In Hanoi, we spent all of our time in the Old Quarter. It has some beautiful, old, French-influenced architecture. Our time was spent walking the city, hanging out in cafes, shopping, and sightseeing. Things were very inexpensive in Hanoi. Our hotel was simple but clean, and it cost $50 per night. There was lots of great shopping; could have purchased much more. We both got silk shirts for about $15 per shirt. Hanoi was super hot and there was almost no air conditioning. We had AC in our hotel, but most restaurants were fans only.
Street scenes of Hanoi:
We are sitting inside a cafe when this picture was taken and the man on the right is approaching the window selling tour books. The books are sealed in plastic, but when you buy and open them, they are just a photocopy of a very outdated tour book.
We were only in Hanoi a few moments before we were scammed. This vendor was selling bananas and pineapples and approached us to buy, but when we nicely said no, she quickly placed the goods on my shoulder, hat on my head, and encouraged us to take a photo. After doing so, she basically forced us to buy fruit from her as "payment" for the photo. We didn't fall for that trick again but did see other tourist being victimized.Many times, Erik was offered to have his shoes repaired by mobile cobblers. They could spot his tearing shoe from a block away. After saying no several times, he finally agreed, because they really did need repair. Erik bartered with the guy and agreed on a price to glue the shoe, but then after the gluing, the cobbler proceeded to polish the shoes too. Then he raised the price since he had also polished. This is how they get you. Erik bartered again, and when it was finished, he only paid the guy less than $2.00. The street vendors are very clever.