My two favourite days in Vietnam had to be the days I spent in Ninh Binh and Halong Bay. I'd gladly go back to spend more time in these areas, just breath-taking. Pictures will never do these places justice but here are a few anyways!
Cafe Pho Co is one of those wonderful 'hole-in-the-wall' types of places. You would never go there unless someone recommended or showed it to you - it's terribly difficult to find, so I hope my pictures will help you out.
The real kicker about visiting Vietnam is that I'm not a coffee drinker. I tried several coffees, including the Vietnamese specialty Egg Coffee. I hoped that my tastes would sway but unfortunately I could never get into it - I'm just a simple tea drinker.
At Cafe Pho Co, I tried a Coconut Coffee. I did manage to drink at least half of this before the coffee taste became a bit too much for me but I think most coffee drinkers would recommend this to the non-coffee drinkers - I reckon I'm just super sensitive to the coffee tastes - because for the most part, it is a refreshing sweet coconut drink!
You want to look for this shop - see the little white Cafe Pho Co Sign - and you need to walk through this shop, through the narrow alleyway to the inside of the building.
You order your drinks and food at the counter on the ground floor and there are several levels to the cafe above but of course the Lake View is on the top floor. Do take the time to marvel at the birds and cats strewed around on the ground floor and the quirky layout of the cafe building!
This city is an assault on the senses - the noise, the smells, they're overwhelming and without being too dramatic, the 'assault' can be very literal too, I mean the scooter/traffic culture is just absurd! However, for a brief while, this ugly foreigner will happily be assaulted, by the history, the herby food and the hustle and bustle of Hanoi.
We stood here for nearly an hour waiting for the train to go by, so my only tip here is to NOT rely on the train timetables. If I had the time I would have maybe asked around to see if there was a nearby cafe or pub to hang out in.