the real hanoi
18.05.2012 34 °C
up this morning for a breakfeast of pho for me and fruit and toast for jen. today we will be doing the walking tour of hanoi as recommended by lonely planet. our hotel has taken the liberty of also marking out the lonely planet walking tour on their map of hanoi so it is much easier to walk around with a paper map than the lonely planet book.
the walk starts at the hoan kiem lake and makes it way through the old quarter of hanoi. all the streets are named after different products. you have streets that specialise in shoes, tombstones, bamboo, herbal medicines, lanterns, toys and many other amazing products. what you get to see is the real city and people getting around their day to day lives. i would find it hard to imagine living in this organised chaos, however, like all of us we adapt to our surroundings so anything is possible. we spent a few hours just wandering through these steets constantly amazed at what was around the corner. as we were coming to the end of the tour the rain came down. when it rains in vietnam it rains. so we had to make our way back to the hotel by running from dry spot to dry spot. i must admit i didn't mind getting wet as it cooled you down from the heat. finally made it back to the hotel and to the dry confines of our room.
all over the city there are birds in cages singing. different sizes and types of birds hanging from the shopfronts and homes.
who would want to be an electrician in hanoi? from what i see they just keep on layering cables on top of each other.
after about half an hour the rain stopped and the sun came out. this seems to be normal weather for this time of the year. we decided to sit out the extreme humidity which had enveloped the city and watch a movie in our hotel room.
after a break we headed out for some dinner. went to the soul cafe which we had been to before. food was ok but the view was great and the drinks good as well. here is the view of the chaos below.
after dinner and a few cocktails we headed back out to the streets. if we thought it was a bit crazy during the day then night friday night was five times worse. traffic everywhere!! on friday and saturday nights they have night markets so one of the main streets is closed of to traffic. therefore, all the other streets have to cope with more traffic. we picked up a few more bargains and enjoyed the atmosphere.
we decided to head towards the hotel and find a bar near by for a few ales. found a bar called the knights bar around the corner from our hotel. for some reason the vietnamese owner had the bar painted in a knights of the round table theme. very strange, however, they had drinks and were playing some music. we pulled up a seat and did some more people watching. lots of young vietnamese and tourists out having a good time. after a few more we pull up stumps and headed home for the night. a good day was had by all.
andrew and jenny