Steve had pitched up at the Hanoi Backpackers Hostel in the old quarter and close to the famous Hoan Kiem lake.
Legend has it that a golden turtle disappeared into its depths together with the sword which Emperor Le Thai To had used to rid Viet Nam of the Chinese.
Steve kept his bike locked in an outside area close to the bar.
Some happy ‘backpacker’ decided to steal his front light.
We met at ‘Le Pub’, another popular bar for tourists and had a fun evening cycling around Hanoi including crossing the Cau Long Bien railway bridge.
The expansive Tay Ho (West Lake) provides some relief from the noise of the city. I had hoped to circle it on my bike but only had time to visit the Tay Ho pagoda which stands on a small island close to the eastern shore.
Before heading out of Hanoi we took the walking tour of the old quarter detailed in the Lonely Planet guide book. It took us past temples and streets of artisans. The highlight, in my opinion, was the Dong Xuan fresh food market. The seafood, fruits and vegetables look amazing.
Two days is far too short to explore Hanoi. The food alone would take weeks if not months to fully appreciate in its diversity. But what is easily observed is the frenetic pace at which the city moves.