In Vietnam

Sights to Visit:

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, House & Museum – this is worth visiting just to see and learn something about
‘Uncle Ho’ who is revered in Vietnam, which is evident by the long queues of Vietnamese at the mausoleum
on a daily basis(closed mondays?). It is best toured without babies or small children as absolute silence and
reverence is expected in the mausoleum and also because of the long queues. There is also a dress code of
covered legs and arms and no hats.

Temple of Literature – this is the site of the first Confucious university in Vietnam and is well worth visiting.
Despite the fact that it is surrounded by busy streets it is quite calm and quiet(by Hanoi standards) within the
walls. Great photo opportunities. This can be done with babies/children.

Tr?n Qu?c Pagoda on West Lake – this is a Buddhist temple and the oldest pagoda in Hanoi. If you are lucky
you might witness a Buddhist ceremony or obtain a Buddhist blessing. Also more great photo opportunities
and quite peaceful(by Hanoi standards). This can be done with babies/children.

Ngoc Son Temple on Hoan Kiem Lake – more photo opportunities and a chance to see a preserved specimen
of the lakes giant turtle. This can be done with babies/children.

Halong Bay – one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites – there are day trips and over-night trips available. This is
probably best done without babies or small children as there have been some incidents with tourist boats over recent
years and safety on board may be questionable.

Here is a link to an article about travelling thru Vietnam:



Eating & Drinking:

Western Style Food(if you can’t bear to be without it):
– Al Fresco group( There are a few locations in Hanoi which serve food like piazza,
ribs etc. Unfortunatly they also have western style prices
– Highlands Coffee( There are numerous locations in
Hanoi, one in particular being situated on a stationary boat on West Lake. They serve coffee(obviously) and food
like filled baguettes etc.
– Most bar/cafes in western style hotels will serve food like toasted sandwiches, baguettes, chips etc.

Vietnamese Food:
– Pho-Gia-Truyen – highly recommend Pho but expensive(approx 2 euro) compared to some. Service not great but
food makes up for it.
– Highway4 – this is a chain of restaurants – has a website where you can view the menu and prices before you go.
– Hoa Sua – this is a school that trains disadvantaged youths for careers in restaurants. It includes the Song Thu
restaurant on Hoan Kiem which serves both Vietnamese and western food. There is also Cafe Smile on Van Mieu
which does the same




Ao Dai – these can be bought from any of the shops on ‘Silk Street’ – costs are approximatly $10+. If you are in Vietnam
close to TET it is also possible to buy these at the BIG C hypermarket for less than $10. The quality is not as good but
fine for wearing twice a year by a small child. Sizes seem to vary when buying ‘off the rack’ but it is possible to get one
made to measure.

Bags – it is possible to buy all varieties of bags, suitcases etc. in the old quarter of Hanoi(try bag street).
– the shop CraftLink( on Van Mieu street stocks a huge range of handmake silk
and woven bags and purses. This is a non-profit organisation that works directly with ethnic minorities. The bags
are very reasonable and a wonderful and wearable souvenir of your trip. If your child belongs to a particular
ethnic minority it may be possible to buy a bag or purse made by this group.

Flags – these can be bought from many of the tiny shops in the Old quarter – they should cost approx $1

Lanterns – again there is Lantern street in the Old Quarter where you can buy fabric lanterns – these are great for
TET decorations in years to come.

Books – there is a Book street in the Old Quarter. There is also a good book shop that has bi-lingual books for children
on the street behind the Hanoi Horrison Hotel. They can sometimes be found in the Big C also.

DVDs for kids – these can be found in any of the supermarkets and usally cost about 1 dollar.

General Crafts – again Craftlink( has a wide selection at great prices including
some Vietnamese dolls. Its a shop you’ll find hard to leave without at least one purchase(if not 10).


Emergency Contacts:

Irish Embassy – Embassy of Ireland, Vincom City Towers [8F], 191 Ba Trieu Street, Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi, Vietnam
Tel No. 00 84 4 3974 3291 Website:

SOS Clinic(this changed location in 2010) – International SOS Vietnam, Ltd., 51 Xuan Dieu, Tay Ho, Hanoi,
S.R. Vietnam Tel No. +84 4 3934 0666