Hanoi Havoc

Trip Start Sep 25, 2010
Trip End Oct 11, 2010

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Where I stayed
The Flower Hotel

Flag of Vietnam  ,
Sunday, September 26, 2010

The first thought that comes to mind when hitting the city is how the **** am I going to cross the road! Hanoi is a chaotic, noisy city, but amidst the chaos, drivers are calm while they constantly bip their horns. 
The trick to crossing the road is to walk slowly and purposefully, while drivers weave around u.  No-one stops at red lights, they're just for show...apparently.
Just home from the Temple of Literature, a shrine to Confucious.
A walk around Hoa Lo prison, a relic from the Vietnam war, where horrific crimes against humanity were committed. Funny thing, the Americans refered to it during the war as the Hanoi Hilton so today our taxi driver dropped us at the imposing Hilton Hotel in a miscommunication debacle. Ended up paying double after all piling back in to get to the right place.
Lunch at the New Window Cafe of Pho Ga (chicken soup) and a range of noodley, ricey dishes plus beers all for about $2.50 each.
Nice to have the Flower Hotel to come back to all day, (with the air-con!) even after check-out. Soooo hot and steamy outside! All drenched with sweat after each excursion.
Next was the Cyclo tour, where we were peddled around the Old Quarter for an hour and a quarter. Wow, talk about daredevil experience,weaving thru motos, buses and trucks with millimetres to spare! My cyclo did have a scrape with a moto, but not to worry, we all carried on as if nothing had happened.
On to Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre. Let's just say the best thing was the
vietnamese orchestra and singers! And young Michael's later impersonations!  It gave us all atalking point for the rest of the trip.
We ate, (some of us - whose food actually showed up, ours from a Dominoes like pizza joint down the road) at a Rooftop bar with a fabulous view over Hoan Kiem Lake and watched moving light beams, lit up bridges and architecture and dance/show practice for the 1000 years of settlement in Hanoi.
Headed then to a 9pm train to Sapa for 9 hrs in a sleeper with Dan & Mary from Ireland!

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Yvonne on

Enjoy yourselves. Long may it last as 1 morning in work & my wonderful holiday feeling is leaving me fast!

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