Day 1 – Check in > Kangaroo Cafe > dinner at Porte d’Annam > walk around Old Town
Our flight departure time should be at 15:50 but it was delayed for 1 hr. I heard flight delay is quite common for Hong Kong Airlines. I have to say I am a big fan of Cathay Pacific or Dragonair but the cheap ticket deal from Hong Kong Airlines is irresistable. We didn’t have high expectations for the flight and didn’t complaint too much about the delay.
It took about 45mins car ride from airport to downtown Hanoi. By the time we got to our hotel, it was around 6pm already. We were staying at Hotel de l’Opera in Hoan Kiem District. The location is superb and it is near the most famous & probably the best hotel in town – Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi but the room rate is much cheaper.
We were lucky enough to get an upgrade to their suite.
The bed is a bit high & the mattress is not very comfy. Other than that, I was happy with the hotel.
Hotel de l’Opera
The hotel is under the M Gallery brand of Accor Hotel Group. Guests can enjoy free Wifi in room & all areas in the hotel.
Address: 29 Trang Tien, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
As soon as we dropped our luggages at the hotel, we rushed to Kangaroo Cafe to pay for our Sapa trip. It is one of the most reputable travel agent in Hanoi and it is recommended by many travel guides. Originally I wanted to book the package with Victoria Express Train & 1 night stay at Victoria Sapa Resorts but it is quite pricey (at least US$300 per head). We picked the 3Nights 2Days tour from Kangaroo cafe which cost US$129 per head in the end!!!
The tour included the round trip train tickets from Hanoi to Lao Cai by Livitran Train, pick up from train station to hotel in Sapa, 2 half day guided tour, 1 night accomodation at Cat Cat View Hotel with breakfast. Do not expect anything fancy with the price of US$129 per head but I was quite happy with the package. It provides cozy accomodation & includes almost everything. It is really good value for money.
You can send an email to ask for itinerary & package rate before getting there. Make sure you let them know your arrival time and they will help you to reserve the package without making any deposit in advance. They only accept cash for the tour so please bring enough USD for the tour.
Address: No 22 Bao Khanh St Hanoi
After we paid for our package to Sapa, we went to Porte d’annam for dinner. It is a Vietnamese restaurant opened by the French famous chef Didier Corlou. The restaurant is located near the St Joseph’s Cathedral and it is quite easy to find.
We ordered the assorted tapas, the duck & crab meat omelette with young rice (highly recommended) and we were quite happy with the meal.
Address: 22 Nha Tho, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Opening hours: 11am to 11pm everyday
We took a walk at the weekend market in the Old Town before heading back to hotel.