2010 Predictions

Everyone loves a list of what will happen in the world of travel, fashion, food, sports, news. And I fell for the temptation too, by producing my 2010 list for Lonely Planet.

Of all the claims, I am most certain that Hanoi will win for the best birthday of the year in 2010. The Vietnamese capital has been planning celebrations for years — and it’s a big one, 1000.

My perfect day in Hanoi, if I only had one and wanted a taste of attractions, is something like this:

Wake early, like 4.45am – and walk around Hoan Kiem Lake when locals do their Jazzercise routines. After breakfast, cab to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum when it opens to take a quick (bizarre) look at Vietnam’s goateed hero, then get back to the center to walk around the Old Quarter. Time it for a good lunch – pho is super at Pho Gia Tuyen (49 Bat Dan St) – and then cab to see the infamous ‘Hanoi Hilton’ as John McCain’s one-time home — the Hoa Lo Prison — is known.

Before dinner, I’d have a ten-cent beer or two, and people-watch, at the fascinating ‘bia hoi corner’ (at Ta Hien & Luong Ngoc Quyen Sts in the Old Quarter) then taxi to the artsy, shoes-off Chim Sao (65 Ngo Hue St) for dinner, and return for a last walk around Hoan Kiem Lake after dark.

About Robert Reid

Robert Reid is a travel writer (Lonely Planet, New York Times, ESPN), travel expert (Today Show, CNN's Headline News), travel videographer (76-Second Travel Show) and travel artist (don't ask).
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