FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Hanoi’s Old Quarter

by Allison Voigts

Oct 1, 2016

© OUTCAST85
| DREAMSTIME.COM

Destinations / Asia

Said to resemble the sinuous roots and branches of a tree sprouting from nearby Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi’s Old Quarter is a warren of twisting alleys and narrow lanes that fan out to the north and west. Developed as a crafts center between the 11th and 13th centuries, the neighborhood attracted artisans from all over Vietnam who specialized in trades such as metalwork, carpentry and ceramics.

Here artisans organized themselves into official guilds within communal houses, many of which still house craftspeople and specialty shops. Narrow buildings known as “tube houses” — erected when businesses were taxed based on the width of their storefront — lead to hidden courtyards, workshops and apartments. Tucked away on crooked streets named after the trades originally practiced there, small temples honor the patron saints of particular crafts.

On the edge of the Old Quarter, the more recent edifice of St. Joseph’s Cathedral, a 19th-century Catholic cathedral built by French missionaries, towers over Ly Quoc Su, a street lined with cafés, boutiques and art galleries. Popular among creatives and expats, the Laotian café Joma offers respite from the chaotic beeping of motorbikes with espresso drinks, soups and delicious baked goods.

Once known as the “secret café” for its unassuming entrance through the rear of a silk shop and up a winding staircase, Café Phố Cổ overlooking Hoan Kiem Lake remains a pleasant stop for a traditional Vietnamese coffee topped with beaten egg white — even if its location is no longer secret.

After working up an appetite with a stroll around the willow-lined lake, venture into one of the many excellent restaurants for a steaming bowl of pho. For less than $1, you can’t beat the succulent broth piled high with herbs and beef at the humble Banh Cuon Nong on Hang Bo Street.

As the day draws to a close, locals and tourists alike take to the alleys to sit on low plastic stools enjoying a glass of bia hoi, Hanoi’s fresh-brewed beer. Drop 15 cents for a draft at any of the ubiquitous sidewalk cafés — some no more than a keg, a table and a few glasses — and allow yourself to become part of the ancient streetscape.

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Explore Excursions

#globility

Insta Feed
Daily
Feb 23, 2024

The Radical: A New Boutique Hotel, Opens in Asheville, North Carolina’s, River Arts District

Once an abandoned 1923 constructed warehouse in Asheville, North Carolina, it took a creative group of designers, artists, musicians, chefs and business folks to transform a neglected, 100-year-old structure into one of Asheville’s most interesting and daring hotel projects.

Why Buy Annual Travel Insurance?

One affordable plan can protect an entire year of trips: business or pleasure, short or long, domestic or international.

February 2024
Feb 23, 2024

Pickle Up: Get in on America’s Fastest Growing Sport

Early on, pickleball had something to do with pickles. Pickles the dog, that is. In one story, the game was named for a family dog that ran off with the ball between sets.

Daily
Feb 23, 2024

Hôtel Norman Opens Near the Top of Champs Elysées

Located a short walk from the Arc de Triomphe, Olivier Bertrand recently opened Hôtel Norman for those looking to explore the city.

MORE TO TRAVEL

There’s more to travel than just getting there.

Daily
Feb 23, 2024

JW Marriott Hotel Mexico City Polanco Completes Renovations

JW Marriott Hotel Mexico City Polanco recently completed renovations of its entrances, lobby, culinary concepts and meeting space. This marks the final stage of the renovation, which began in 2021 with the revitalization of its 269 guestrooms and 45 suites.

eFlyer News
Feb 21, 2024

The Parking Spot Acquires Park ‘N Fly

The Parking Spot announced the recent acquisition of Park ‘N Fly. The acquisition allows The Parking Spot to expand its footprint with 47 facilities containing more than 100,000 spaces at 28 airports.

A New Perspective on Incentive Travel

Incentive travel has long been a way for organizations to drive sales and reward employees with opulent trips to exotic destinations. Today it encompasses even more.

February 2024
Feb 21, 2024

Healing in the Hinterlands: Relax and Renew Amid the Curative Nature of Southall Farm & Inn

This isn’t an ordinary Southern back porch kitted out with rocking chairs. Instead, at Southall Farm & Inn, I step out to stand beneath an overhang with vintage barn vibes but stylishly brandishing contemporary pizzaz. A row of glamorous sofa-esque loungers edge an inviting pool that stretches the length of the sitting porch, which might more aptly be dubbed a “soaking” porch. That’s because it holds a wondrous mineral bath, a house-built “natural spring pool” that brims with 60 essential minerals curated by experts with salts from South Africa and born from a momentous amount of research to mirror some of the world’s most curative geothermal springs. While soaking, I gaze upon the bounty of this working-farm-meets-5-star-wellness-resort, a 325-acre haven of healing repose.