Mich Immelman

I am a specialist tour operator with Curious Journeys. We operate from South Africa. With the assistance of my partners in India and South East Asia, I offer fully inclusive group tours, private tours, and tailor-made services

My specialist destinations are: India, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar

Whether it is a first visit to a region or a return visit to explore the area in greater depth, I will put together the perfect tour for the traveller

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The Quirky Side to Vietnam - HANOI

Updated: Nov 7, 2019

The highlight of traveling for me is, irrespective of defined itinerary, I like to breakaway in the destinations where I find myself and explore the area. Especially because I enjoy photography, I tend to be adventurous to look for those “unusual” shots.

Personally at this stage I am not too familiar with Vietnam and now that it is in Curious Journeys Portfolio, I have set a goal for myself to investigate the less visited areas and to feature my findings.

Hanoi is a vibrant, buzzy, chaotic city. From the moment you arrive, Hanoi captures you in a whirlwind, challenging your senses: sight, smell, noise…

You could spend days wandering around this busy city, without really getting to know the unusual sights and experiences. My advice would be to take a self-guided walk or a motorbike tour off the beaten track Hanoi.

So let’s explore and see what we can come up with…….


The Lake of the Restored Sword (Hoan Kiem Lake)


As much as the locals enjoy this lake, so does a rare breed of turtles. The lake is centrally located in the city and serves a massive home base. It provides endless people-watching and recreational opportunities on the edge of the Old Quarter. You will find locals taking their morning walks and doing exercises on the shore to young couples water gazing on park benches. There is also multiple shopping and sight-seeing opportunities in the area.


Egg Coffee at Giang Cafe








A blend of whisked egg yolk, coffee, condensed milk and at the Giang Cafe, they add butter. This is more of a dessert in a cup. Apparently very delicious and I for one cannot wait to sample this. The cafe is a 5 minute walk from the famous Red Bridge on Hoan Kiem Lake.










Trompe L’oeil Murals


As you wander along from the Giang Cafe you come across an unusual series of murals painted into the stone archways of the train line, which starts at 27 Phung Hung Street.

These murals are a collaboration between artists from Vietnam and Korea commemorating good relations between the two countries.

The murals depict Hanoi street scenes. You can be assured of getting some interesting photos from these 3 illusions and you will find local folk dressed for the occasion to afford you the opportunity to get interactive photo shoots.




Bun Cha for Lunch

Famous dish of Vietnam: Bun Cha

A Hanoi speciality! Bun Cha..

There are dedicated Bun Cha restaurants all over the city and this dish can be eaten at any time of the day. There is a small restaurant back in the Old Quarter call Bun Cha Ta where this delicious local meal is served. This dish is basically a bowl of broth with barbecued pork patties and pork slices. It is served with vermicelli rice noodles, garlic and chilli, a heaped plate of greens like lettuce and Vietnamese mint. It is epic.

A Hanoi speciality! Bun Cha..

There are dedicated Bun Cha restaurants all over the city and this dish can be eaten at any time of the day. There is a small restaurant back in the Old Quarter call Bun Cha Ta where this delicious local meal is served. This dish is basically a bowl of broth with barbecued pork patties and pork slices. It is served with vermicelli rice noodles, garlic and chilli, a heaped plate of greens like lettuce and Vietnamese mint. It is epic.


Train Street


Take this walk to Train Street after you have had your fill of Bun Cha, off Kham Thien Street, you will find Train Street. A very narrow rail corridor through which the train from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi trundles twice a day. This train passes feet away from the Hanoi homes lining the track. This is a great place for photography.




The Mad Botanist Bar Hanoi

Mad Botanist Bar


This famous rooftop bar offers a huge selection of gins and delicious gin cocktails and from the rooftop you have fantastic view over the St Joseph’s Cathedral which is lit up at night.

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