The SpaceWe are a Vietnamese - American couple who are living in Vietnam to do development work. We work with tuberculosis patients in the slums, as well as with smallholder farmers vulnerable to increasing effects of climate change. Our house is eco-friendly, with recycling and composting (but yes, you still have an AC). It's a simple, cheerful, Vietnamese-style vertical house with a kitchen on the ground floor and bedrooms with private baths on individual floors going up. We are lucky to have large windows with lots of light, which is unusual for most of these traditional homes. We are on a dead end lane which means peace and quiet apart from the kids playing out front. Guest AccessThe common areas of the house are a fully furnished kitchen and dining area on the ground floor and a laundry space on the roof.
Anything we have in the kitchen is yours to share. Tiffany often gets in the baking mood and will supply copious amounts of German 'Bauern Brot' or banana bread on a whim.
An enormous washing machine and an iron are also yours to use. (Sorry we hate doing laundry and ironing, so you're on your own here. There is also a laundromat down the street, if you prefer that method.) Interaction with GuestsWe're happy to share with you anything we know or own to make your stay a memorable one! The NeighborhoodImportantly, location!
The house is located centrally just a few 100 meters from Uncle Ho's eternal resting place, but on a small street set back off the main road. The neighborhood is very local, complete with winding back alleys, aunties gossiping over their soup bowls, and a fabulous local lunch place (called cơm bình dân, or "proletariat rice") that is so good it completely sells out by 12:15.
We've had friends visit for the weekend, and literally eat every meal within a 5 minute walk from our house, because this is really where some of the best food in the city can be found. Bun Cha Huyen Linh on Ngoc Ha street cannot be beat, and neither can the Banh Xeo and Nem Lui in the alleys near Doi Can. Two great vegetarian places are nearby if you fancy some buddhist chanting music with your meal and a local beer corner serves up Vietnam's only home-brewed black beer - Dai Viet - together with views and lakeside breezes.
Hanoi Botanical Gardens are next door and a great place to breath some cooler, fresher air. We like to think the trees provide air filtration services for our home too.
A little over ten minutes' walk will get you to the Hanoi Citadel and other 1,000+ year-old relics at the heart of the city.
Finally, if you just walk out our lane, take a right and just keep straight ahead till the old water tower, you will have walked down one of the French Quarter's most picturesque tree-lined boulevards. People regularly come here from around the city to pose for photographs with the crumbling French villas and under the tunnel of green trees. Getting AroundWe are just meters away from a local bus stop and can help you with taxis or moto-taxis (called xe ôm, or "hugging bikes" as one should hug their driver tightly for a safe ride).
But most conveniently, you will be able to walk just about anywhere and will only have to battle your way through the crowded old quarter when you choose to.