When we were in Hanoi, Vietnam, our plan for spending the afternoon watching the Water Puppet show had to be changed because the tickets for the day’s performances were already sold out. So we found ourselves with several hours of open time, as we were not supposed to leave for the next leg of our trip until that evening.
We went back to our hotel to ask the staff there for suggestions on good places to go to hang out for few hours. We saw many coffee shops in the city as we walked around the Old Quarter area, so we asked the lady at the front desk for her recommendation on a good place to go that was within walking distance from the hotel. She mentioned that there was a good cafe near a particular intersection, though she didn’t remember the name of the place or the exact address. She pointed the area on the map, and off we went walking towards the area to find the cafe.
We reached the area on the map, but we couldn’t find the cafe as she described. So we decided to continue walking around the area, and finally when we saw a cafe, we decided to just go there to rest and hang out for a little bit.
The cafe looked like a typical one found in Hanoi. It’s a little dark inside, with seating areas set up like a lounge. There was food on the menu as well, though it looked like most people went there to have drinks (coffee, cocktails). While resting and waiting for our drinks, Kristi and I looked at our Blackberry phones and saw that we could get some open wi-fi connection there (from a nearby hotel). So we were able to check emails there while enjoying our drinks. We started ordering coffee, but then we decided to also get some mixed fruit drinks.
We would’ve stayed there for a little longer had we not been bothered by one thing.. it’s not a smoke-free environment, and many Vietnamese smoked cigarettes. We kind of got sick from the second-hand smoking after a while, so we decided to finish our drinks, paid up, and continued our walking tour.
The photo below was taken at the cafe. Here is Kristi checking emails on her Blackberry. You can see the drinks we had there.