Listen, if you are a U.S. passport holder, you NEED a visa to visit Vietnam and although there is an E-visa option, it'd be in your best interest to get it AHEAD of time. Once you apply, you'll receive a "Visa On Arrival" letter in the mail. You'll take that to Visa Immigration at the aiport, give it to them, and then receive your visa to enter the country to the tune of $25 USD. Don't be like me. Due to a miscommunication I believed I'd be able to log on, pay for the visa, and have it within 30 seconds as a download....NOPE. I ended up paying $200 and a maybe a couple of tears for a rushed visa. Had I not been able to fly to Vietnam, I probably would have just found a cruise, booked it, and then Yelp-researched for reputable weed-man to help me deal with that stress. (Just kidding. Not a smoker, not a stresser. Things always work out like they should!)
RAIN, RAIN GO AWAY
It rained for the entirety of my time in Hanoi and while I do love a good rainfall, I hate being in it. Despite the steady downpour, I still enjoyed my time in Hanoi wandering around the Old Quarter.
I'd heard so much about Vietnamese Egg Coffee, so I decided to give that a go. Egg coffee contains raw egg that has been whipped with condensed milk and sugar to form a thick marshmallow froth that sits atop the coffee, and I couldn't get past it....initially. After trying a second cup followed by a third, I fell in LOVE! So, yes! Try googling to see if Vietnamese Egg Coffee is served in your local city....if not, find a recipe and knock yourself out making it. Yum!
During my time there I took in the Water Puppet Show and won't lie and say that I enjoyed it. Perhaps if I had knowledge and command of the Vietnamese language it--the show itself--would have been more enjoyable, but hey. I would advise anyone to go see a Water Puppet Show while in Vietnam simply for the exposure; You'll be able to put 2 and 2, maybe 3, together to figure out what's going on.
I celebrated my recent December birthday in Hanoi! On the morning of my special day I made my way down the stairs of my hostel after packing for my late-afternoon flight and met, Elaine. After chatting, I told her that it was my birthday and her response was GOLDEN. "Let's go for cake and champagne! I love birthday celebrations!" Mind you, this around 7 a.m. The cake we found. The champagne, not so much.
After cake we tried going for one last cup of Egg Coffee but were unable to enjoy it due to both of us needing to get to the airport.
Heading to Hanoi?
Be sure to Check out The Temple of Literature, Egg Coffee, and last but not least, The Water Puppet Show!