Hanoi Ahoy

Regular readers of this site may be aware that I keep a fruitless and ultimately masochistic vigil over what’s happening in London. Normally, finding out that I could watch Calexico and Iron & Wine at the Forum if I were in London on 23 April would be a KNNBCCB moment.

But tonight I’m actually able to take it philosophically, because on 23 April I shall be returning from a trip to Hanoi with Alec, the only travel beyond Bintan and KL we’ll have done together since he moved here.¹ Needless to say I’m very much looking forward to it, and if you’ve got any Hanoi travel tips, do share!


¹ This isn’t at all from want of trying or interest, it’s just that circumstances have conspired in the worst of ways in the past year to prevent us travelling for any decent length of time together. First I was doing my pupillage, which you can’t take leave from. Then I finished my pupillage but he’d just started a new job, so I went travelling in Europe alone. Then he was finally able to take leave but I’d just started my new job, so he went travelling in Europe alone. But from April onwards we should finally be able to start escaping Singapore on a regular basis, and thank God for that.


  1. hanoi is sehr nice.
    but most people use it as a base to get out to Halong Bay or the surrounding regions. I went to Tam Coc and Hoa Lu, both of which are interesting and good to get out to.

    eat lots of good food. there’s an amazing bun cha shophouse that the locals know about – four storeys, winding staircase, plenty of fried pork-rolls goodness and huge plates of salads.

  2. Chansidines are going hanoi on 14th April weekend, so I should be able to give u tips after that.

    And will be checking out this blog comments for tips for us too!

    Happy Holidays!

  3. Hey- Went to Hanoi as part of my honeymoon and absolutely adored it. Only thing negative was being caught in a school of jellyfish out in Halong Bay (beautiful, but deadly).

    Have a fantastic time!

  4. I loved the cafes at Hanoi. When the sun gets too hot, just pop into any one of them cafes and have a beer (I liked a particular Puku Cafe). Oh, and the local treats like Pho and their version of tau hui served by the roadside.

    And of course, you’ll have to go see the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. : )

  5. Well at least that’s 1 person’s ass I don’t need to kick! (Matt, go for both gigs!) I don’t know about you Pumpkineyes, but I can’t actually listen to Dead Man’s Will without ending it with tears in my eyes. (Even in public.) Hearing it live would be wonderful but a little embarrassing for me, I think.

    Thanks to everyone who’s offered tips so far!

    Shao: I don’t have enough time to go to Sapa but the Temple of Literature’s very high on my list of things to see.

    Mayee: Given that I find the sun too hot pretty much ALL THE TIME, I think I shall need to spend a lot of time in cafes drinking lots of beer. :)

    a1: Any address for bun cha place? Oh by the way, I finally went to Mai and thought it was pretty damn good!

    Kelly: Cool, hope you guys have a great time. Tell Patrick to please leave SOME beer in Vietnam for Alec and I. :P

    Tamara: Yeep. Knowing me I’d probably have assumed the jellyfish were used condoms or something and ignored them. I’ll be on the lookout then.

  6. Hello Arthur! Yes, you HAVE to go, although I think this gig will probably be more muted than the awesome mariachi party a Calexico gig normally is. Best case scenario: they each do solo sets before they perform together. Go go go!

    Gaaaargh I’m so jealous. This month in Singapore is apparently a great month for indie because we have Franz Ferdinand and Kings Of Convenience. And even as starved as I am for good gigs here, I still couldn’t bring myself to buy a ticket for either gig.

  7. Hello Michelle! FF and KOC are not my thing either… I best not expand on my thoughts though, especially about KOC, or a certain little notchy will kick my ass ;)

  8. Heh. Discretion was definitely the better part of valour there, Arthur. :p

    Actually, I’m being unfair to the gig scene in Singapore. We also had the Backstreet Boys earlier this year. And although I didn’t go to that either, it did occur to me that the Backstreet Boys have made many more songs I like than either FF or KoC…

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