My in-laws spent two weeks with us in Hanoi just before Easter. Since I’m not working, I was able to take them around the city most days while the kids were at school. We did a lot of shopping around Hoan Kim lake, ate some delicious street food on tiny stools, and I even convinced my father-in-law to do a Vespa tour.
I’d never done a Vespa tour, but this company had a lot of positive reviews and it looked like they were used to giving tours to westerners. They picked us up right outside my house with their bikes ready to go. We hopped on board and got right into the early morning Hanoi traffic, weaving in and out of other bikes, cars, and pedestrians. Our bikes stopped at the Hanoi Opera House for a little background on the city before driving out to Long Biên bridge. This is the oldest bridge in Hanoi crossing the Red River and was the only bridge for a long time. I had never ridden on this bridge because it is only for pedestrians, motor bikes and the occasional train, not cars.
Next we went around West Lake and visited a pagoda and a temple that were very beautiful. There is nothing like riding around the lake on a beautiful day and we had perfect weather. Our drivers were very careful and stopped every once in a while so we could take a break and get some pictures.
These large ceramic dragons on West Lake are on display from 2010 which was the 1,000 year anniversary of Hanoi. They are in a beautiful part of the city where you can stop and sit by the lake while enjoying a cup of coffee or juice.
Our last stop was to the down B-52 in Hanoi. It’s a bit of a drive from the city center, but I think most tourists want to see it. Our guide had an interesting view about the “American War” and how that came about, but I won’t get into that here…
We finished our tour with lunch by Hoan Kim lake at a little restaurants down a small alley. All in all, it was a wonderful experience and I think it was worth it for my in-laws. It was a good way to experience the city the way locals do, on a motorbike weaving in and out of traffic.