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French Quarter-Old Town-Hanoi: late afternoon/evenging to wander-tour

French Quarter-Old Town-Hanoi: late afternoon/evenging to wander-tour

Old Jan 12th, 2011, 12:55 PM
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French Quarter-Old Town-Hanoi: late afternoon/evenging to wander-tour

I arrive 3:30PM Friday in Feb to Hanoi to pick up on an already arranged tour with friends wht next morning of halong bay/part of hanoi/siem rap ma bang. Staying at the Nikko (not my first choice!). Old Town of Hanoi not part of this tour (abiut forty people). Thinking of going from airport to old town for a few hours before crashing at the nikko. Whats open? Suspect the shops in the early evening. Some pointers what to do, etc. Thank you
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Old Jan 12th, 2011, 01:02 PM
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Jack, will you arrive in Hanoi right from your trans-pacific flight? If so, I'd suggest you need to sleep. If you will have had some time to recover from your jet lag. In any case, at least drop off your luggage and check in to your hotel before heading to the old quarter.

Cafes and shops will be open in the old quarter. I liked to just wander in the old quarter. Take a hotel card with you so you can take a taxi back to your hotel. Ask your hotel which color taxis are ok to take - some have meters set to move very rapidly and will cost you double or triple what it should cost.
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Old Jan 12th, 2011, 01:37 PM
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After dropping off luggage, I would definitely take the time to visit the Old Quarter. You can spend days wandering around and never get bored. There will be plenty of restaurants and shops open. Try some Vietnamese food, wander around the lake after you have seen the Old Quarter and then head back to the room to get a good night sleep before your morning pick up for Halong Bay.
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Old Jan 12th, 2011, 06:35 PM
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I will be in hong kong for two days prior; so no transatlantic flight. Thinking of having a guide for a nominal fee for afew hours before going to the hotel.
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Old Jan 12th, 2011, 07:59 PM
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its fun to just wander around....some things will be open into the even....
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Old Jan 12th, 2011, 10:26 PM
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I agree with Bob. No need for a guide just get a map of the old quarter (guide book or hotel map) and have a wander around. If you need a taxi back to your hotel then there will be plenty around the top of Hoa Kiem Lake close to the old quarter. Lots of great foodstalls and small restaurants around for a snack or meal.
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Old Jan 13th, 2011, 05:50 AM
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There is really no need for a guide in the Old Quarter, but ask your hotel to arrange one if you feel you need it. Also, you will want to check into your hotel before wandering the old quarter, as you'll need to get rid of your luggage. You don't want to try to drag your luggage around the old quarter or leave it in a taxi while you are walking around.
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Old Jan 13th, 2011, 06:24 AM
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one of the best things we did was to take cyclos for an hour or two all around hanoi and the lake.... they will take you into the old quarter too if you ask... we did it at least 3 times.... bargain a bit to get best rate... its cheap and you cover lots of territory
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Old Jan 15th, 2011, 01:56 PM
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sounds interesting what are cyclos: bicycles can you give more details. thank you also advise on 'major' sites
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Old Jan 15th, 2011, 07:18 PM
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a cyclo is a bicycle with a rear std wheel and two front wheels with a comfortable seat hitched to it... rickshaw is another name for it... for comfort use one for each person....bargain
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Old Jan 16th, 2011, 08:06 AM
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Re garding cyclos-concern regarding safety with all those motobikes. Suggestions regarding 'safe' places toeat in the old quarter: worried about diarrhea particuarly with the bmboo sprouts and cilantro in the noodle soups possibly a place completely safe do any restaurant wash these ingredients in boiled water? Also what things to high light to do in the evenings wandering old-town/french town what is the difference?
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Old Jan 16th, 2011, 08:57 AM
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I wouldn't worry too much about safety in a cyclo in the old quarter the cyclo driver know what they are about and you will be comparatively safe IN the cyclo. In fact you are probaly in greater danger just walking about although when crossing any major road it is best just to walk straight and do not, under any circumstances, deviate from your chosen path. I did that once in HCMC and got hit by a motorbike!

As for the safety or otherwise of the food, I love eating at street stalls and the small local restaurants that abound in the old quarter and have never had a problem. The only time I have had a problem was in a 5* hotel where I ate a dodgy prawn at a buffet (to be avoided!). I seriously doubt that any restaurant %* or street stall will wash their ingredients in boiled water.

Not sure how long you are in Hanoi but if it is just the one evening then a visit to the old quarter plus a walk around Hoam Kiem lake (particularly the top end near the old quarter) should be enough to keep you occupied.
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Old Jan 17th, 2011, 03:22 AM
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Do we need light reflective material in the evening or night to safely cross the street in oldtown so the motor bikes do not collide with us or are the streets in this area well lighted?
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