the city center 35 km away. No sooner said than done and after a short negotiation we sat in the car for 400,000 Dong (approx. 13 €).

As soon as we leave the airport, the honking starts. Honking is actually used on all occasions - as an announcement to overtake, as a request to make room or simply as a preventive measure. So, of course, nobody reacts to the honking and just drives as they want. Incidentally, Mackek (the Pole) tried to explain to our driver where exactly we want to go. However, this only ensured that our driver only looked at the map and therefore a few risky evasive maneuvers were necessary. When we were then also told that he would never buckle up because it is safer then, our hope of arriving safely vanished completely. After about 30 minutes (a remarkable feat in this traffic) we reached the "Old Quarter" of Hanoi, contrary to expectations, completely unscathed and without any bumps and were therefore able to start looking for a hotel.

Typische Häuser in Hanoi
Typical houses in Hanoi

Hotelsuche in Hanoi Old Quarter

Here the next problem awaited us. We had received a name and a street from the hotel booking, but they didn't appear on our maps (Google Maps). So we made our way through the streets of Hanoi, always on the alert for approaching cars and mopeds - but without finding a single sign of our hotel or at least the street. After about 20 minutes of pointless running in circles, the motivation was on the ground. Just as we were about to reschedule, we made one last attempt in an unfamiliar alley and... we were lucky. Chris spotted the street sign and so the hotel was quickly found.

Die Gasse zum Hotel
The alley to the hotel

Hanoi Gecko Hotel

Das Hanoi-Gecko-Hotel (der Name unter dem unser Hotel “Sans Souci II” hier geführt wird) ist ein 7 stockiges Gebäude mit ca. 20 Zimmern. Die Einrichtung ist zweckmäßig, aber sauber. Die Zimmer verfügen über eine Minibar, einen Safe und eine Badewanne, die sich als Dusche verwenden lässt. Der Safe ist allerdings nicht mehr als ein metallverstärkter Schuhkarton, den man auch locker mitnehmen kann. Deshalb haben wir uns entschlossen den Safe mit einem Föhn drinnen abzuschließen (um den Einbrecher vorzugaukeln, dass etwas drinnen ist) und unsere Wertsachen hinter dem Kühlschrank zu verstecken – hoffentlich hilft es.

Jadebergtempel am Hoan Kiem See

Nach einer entspannenden Dusche und ein paar Minuten Erholung vom Hupkonzert waren wir auch wieder so weit motiviert unsere Stadterkundung fortzusetzen. Als Erstes besuchten wir den Jadebergtempel am Hoan Kiem See.

Bogenbrücke zum Jadebergtempel
Bogenbrücke zum Jadebergtempel

Hier fallen, neben den vielen Räucherstäbchen, hauptsächlich die eigenwilligen Tempelgaben auf. So darf man nicht verwundert sein, wenn man neben alten Skulpturen und Texten auch Butterkekse, Wasserflaschen oder auch eine Flasche Wodka findet.

Hoan Kiem See

Danach ging es weiter um den Hoan Kiem See herum. Dies ist einer der wenigen stillen (das ist relativ zu sehen – das Hupkonzert ist überall) und erholsamen Orte der Hanoier Innenstadt. Der Ort wurde deshalb auch von vietnamesischen Brautpaaren überrannt. Uns war es so gut wie unmöglich, an der Uferpromenade entlangzulaufen, ohne auf einem Hochzeitsfoto zu landen.

turtle tower

St. Joseph Kathedrale

After a little refreshment at a Mexican (even if some local food stalls look quite tasty, we didn't dare to go today) we then plunged back into the traffic chaos.

street vendor
1A Stromnetz
1A power grid

The contrast between the hectic, sometimes dirty street shops and the quiet, very well-kept temple complexes always strikes you. One of the largest religious buildings is the Catholic St. Joseph Cathedral.

St. Joseph Kathedrale
St. Joseph Kathedrale
In der St. Joseph Kathedrale
Inside St. Joseph Cathedral

Since we were still very upset by the flight, we let the evening end with beers and chips from the 7-eleven shop around the corner and still deal with the pitfalls of blogging.


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