Hanoi Discovery with Gregory and Malaika

Hanoi is one of the most favourite destinations for foreign toutists. Coming to Hanoi, tourists not only want to go to some popular tourist sites such as : Ho Chi Minh Complex, Temple of Literature, Museums, Old Quater… but also they would like to explore some other unusual places . I did travel with two Jamaican tourists named Gregory and Malaika. They told me that they would like to go and take photos of Hanoi and wanted me to show them all of the highlights except tourist sites in my city.

According to our itinerary, we would visit HCM complex, temple of Literature and Ethnology museum but on Monday museum closes, therefore, in the afternoon I had more time to show our friends some other unusual things. First highlight stop for our discovery was at Ngoc Ha flower village, located nearby HCM complex.


Ngoc Ha flower village was one of the most famous ancient villages in Hanoi. On the last decade 1990s, the flowery cooperatives closed and the land gave for households here and the local started selling lands for building villas.

On narrow road, but people run business with different items. The road was occupied by motorbikes.

A grocery store

In 1972, Hanoi was bombarded by American aircrafts. With the brave fighting spirit, Hanoi people shot straight many American fighting aircrafts. One B52 Aircraft fell down in Ngoc Ha village’s lake.

After visiting Ngoc Ha flower village, Gregory and Malaika were deeply impressed by the locals’ daily life and traffic in the village. Our second stop at Long Bien Bridge or French name-Paul Doumer Bridge. The oldest bridge in Indochina, built in 1902 by Daydé & Pillé company.

On bridge, there is a staircase; you can get down the mid-land on Red River

Many people come here to do swimming on river, biking, playing football…

On the way going back, Gregory and Malaika were invited to take photos on bridge by young teenagers, because here is the most favorite place for them in the afternoon. My friends felt surprising and interesting by the locals’ super hospitality.

The final stop for the first day exploring in Hanoi is in the narrow alleys of the Old Quarter. Unlike other tourists, they just walk around streets and streets for looking and shopping. I and my friends walked inside the narrow and dark alleys to discover the “hidden charm” in Old quarter which has the highest density of population in Vietnam, some apartments just cover an area of 8 square meters but for five people living.

Malaika in the dark and narrow alleys

Many households live inside the dark alley, lack of sunlight.

The public restroom for people living in alley, every family has key to open it, but in the morning people queue up for their using turn.

Kitchen in the alley

For the first day, Gregory and Malaika had a lot of nice photos and practical experiences in Hanoi. They said the tour operator should add those unusual sites in the tour program and confirmed all tourists would like to extend one more day for discovering Hanoi.

On the day, we came back Hanoi from Sapa, train SP3 arrived at Hanoi railway station at 5h15am, earlier than schedule time for 20 minutes (5h35 am). After we put our luggages on car, we went a head to the early flower market on Nghi Tam road. The flower market normally starts from 2 am until 6 am so if the train got back late, we would miss chance to join in but we luckily came there on time. The scene was still busy and bustling, it filled in the sound of scooters’ horns going inside the market.

After we spent our nice time on flower market, we kept going to HoanKiemLake. After walking around Ly Thai To park and seeing people do exercises. Gregory and Malaika found their answers why the Hanoian has a fit and slim body. Everyone find for their selves a suitable sport and excersite to play and maintain their health.

Father and son play badminton

People are dancing in park

The others do jogging and running around lake

“By Dang Vu


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