Hanoi City by Cyclo

If I was in Bangkok and someone suggested to try TukTuk, I probably decline and say I’ll just walk or take taxi. So when I saw the same mode of transportation in Hanoi, I hesitated – at first.

Our hotel host hired 2 cyclos for us at $7/hour each.

IMG_3408

Cyclo is what they call it in Vietnam. Actually, Cyclo is more similar with my country’s Pedicab than Thailand’s TukTuk. It is a bicycle with a double passenger seat in front. My feet was relaxed on the semi-circle platform and my head was protected by a red leather umbrella attached at the back of the seat. The driver was sitting on a higher level behind us and leant over inches from our heads every time he felt happily compelled to tell us a city landmark we were about to pass by.

One of the selling points of riding a cyclo in Hanoi is the thrills you’ll get when your driver start to battle your way against the cars, motorcycles & people on the street road. The way you’ll look in the cyclo is bare naked so if your driver is not changing lanes safely on the main road, you’ll get tumbled – 100% sure.

IMG_3310

Then it was Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. Ho Chi Minh was a communist revolutionary leader during Vietnam War and a significant figure in the foundation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. He did a lot of movements against France & became an inspiration for most Vietnamese even after he went down for health problems. I’ve always been familiar with the musical theatre Miss Saigon but never knew that it was the capital city of Vietnam. So when I learned that Saigon was renamed as Ho Chi Minh City, I’ve concluded that he’s a very important figure in Vietnam.

I’ve said in my travel album that Hanoi is a mixed of modernity & calmness. This mix of contrast is what sold me out to put Hanoi as the most surprising city I have been. But between these two separate moods, I’ll take calmness over modernity. Hồ Tây & Trúc Bạch Lake made me chose calmness but Trấn Quốc Pagoda sealed the deal.

IMG_3434

Temple of Literature is one of the temples devoted to Confucius & his teachings. The architecture of this temple can be seen on the back of 100,000 Vietnam dong. What I observed was there were several batches of students wearing graduation attires inside the temple. It must have been a special day for the students and the temple was a perfect place to celebrate the day.

Dong Xuan Market always popped out from my research as the cheapest place to buy goods in Hanoi. But for me, it wasn’t. Goods are really cheap but it seemed like they sell it in bulk orders or it was a place where suppliers load off their goods for retail deliveries. Although it was very much like the Divisoria, if you are buying goods as souvenirs or you’re looking for something other than basic clothes to wear, this would not be the best market to buy. Go out and roam around in Old Quarter. There are more stores to buy from in the streets, like North Face and Kipling then get totally healthy with their street meals.

IMG_34072

There were other landmarks we visited but I can’t remember their names anymore.  From the landmarks I’ve said, the only experience existed in those moments is the cyclo ride.

The driver kept asking us to look at this…. look at that…. hey…. yes yes… that’s the museum….that’s Ho Chi Minh… seeeee.

My sister & I were exclaiming wait…..uy! aaaaaahh… really?……what is that?…. ha ha ha… wow….. loook! 

At the end of our cyclo day, paying a 3hrs and a half ride was relatively worth the money. I think, in most cases, the price is not the only deciding factor we won’t do a thing when we travel. Getting a valuable ride from an all-smile driver or from a giddy driver could make something very cheap.

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.