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Thread: Hanoi Vietnam

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  1. #1
    Junior member JamesIII's Avatar
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    Hanoi Vietnam

    Anyone visit Hanoi lately?
    I will be there next month and wonder about gay life there in that city of over 2 million people.
    Love to hear from my good buddies here about the trip..
    thanks and hope the best for the new year..


  2. #2
    Forum's veteran dinagam's Avatar
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    Re: Hanoi Vietnam

    The church in the Old Quarter.
    View from the roof top breakfast room of a hotel in the area.
    The bell chimes regularly every 30 minutes, and lasts a good two minutes at 5am for matin. Luckily I had my ear plugs handy.
    There are still people who get up early to pray.
    One is spoiled for choice of hotels in the vicinity of the Catholic church.
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    Last edited by dinagam; February 26th, 2016 at 09:31.

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    goji (February 26th, 2016)

  4. #3
    Forum's veteran Brad the Impala's Avatar
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    Re: Hanoi Vietnam

    Quote Originally Posted by dinagam View Post
    The bell chimes regularly every 30 minutes, and lasts a good two minutes at 5am for matin.

    One is spoiled for choice of hotels in the vicinity of the Catholic church.
    I wonder if these two pieces of information are connected.

  5. #4
    Forum's veteran dinagam's Avatar
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    Re: Hanoi Vietnam

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad the Impala View Post
    I wonder if these two pieces of information are connected.
    The St Joseph cathedral is one of the Grandes Dames of Hanoi.
    The bell towers are clearly head & shoulder above the roofs of most buildings in the Old Quarter.
    Some tourists find the settings charming, the rustic structures & the small square in front, plus the bell chimes. But in the still of the night, the punctual chimes can be a bit annoying, if your hotel room is facing the square. Some hotels have good double glazed Windows, and rooms facing away from the church don't hear much from the bell.
    But it remains one of the attractions of the Old Quarter by virtue of its proximity to other sites. Only 200m to the lake & BC bar, convenient for pickups & dropoffs for tourists taking tours, 900m from the Opera House, 1-2km from museums & historical sites. And of course the numerous hostels, guesthouses, & hotels, restaurants & bars etc etc.

  6. #5
    Forum's veteran goji's Avatar
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    Re: Hanoi Vietnam

    Quote Originally Posted by dinagam View Post
    Only 200m to the lake & BC bar
    Close to GC bar as well. Is BC some kind of copycat operation?

  7. #6
    Forum's veteran dinagam's Avatar
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    Re: Hanoi Vietnam

    Quote Originally Posted by goji View Post
    Close to GC bar as well. Is BC some kind of copycat operation?
    My eyes failed me again, goji. I was referring to the longstanding GC bar in Bao Khanh road. It was always full on Friday evenings. This time around there was hardly a soul on a Wednesday evening when I passed by.

  8. #7
    Forum's veteran lonelywombat's Avatar
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    Re: Hanoi Vietnam

    Vietnam's Reunification Express train: Rolling with the locals

    Penny Watson




    Riding the Reunification Express from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh. Photo: Getty Images


    It's dark outside, the Vietnamese city of Nha Trang is quiet for a Sunday, but the train station is a picture of chaos. Plastic tartan bags, cheap suitcases and boxes reinforced with masking tape have been dumped unceremoniously on the platform. Waiting room television screens rival each other for volume. Makeshift stalls selling travel essentials –Coke, beer, bananas and over-packaged biscuits and noodles – do a peak-time trade.
    The train is late and instead of pulling in on platform one it has headed to platform four. From what I can make out, we have to cross three rubbish-laden tracks in the dark to reach the train, then climb on board and find our cabin before it takes off again. My husband, Pip, and I, all wide-eyed from strong, condensed milk-loaded coffee, have three bags, a pram and two somewhat bewildered kids to contend with. But there's no time to dwell on it; up the track a blinding light is cutting through the darkness and a big old retro engine from a long-ago era is grinding down the tracks. Within minutes we're joining the throng in a mad scramble to board.
    SEE ALSO




    The Reunification Express has been cutting a path along the East Coast of Vietnam since 1936. The 1726-kilometre, 33-ish hour journey from Hanoi in the north to Ho Chi Minh in the south averages 50km/h, only marginally quicker than it was in the 1930s. It might be ageing, but it's still a reliable mode of transport for travelling between some of Vietnam's most popular tourist destinations. An overnight leg is also something of an adventure. The pace, excitement, local insight and occasional chaos are all part of the experience.
    Passengers on the Reunification Express which travels between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh. Photo: Getty ImagesOur train ride begins in Hanoi and ends two weeks later in Ho Chi Minh. In between we'll have a few nights each in the ancient cities of Hue and Hoi An, and a beachside stint in Nha Trang. It will mean three overnight train legs and one shorter trip between Hue and Hanoi.
    The 'SE' express trains are more comfortable for tourists, with hard sleeper (six beds in two tiers), soft sleeper (four beds), hard seat and soft seat cabins. Both sleeper cabin options are comfortable with air-conditioning, and clean cotton sheets and bedding. The soft sleeper is the natural choice for our party of four, but it's not a disaster when, on one leg, we find ourselves in a six-sleeper. We wake to see two smiling 20-somethings looking down on us from the cheaper top-tier beds. They speak a little English and tell us they're students returning home. They're as friendly as family, sharing coconut juice and dried biscuits with the kids in return for photos, no doubt captioned: 'CUUUUUUUTE'.
    Meanwhile, Pip and I get a chance to look out the window. We did this train trip together 10 years ago, pre-marriage. It's harder work this time, with an 18-month-old and four-year-old, but we're chuffed anyway. Outside, green rice paddies and banana palms rush past. There are farmers in conical hats, kids freewheeling in backyards and yoked water buffalo, yawning knee-deep in mud. When the train slows through hamlets clustered along the railway line, we see dozens of locals on overloaded motorbikes waiting for the boom gate to open. In other parts, hazy blue mountains separate the track from the sea before it reappears again with glimpses of beach, blue water, fish farms, nets and boats. It's like a tourism advertisement for rural Vietnam and nothing seems to have changed in the decade since we last saw it.
    The Minh Mang Tomb is on the west bank of the Perfume River. Photo: Getty ImagesWhat has changed is the hotel scene. Vietnam is now flush with luxury hotels, both lovely old heritage places and flash new resorts. We spent our first night in Hanoi at the decadent French colonial Metropole, where we were greeted with a "bonjour" and ushered into a room with high ceilings, teak furniture and French doors. On departing, such is its clientele, the concierge declared us the first guests to ever need a transfer to the train station rather than the airport.
    Thirteen hours down the track, La Residence, in the serene town of Hue, is similarly historic. It was built in the 1930s as the French governor's residence and the art deco era is reflected in the building's porthole windows and nautical lines. Our room overlooks the Perfume River. On the opposite bank, we can see the entry to the UNESCO-listed former Imperial Citadel. It's the perfect cultural immersion for kids with no queues and cycle rickshaws to get around on.
    The train connection between Hue and our next stop Danang, near Hoi An, is late at night so we decide on a daytime car transfer. It's a good comparative exercise. At just under three hours, the train is quicker, but more pertinently, Vietnam's roads, especially Highway 1, the main north-south artery, are notoriously accident-prone. We drive past an accident, the motorbike driver being attended to on the side of the road. It's a sobering vision and we're glad the rest of the trip will be on rails.
    Ana Mandara near Nha Trang. Photo: AlamyHoi An is a French colonial town known for its enchanting lantern-lit streets and cheap tailor-made clothes. We stay in a family suite overlooking another river, the Thu Bon, at Anantara Hotel. With ornate balustrades and colonnaded balconies, it is in keeping with the architecture in the UNESCO-listed old town, an easy stroll away. Happily, Anantara is family-friendly with a shallow pool and sweet treats delivered at bedtime. The hotel bikes are equipped with kid's seats, so when we're not eating street food in the old town we're riding through the little villages.
    Kudos goes to Vietnam for being able to offer cultural experiences as well as perfect beach holidays. Ten hours by train from Danang, Nha Trang is a coastal resort city with great scuba diving and a party vibe. We head out of town to Six Senses Ninh Van Bay resort, courtesy of a flash speedboat. It's a castaway island paradise. Our wooden beachfront villa has a thatched roof and there are no cars – once again we're getting around on bikes with the kids on the back. Children under-five sleep and eat for free here, and there's a kids club, giving Pip and I the chance for a cooking class.
    After four sun-soaked days, our four-year-old is back talking trains. We are transferred to Nha Trang train station for our final leg, the one that starts with that night-time sprint across the tracks. Soon after, we'll be lulled to sleep by the soft rhythmic side-to-side motion of the train on our way to Ho Chi Minh.
    TRIP NOTES

    vietnamtourism.com.
    MORE INFORMATION

    TOURING THERE

    See Vietnamese Railways' own website (vr.com.vn) butseat61.com/Vietnam.htm is more helpful. It's best to book train tickets in advance through hotels on the ground in Vietnam or a travel agency before you leave.



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  9. #8
    Forum's veteran goji's Avatar
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    Re: Hanoi Vietnam

    I stayed close to that church a few years ago.
    Found one nice hotel on Agoda.
    After an overnight trip to Halong bay, I was offered & accepted a very good rate at another even better hotel, whilst walking back to my original hotel.
    There can be benefits to travelling without a reservation.

    The area is very nice. The hotels were up narrow side streets & I wasn't disturbed by the bells.

    As for scams, I don't think I was scammed at all in Hanoi. Although during the whole Vietnam trip, there was certainly overcharging for some of the bus tickets.

  10. #9
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    Re: Hanoi Vietnam

    Take care if travelling in the Countryside and chose to go on an unauthorised tour with no safety gear it seems :-( Very sad.

    Source : http://news.sky.com/story/1649239/br...waterfall-tour

    Three British tourists have died while climbing waterfalls in Vietnam, the Foreign Office has confirmed.

    The bodies of one man and two women, reportedly aged 19 and 25, have been recovered downstream of the Datanla waterfalls in the central Lam Dong province - a popular tourist spot.

    Police are questioning one man on suspicion of taking the group on an unauthorised tour.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  11. #10
    Moderator aussie_'s Avatar
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    Re: Hanoi Vietnam

    I visited Hanoi three times in 2015. No problem meeting guys from the apps, some free or hotter looking guys for about 400-600k dong. Many of the money boys were quoting in $US.

    Golden Cock gay bar closes at midnight and the police were outside to make sure it closed on time on the Saturday night that I went there. The locals at GC told me there are other clubs that stay open later so I will investigate further next time I go to Hanoi to find their location.

    I prefer Ho Chi Minh City for more night life and met some great guys there from the apps. The nightclubs stay open to around 3am or later with the Republic gay disco and the mixed Apocalypse club very popular. Never had any problems taking a guy to the Apocalypse club. Most nights I would go to the walking street for amazing eye candy and later Bui Vien street for food and drinks.

  12. User who gave Like to post:

    goji (March 8th, 2016)

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