22 Aug2013

Sojourn in Hanoi

by Marketman

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During a lull in the torrential monsoon rains that have been falling on Manila, the Marketman family has escaped for a trip to Hanoi and Hong Kong that was planned weeks ago. If you can’t get to Paris, get to Hanoi and stay in the French Quarter. It is fabulous. And the food, I might add, is probably better than in France. :) The day before we left, tourists were photographed on the roofs of tri-cicads doing whatever they had to do to get to the airport in floodwaters. Locals fleeced them at PHP1,500 a head to cross the waist deep waters, probably only to find out most flights had been cancelled. We got out on Wednesday, and while we got to the airport three hours before our flight, everything went quite smoothly despite a slight delay. I noticed “Janet’s” photo was plastered all over the immigration area, and wondered if there was a reward for an immigration officer that spotted her if she tried to leave the country… Geez, how the mighty have fallen.

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More on our trip when we get back, but for now, enjoy this fantastic arrangement of lilies in the main lobby of the Hotel Metropole, Hanoi. I was wary that the hotel would be past its prime, a vestige of its storied past, but I can assure you it has been recently refurbished and it is quite stunning. I have left a few posts for you guys to enjoy, but meanwhile, we hang the “do not disturb” sign while we pursue a few days of adventure, serious eating and battery re-charging. :)

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COMMENTS:

  1. bearhug0127 says:

    Enjoy your adventures and have fun.

    Aug 22, 2013 | 6:57 pm

     
  2. cumin says:

    Lump in my throat. I lived in Hanoi a decade ago, a very challenging year in my life that I remember with joy and gratitude. I look forward to more photos and stories, MM. Blow Hoan Kiem Lake a kiss for me.

    On the side: a friend paid P2,500 to a tricycle driver to get out of the PAL terminal. Couldn’t PAL have organized vans to bring passengers even just a few hundred meters away?

    Aug 22, 2013 | 7:19 pm

     
  3. esquire says:

    We were supposed to be on a flight to Germany on that fateful day :( Floated in the vicinity but could not get to the airport.

    Aug 22, 2013 | 9:03 pm

     
  4. Gej says:

    I look forward to your post and pictures of the markets! Hope these will be part of your “break”. I heard the markets are great. I’ve seen Vietnam grown artichokes.

    Aug 22, 2013 | 9:14 pm

     
  5. ami says:

    Stunning arrangement that would have cost thousands and thousands to duplicate. In the news today, they were actually speculating that Janet might have altered her looks to escape detection. I hope the people helping her out would take pity on our country and just report her whereabouts.

    Aug 22, 2013 | 10:26 pm

     
  6. Marketman says:

    Ami, it can be done in Manila, with slightly different variety of lilies, see here and how to, here. :)

    Aug 22, 2013 | 11:36 pm

     
  7. Footloose says:

    Hanoi? That’s where they produce Ho Chi Mint candies.

    Aug 23, 2013 | 12:57 am

     
  8. La Emperor says:

    MM, I hope you have a terrific R&R. I’ve heard the city is quite interesting from historical points of view and offers a variety of unique attractions. Hoping to see the place someday. :)

    Ami, I have heard that Ms. Janet in her haste to get her face altered, offered a cosmetic surgeon a hefty amount of money to make her resemble Mrs. Pacquiao. Miss Janet as it turns out was a big fan. The surgeon faced with his oath and duty to his patients first, complied and performed a fantastic job despite hesitations.

    The result was magical even the famous boxer would be fooled. The only giveaway was the Tagalog accent of Miss Janet. Mommy Dionisia as most people know, is a Cebuano.

    Aug 23, 2013 | 1:24 am

     
  9. netoy says:

    @ La Emperor – such a twist. LOL!!!

    Aug 23, 2013 | 3:15 am

     
  10. ERNIE D BAUTISTA says:

    HELLO MM

    I HAVE BEEN READING YOUR BLOG FOR A WHILE NOW AND IMMENSLY ENJOY EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM AND OCCASIANALLY SUBMIT A COMMENT.

    MY FAMILY AND I WILL BE GOING TO HONGKONG FROM NOV.17- NOV. 21, 2013 . WE WILL STAY IN DISNEYLAND FOR 2 DAYS FOR THE KIDS TO ENJOY AND THE REST OF THE WEEK FOR SIGHTSEEIING AND FOODTRIPPING. I WOULD APPRECIATE YOUR INPUT ON AUTHENTIC RESTAURANT IN HONGKONG THAT YOU WOULD RECOMMEND THAT IS MODERATELY PRICED.

    I ALWAYS RESPECT YOUR OPINION AND RECOMMENDATION.

    THANKS IN ADVANCE

    ERNIE BAUTISTA

    Aug 23, 2013 | 6:59 am

     
  11. Elaine says:

    Awesome! I just got back from a food trip with friends from Penang, Malaysia and practically escaped the wrath of Maring. I would love to see Hanoi(was in Saigon only last May and had the BEST bahnmi Ever)! Looking forward to seeing more photos in the coming posts!!! Enjoy!!!

    Aug 23, 2013 | 7:37 am

     
  12. Betchay says:

    Good choice MM!…the best place to stay in Hanoi! We were in Metropole last year, a few weeks before the opening of their rediscovered air- raid bomb shelter where they had our very own Ms.Gemma Cruz-Araneta as one of their honored guests. Ms.Gemma wrote in her book,Hanoi Diary, her experiences in the same air raid shelter when she stayed in this hotel during the war.

    We stayed in their new wing but got to experience the charm of the old wing when we were allowed to refresh in one of the rooms as we had a midnight flight back home….that’ s what you call total hospitality and excellent service! And I so much like that their toiletries were either Hermes or L’ occitane!Pampering at its best!

    Included breakfast at Spices garden was always something to look forward to with their piping hot pho, refreshing spring rolls and oh, I so missed the aroma and taste of Vietnamese coffee! We also had a great French dinner at their LeBeaulieu on our last day.

    We made the rounds of museums, quaint shops in the Old Quarter, watched the water puppets show and had an enjoyable adventure at Halong Bay! I am sure you will have as much fun as we did in Hanoi! :)

    Aug 23, 2013 | 12:10 pm

     
  13. Gigi says:

    I loved our stay in Vietnam back in early 2000s. Went from north (hanoi) to south (HCM and Mekong Delta region). Food was great everywhere!

    Aug 23, 2013 | 5:43 pm

     
  14. ami says:

    La Emperor, for real? Lol, I initially thought you were refering to Jinkee as the Mrs. Pacquiao, not Mommy D!

    Aug 23, 2013 | 6:52 pm

     
  15. hiddendragon says:

    I can’t help noticing the door sign. “Ne pas deranger” could mean “No Pass for the Deranged”? ;-)

    Visited this year the other capital, Saigon, and while we had a wonderful time, were told Hanoi is a totally different experience. Looking forward to that!

    Aug 24, 2013 | 7:48 pm

     
  16. cecille b. says:

    How timely. We plan to spend the new year in Hanoi. However there is no direct flight from manila to hanoi and vice versa. Any suggestions as to what airline to take? Also places to visit and dine while in Hanoi. Cebupac is not an option. Thanks.

    Aug 25, 2013 | 3:17 pm

     
  17. Marketman says:

    cecille, we flew Cathay Pacific thru Hong Kong. Nice if you want to visit both cities. Flights through Bangkok work too. We avoided Cebu Pacific as well, though they have direct flights at odd hours. Posts on Hanoi visit in the weeks ahead…

    Aug 25, 2013 | 10:22 pm

     
  18. millet says:

    belated happy birthday, MM! am sure you had a fabulous one. warmest wishes of love, travel, health, food and other blessings for the next years.

    Aug 26, 2013 | 11:34 am

     
  19. Shalimar says:

    Think we missed each other this time again. We are in Hong Kong.

    Aug 26, 2013 | 5:24 pm

     
  20. Cecille B. says:

    Thanks, MM. Looking forward to your Hanoi post.

    Aug 26, 2013 | 9:22 pm

     
  21. richard says:

    Hong Kong has many restaurants worthy of your visit, Marketman. Contact me for the most succulent baby pork ever (melt in your mouth good) etc… Come ‘on Marketman, We have alot to offer, and all you have to do is reach out.

    BTW, our Bethesda kitchen will be open in 12 months or so….dream kitchen with all the accoutrements, and more importantly, the local markets…so let’s set up a visit.

    Aug 27, 2013 | 11:54 pm

     
  22. Marketman says:

    hi Richard, thanks for the offer… I do appreciate it. We were just in HK for two days, and ate mostly in holes in the wall, just to get our fix of roasted duck, goose and noodles. No fancy places this time around. Had to zip here and there, and then back on a flight to Manila. :)

    Aug 28, 2013 | 9:48 am

     
 

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