My second day in Hanoi took to an early start despite having only 4hours of sleep, by 8am i was wide awake. I guess it’s probably because i was on a holiday, that i felt a need to make good use of my time for my 6 days stay here. My friends were busy for the most parts of the morning trying to balance their weekday routine. I started my simple morning with a cup of green tea and tried my hand at the laptop which was truly a pain as the programs we’re jamming up, the only thing quicker than a typewriter was my wordpad and it was the sounds of the honking vehicles from outside my window that kept my ears busy while I typed away.
Sometime late morning DW came by and we sat down for a while to chat over old times, til about 1pm, by then I was longing to have lunch and so we took off soon afters. His office was mere minutes away and adjoining to this firm was the Fitness World Gym which he likes to call home 🙂
I did a mini tour around the gym and had a chance to check-out this Newly set-up fitness center which had its first Grand Opening in April 2013. After much goofing around with the machines and catching up with Das (my favorite goof-buddy) and a few lovely people at the center, it was time to go for my long awaited lunch.A whole bunch of us went to this Restaurant called Hong Minh which was just a few blocks away from the Gym. This place serves up a good variety of delicious local food. Check it out!
I had a feast from salad to meat dishes and for something sweet, i tried this popular local dessert from a stall vendor just a few steps away. It looked very much like the Malaysian Ice Kacang, however, this Vietnamese delight was sticky and mixed with sweet beans and other desert bits.
Later in the evening I met with the owners of the Brickhouse Restaurant, Bar & Lounge, Marco and his lovely wife Mary who graciously welcomed me to a truly hospitable dining experience. The Restaurant which was adjoining to Fitness World served up mainly western cuisine, some local delights and afternoon snacks for members and outside patrons who were looking for a nice place to chill-out, eat and even linger on for evening cocktails. There’s even a jazz band which comes during the weekends.
Next on the list was to check out the night life in Hanoi. The first place we went to was this cool Rooftop bar at (the Pacific Place) which i felt was a simpler version of the Sky Bar in KL, likewise the bar’s concept was for patrons to lounge around with friends whilst enjoying the view of the city. It had a bar table which enclosed the serving area, so people were sitting in a social circle and a small dance floor for those who wanted to dance. I thought the drinks here were not crazily priced considering it was a pretty swanky set-up (or at least compared to the Sky Bar in KL). A local here was about 70,000 – 75,000 dongs or MYR11-12+ ringgit, of course you could always go for wine and other cocktails. I liked the music and observed that it had a good mix of locals and expatriates (many working executives and tourists) Singaporeans, Japanese, Americans, Europeans, etc.
After Sky Bar, we wanted to go to this place called the Bank which was apparently growing in popularity, a new bar which we could see from the rooftop not too far away, however, I soon got to learn that many bars here closed early around 12 – 1am and so by the time we wanted to cab over it was a lil’ too late.
We went to another bar instead called Taboo which stretches til 2am. The Taboo club is a floating dance club by the shore of West Lake that’s popular with glamorous young Hanoians. As soon as i got there, I could here loud music and the place was pretty packed. The scene was a mix of young and old (students, young executives and a few in their 30’s) and like a typical club, most patrons had table reservation with bottles of liquor. We got into the groove soon enough and then decided to chill someplace for some snackies.
After much chatting, it was time to leave. Cabbing home was a lil’ ride off as I had to head back to Cau Giy which seemed a bit of the way but the night ended well.I had a great time, so thanks everyone for the great company!
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