The Sudden Old Quarter Calling


A friend coming from Australia discovers Hanoi Old Quarter in a day! Let’s see how we explore this ancient capital!

Guest: Montakan O’Neill


Picking up

Having come back after the long trip to Moc Chau, I was bit tired but it was fine. I arrived a hotel later 10 minutes but I was so lucky when my guest was so good to me. She was sympathized with me. My guest and I said greeting like the close friends then we started exploring Old Quater immediately.

She is Montakan who was born in Thailand but her family moved to Australia 30 years ago. She is 50 years old but looked like 35 years old. Maybe she loved life and always smiled so she was young like this. She had been worked in Hanoi so by the way she wanted to discover narrow paths in Old Quarter as well as customs and culture of Hanoi. She was very friendly, lovely and funny. When we met a group of the children on the street, she was very happy and took photos with them.

My guest Montakan O’Neill

This was her the second time in Vietnam but the first time in Hanoi. She visited 8 years ago in Ho Chi Minh City but for only one day with a group tour so this time she wanted to find out clearer about Hanoi. For her, the traffic was very crazy and dangerous. The previous time her husband and she had to take 45 minutes to cross the street. This time was also the same. It was quite hard for a foreigner crossing the street in Vietnam.

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During the tour

We talked much on the way going to the Old Quarter. She had the good life now with a husband and 2 daughters. She got married at 25 years ago, but until 10 years later on, she had a baby. Although sometimes it made her husband upset, she didn’t want to have a baby soon cause she prefered to travel the world. She said she was lucky for marrying to a gentle man who understood her and took care of her a lot. He always was by beside and made her laugh everytime she felt sad.

The little girl had a talent about drawing. In free time, she had taught to poor children. And the big girl was also smart and talent in high school. In Australia, most of the student spent a long time for vacation after graduating. The gap year made them relax and special. Therefore, they would find their real human inside, the job which they truly want to do in the future and how being a good person. 

A flower street vendor

Continuing our tour, I guided her to Hoan Kiem Lake, Ngoc Son temple, Ly Thai To Status, Le Thai To temple. No longer could not her and i miss to pass through narrow paths in Old Quarter which we called treasure hunting. After that was No 48 Hang Ngang where Ho Chi Minh wrote Declaration of the Independence. Then, we arrived at White Horse temple, O Quan Chuong gate, Dong Xuan market.

Long Bien’s sundown

At last, we stood on the Long Bien bridge and looked around the city that was great. She loved coffee but we could not try it cause we did not enough time. So we just tried some food in Old Quater instead. If only I had more much time, i would guide not only Hanoi in day but also at night.


We said good bye with a big handshake and warm hug.

A big hug from Australia

Thank for reading.