The capital city lights up in glorious colors as lanterns glow around Hoan Kiem Lake. Motorbikes cease their endless buzzing as drivers start to park before going to restaurants or stroll the busy streets.
Of course, the lake is the central attraction. Yong lovers walk hand-in-hand or sit on curbs to watch the lights glow across the water. People sip specialty coffee at Hapro’s and talk to family and friends. Children line up for ice cream and try to eat the bars before they drip down their chins. Mothers and fathers wipe their faces clean with wet cloths.
Across the street, tourists enjoy their own ice cream specialties at Fanny’s as waitresses serve brightly decorated treats neatly arranged in colorful patterns. Cinnamon sticks, cookie chunks, and umbrellas protrude from the cool delicacies. No one makes better ice cream than the Vietnamese.
Particularly, the night market is open from Friday evening. Children laugh and play and follow around the women selling balloons. All kinds of goods are sold here: watches, clothes, wallets and purses, lighters, trinkets for the hair, games and radios and CD players. Hang Dao Street is closed from the lake all the way to Dong Xuan Market. The bright lights glow down the street as if stars have fallen from the sky upon the city. People crowd the street like a tide washing from side to side.
At the City View Café, above the lake, guests enjoy specialty dinners. Many sit on the large balcony drinking beer and coffee as they watch the people on the streets.