Thursday, October 16, 2014

Hanoi Trip 2014 – Day 1

It was September 2009 when I first visited Vietnam (see the blog post here) but I only stayed one day in Hanoi. My only purpose that time was to experience the Halong Bay cruise. So after five years, I decided to come back and spend more time in the country's capital. Good thing I have some colleagues/friends who accommodated me very well and were so kind to provide me a quick but wonderful experience in this beautiful city. I landed on 27th of June at around twelve in the afternoon and since I didn't get much sleep, I made a quick nap in the hotel before meeting the guys.


The hotel I chose was very close to the Vietnam office so I was able to see it and for the first time, meet the rest of the guys. I have known Ha, Son and Cuong during our onsite project in Oman. So, I met Tu, Tung and incidentally, Elena was also there whom I've already met in Dubai office (she is from Russia office). Another guy, Dung, was out of the office that time but I was able to meet him the next day. After that quick "hi and hello", Tu accompanied me to walk around the Hoàn Kiếm Lake.


Hoàn Kiếm Lake is historical lake in the central Hanoi. The name means "Lake of the Returned Sword" and it is one of the major tourist spots in the capital. Tu and I took one round of walking and the sight of each step was marvelous. The calm lake was so beautiful that the reflection of the trees and a small light from the sun created a scene of magnificence. The dead big turtle was also on display and Tu told me that there was one remaining huge turtle inhabits the lake.


After more than an hour, we came back to the office. After few more minutes, their office hours were finished so it was time for dinner! Haha. Unfortunately, Tung was unable to join us for some reason. So we went to this restaurant and ordered some foods. But most importantly, an overflowing beer was required. The place was filled with customers and our table was also filled with beer! When they say 'Cheers!', you have no choice but to lift your mug and drink even though you just drank a minute before that. The foods were good but I think the beers were better; it was my first time to taste a black beer.


There was a stage that was setup during that time and of course with a stage, comes performers. There were singing and dance numbers. See the video above as a sample of what you can expect in this restaurant.


After that sumptuous dinner, the night wasn't done yet. We went to this karaoke bar and sang our lungs out. The difference of their karaoke bar in Hanoi is that you have to list down the songs that you want to sing and give it to a staff so that they can load it into your room's video system. They didn't have a prepared list of songs where you can select and choose a number. Nevertheless, we still enjoyed that singing moment. Our song selection included classic, boy band and love songs.


Oh no, the night didn't end yet after that, Ha, Elena and I went to a bar to have some cocktail and enjoy music. The bar's name was 'The Bank' and it was packed with a lot of people. Their DJ was a foreigner but the sounds and lights were great and flashy. And yes, after that, we got tired and sleepy so we decided to call it a night. Besides, my day 2 in Hanoi required me to wake up early for a road trip.

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