a visit to Hanoi, starting my year.

January 1st 2012, I traveled to Vietnam. This country has always been on my list to visit so really really glad to get the chance. First stop was the wonderful capital, Hanoi.  Landed at the airport, a big question mark emerged.  “Why is everybody putting on jackets and winter outfit?” Duh! I just realized that Hanoi has its own climate where summers are hot and winters are super cool. On January like this, Hanoi can dip as low as 10°C (50°F). I don’t bring any jacket! Help!

1 Januari 2012, gue terbang ke Vietnam. Sudah lama banget pengen jalan kesini dan akhirnya ada kesempatan. Yeay. Puji Tuhan. Perhentian pertama pastinya Ibukota Vietnam, Hanoi. Waktu mendarat di Hanoi, keluar dari pesawat dan antri di imigrasi, gue mulai merasa ada yang aneh. Hm, kenapa semua orang-orang lain pada mulai ngeluarin dan memakai jaket tebel, ya? Sementara gue liat ke diri sendiri, gue cuma pake celana jeans nanggung dengan atas kaos. Setelah 15 menit, gue langsung ngerasa salah kostum diantara orang-orang lain. Apa yang salah ya? Belakangan gue baru tau kalau ternyata Hanoi beda ama Jakarta. Disini, ‘musim dingin’ ternyata berlaku dan suhu di awal Januari bisa mencapai 10 Derajat Celsius alias DINGIN banget. omg. Gue nggak ngeehhh..huuhuhu.

Still thinking ‘how come I missed the part on the weather’, I headed straight to the central city of Hanoi. Plenty of cabs to take me there, but I got mine pre-ordered online for 320 thousands Vietnamese Dong (1 USD = 20,830 VD; 1000 rupiah = 1718 VD). The cab driver was a nice man and speaks good English. He took me to Old Quarter, the most famous area in Hanoi where I book my hotel for 400 thousands VD per night. Not bad.

Masih nggak kepikiran kenapa gue bisa nggak tau soal perbedaan suhu ini. Padahal gue udah cari tau banyak info tentang Vietnam sebelum cabut. Tapi bisa-bisanya kelewatan ya. Yasudahlah. Lanjut cerita, dari airport gue naik taksi yang sudah gue pesan online seharga Rp.150 ribu menuju pusat kota Hanoi. Ini kehitung murah kalo dibanding ambil taksi biasa dari depan airport. Supirnya pun baik dan bisa Bahasa Inggris cukup fasih. Kita diantar ke hotel di daerah Old Quarter, wilayah paling ngetop di Hanoi untuk turis. Disini bisa dapat hotel murah tapi bagus dan disini pula semua hiburan ala Hanoi ditawarkan.

hanoi

Old Quarter is awesome btw! Located near Hoan Kiem Lake as a major attraction of Hanoi, there are 36 winding streets with so many shops everywhere selling any kind of stuff from clothing (I bought my jacket here for 100 thousands VD. Yeay!) to paintings and other art works and FOOD! Ahhhh this one is a must hunt in Hanoi. The locals just sit by the street cornes and enjoy their meal.

They have pretty good street food here. Different kinds of Ph, Viatnemese papaya salad (Gỏi đu đủ), Nem, Bánh cuốn, Cha Ca, bbq (the good one is nhang nuong bbq located in 81 Dai Co Viet Street), seafood in any kind, local fruits, geese soup, and the very famous here is BUN CHA (grilled pork noodle – the best one I tried is in 67 Duong Thanh Street, Old Quarter, “Bun Cha Dac Kim”). One portion for 80 thousand VD is certainly a crave for more!! MORE MORE MORE!:D  very yuuuummmyy!! An entire book could be written about the street food alone I think. Ha!

Ada 36 jalan yang bisa dipilih berisi segala jenis hal, dari makanan sampai oleh-oleh berbagai macam. Baru hari pertama aja gue udah menggila belanja di sini. Lukisan, jaket (wajib beli karena kedinginan banget), kaos, aksesoris, dan lain-lain. Yang paling asik ialah makanannya. Di Jakarta aja gue suka banget ke restaurant Vietnam. Apalagi di Hanoi-nya. Wuih. Satu restaurant yang PALING ENAK di Hanoi dan membuat ketagihan ialah “Bun Cha Dac Kim” (alamat di 67 Duong Thanh Street) dengan menu andalan BUN CHA, yaitu bihun kuah dengan daging babi panggang yang ampun-ampunan deh enaknya. Seporsi dibandrol dengan harga Rp.50 ribu. Gue nambah terus. Ampuuuunnnnn.

After so many good local culinary rounds, circling around in Old Quarter was a good choice. You can walk, or take a cab for 5 thousands VD minimum or take a tricycle for a bit more expensive price (start from 50 thousands VD).  I tried all 3 of them!:) The OId quarter is a very interesting mix of history. It has an interesting mix of Vietnamese, some Chinese, French, and modern architecture. The atmosphere is truly Asian but without the malls. Very nice little shops, restaurants and Boutiques mixed with history combined with the messy traffic, crazy electricity wires and the crowd. So unforgettable.

hanoi

barbeque heaven

Selain sibuk nyobain makanan Vietnam, gue kelilingin deh si Old Quarter ini. Mulai dari jalan kaki, nyobain naik ‘becak’nya atau naik taksi. Si becak tadi mahal sebenarnya. Mendingan naik taksi yang jauh lebih murah kalau capek jalan. Di tengahnya ada danau besar yang terkenal yaitu Danau Hoan Kiem. Cukup romantis di malam hari karena banyak lampu yang menyala di tengah danau dan disekitarnya. Wilayah Old Quarter adalah gabungan dari peradaban budaya Asia, Cina, Prancis dan modern. Semua campur jadi satu. Hasilnya ialah gedung-gedung yang unik dan menarik. Butik-butik kecil ada dimana-mana. Pokoknya kalau di puterin, selalu ada yang baru yang menarik bisa ditemukan. Aku sukaaaa. Kondisi Old Quarter di masa tahun baru ini bisa dibilang rame buangett! Bukan cuma dipenuhin turis, tapi orang lokal yang lagi menikmati liburan, semua tumpah ruah disini. Jalanannya penuh mobil, motor, becak, toko, dan orang berebutan tempat. Berantakan banget tapi seru! HA!

hanoi

hanoi

But one interesting part was the loud speaker located near the lake that kept playing the same one and only song for hours with a voice of a woman saying exactly the same thing over and over again, night and day, the whole day, everyday. That’s kind a creepy and unusual for me. But maybe it has something to do with the country’s communism root way of propaganda.  After a while, the song started to stuck in my head tho! I can’t imagine how the locals take it.

Yang paling seru dan aneh ialah suara propaganda yang ada disetiap sudut. Jadi mungkin karena ada campur tangan komunis, ada propaganda dengan suara perempuan yang kenceng banget pake toa ngomongin beberapa hal yang diulang-ulang, lengkap dengan satu lagu yang sama diulang-ulang juga. Semua menggema di pusat kota seharian penuh. Setelah seharian, gue sampai hafal itu lagu. Fiuh.

Anyway, at one point before heading to watch a water puppet show, I chose to chill at one of the coffee shops while drinking a hot cup of coffee and watching people passing by at sunset. It’s nice. I like Hanoi a lot.  Several days were not enough. Really want to come back someday!

Di kota yang sama, gue sempet nonton pertunjukan boneka air yang cukup menarik dan gue juga menghabiskan banyak waktu di sekitaran danau. Ada satu tempat kopi di gedung yang lokasinya persis di seberang danau yang gue suka banget. Nongkrong di lantai atas sambil menikmati ke-“kisruh”-an kota Hanoi yang dingin dari atas, dan pemandangan danau yang berubah warna waktu sore tiba. Sambil minum kopi, nikmat banget! After Hanoi, I traveled to Ha Long Bay and Saigon.

*please note that all prices and currency written based on 2012. inget ya, semua harga tertulis berdasar pengalaman pribadi tahun 2012 and you can leave your comments also subscribe to my blog below guys! thank you:)

 

the price of a good memory is priceless -olivelatuputty.com -@shiningliv

 

 

 

 

 

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