Day 2 – Breakfast at Pho Thin > Hoan Kiem Lake > Water Puppet Show > dinner at La Place > overnight train to Lao Cai
A trip to Vietnam would not be completed without eating Pho. There are a lot of positive reviews about this local pho place called Pho Thin and it is the perfect place to have our 1st meal. The restaurant is full of locals and only beef pho is served here. As soon as you sit down, the server will deliver the pho in front of you.
This pho place is packed with locals. We were the only tourists there.
The beef pho is a bit different from the normal pho I had. I think this is the Northern Vietnamese style pho. It is full of spring onion & some other herbs. I’m not a big fan of it as I hate spring onion. 1 bowl will cost you VND 50,000 (around USD2.5) I still think the pho I had in Montreal Chinatown is the best pho I’ve ever had.
Address: 13 Pho Lo Duc, Hanoi
We took a walk around the city after our meal.
Hanoi Opera House near our hotel (few mins walk from hotel)
Ngoc Son Temple (Temple of the Jade Mountain) located near the northern part of the Hoan Kiem Lake
Once you paid the entry fee, you will cross the bridge to get to the temple.
We bought the tickets for the 1:45pm water puppet show at Thang Long Puppet Theatre
We walked around at the Old Town before the show.
We ordered 2 weasel coffee (cat poop coffee) at Vilan coffee. It tastes ok. Not sure if it is authentic as it easily cost you US$30 per cup in hotel or coffee shop in Hong Kong when it only cost us less than US$2 in Hanoi.
Time for some Vietnamese snack – banh cuon (the pork roll). Banh Cuon Gia Truyen is famous for their Banh Cuon in Old Quarter. It lives up to it’s reputation. I definintely love their pork roll.
Banh Cuon Gia Truyen
Address: 14 Pho Hang Ga, Old Quarter, Hanoi
The water puppet show is better than my expection. It worths to pay a visit.
Motorbikes are everywhere in Hanoi. You would be scared to cross the street but after a day or two you would get used to it.
St Joseph’s Cathedral in Hanoi
We had a quick bite at the La Place next to the Cathedral before catching the train. The food is so-so. The restaurant gives out free frozen lemon mint when you check-in with Four Square.
Train to Lao Cai
We rush to Kangaroo Cafe after dinner to get picked up to the Hanoi train station. There were 3 other people who booked the same tour as we did. The train departure at 8:35pm from Hanoi and arrives in Lao Cai at around 5am. The tour included round trip train ticket by Livitran. The cabin is really basic and not very hygenic. You will have to share with others (we shared the cabin with the couple who booked the tour from Kangaroo Cafe). Apparently Victoria Express is the most luxury train from Hanoi to Lao Cai. Most of their cabins are the 4 berths ones & only 1-2 cabins with 2 berths. Their round trip ticket for 4berths cabin will cost about US$170. Oh well, I shouldn’t be complaining as our tour cost US$129 per head & includes almost everything. I told myself 8 hrs is not that long and it should be better than taking economy class flight. At least I get the flat bed…