Picture taken from 20th floor of Melia Hotel, Hanoi. It was misty and cold!
We flew from LCCT, KLIA via Air Asia to Hanoi, Vietnam for our year end holiday. Our flight was scheduled at 6.05am in the morning, which meant that we had to wake up at 3.30am to get ready to go to the airport. Checking in, going through the immigration, etc. would take up time which was good to be there early, since Air Asia also required all passengers to check in at least 45 minutes before the flight. We went through all procedures smoothly and the flight took off at 6.05am sharp. All of us slept through the flight, which took 3 hours and 30 minutes.
We touched down at Noi Bai International Airport, Hanoi at 8.35am local time. The time difference is one hour. Malaysia is one hour behind Vietnam. The temperature was 16'c, which was very cold for us who are used to tropical climate, especially when it was windy. The weather is cold in Hanoi from November until March, which the minimum temperature is ranging from 14'c to 18'c. It would be quite fun to visit Hanoi during this season, as traveling is less fatique in this nice cozy weather.
We checked into Melia Hotel, which is located strategically at Hoan Kiem district, the heart of the city of Hanoi, which is very near to the very popular "Old Quarters" 36 streets business centre. We stayed in the V (Executive) level deluxe room which costs USD165 per night. We actually booked the V level room by no choice as the rest of the rooms were fully booked. However, we later found out that it was a wise decision as the facilities provided are great.
The price we pay is inclusive of free buffet breakfast, free Wi-Fi service which is great for us to do last minute web surfing on tour info, and best of all, we are also entitled for free flow of tea, coffee, juices and fruits. The lounge also provides afternoon tea and happy hours (free flow of wine, juices, etc...) which usually come along with cookies, mini sandwiches and local delights (for instance: spring rolls) which both adults and kids enjoy. Our kids get to socialise with other kids too while lounging around the club.
The menu of the room service is limited in Melia Hotel. However, we can always order food from other restaurants in the hotel and get them to send to our room. It's great to dine in the room, after a long day out sometimes. :) The Vietnamese food served in the El-Oriental Restaurant is great and at reasonable price too.
Our cubs really enjoy the cold weather in Hanoi. Basically, we need cold hat and shawl, which will help keeping our body warm. We didn't bring any with us, but it's ok, as there were plenty of shops selling it with a wide variety of designs with cheap price. We bought some cold hats and shawls for Vietnamese Dong 30,000 each, which is around RM7. The stretchy cold hat could be pulled down low enough to protect the ears and best of all, it's impossible to be blown off in the wind. :)
Also, don't forget the sunscreen cream/lotion, as the sun's radiation is more intense in cold weather. Lip balm is very important to prevent chapped lips. For nursing moms, you may want to bring the nursing cream to keep the nipples moisturised or you will find it painful when the weather gets really cold. :) You don't need the lip balm if you have the nursing cream with you, as most nursing cream is widely used to prevent or cure chapped lips too, and most of all, it's edible and safe for babies.
Note: Written in year 2007.