Turbo sight seeing in Hanoi

Trip Start Jan 05, 2010
Trip End Jan 25, 2010

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Where I stayed
Maison D'hanoi

Flag of Vietnam  ,
Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Our day started our day with Seaweed Pringles for breakfast (yes - they are as bad as they sound) and feeling like we'd been hit by a train (lol).

The taxis at Hanoi station were lined up as far as you could see, but we still had trouble finding one to take the short trip to the Maison D'Hanoi (for a reasonable price that is - plenty wanted to rip us off. Luckily Mike was onto them and refused to pay the extra 30,000 dong, or $2 they were asking).  We attacked the Hotel buffet with gusto and set off for an early morning walk around Hoan Kiem Lake. A hot spot of Tai Chi activity early in the morning, and the paths around the lake were full of locals exercising. Tai Chi local style comes in many different forms - with swords, with small rackets and balls and one hard core devotee lying on the edge of a very uncomfortable looking fence.

We then hurried over to see Uncle Ho lying in state, as the Mausoleum is only open until 10:30am. Mike is convinced Mde Trussard has done an amazing job of preparing a wax replica however if it's the real deal Ho Chi Minh has been brilliantly preserved for 40+ years. Uncle Ho specifically asked to be cremated and his ashes spread across north, south and central Vietnam but clearly this was not to be. We  took a quick look around the grounds and saw Ho Chi Minh's cars, office and house (although the house was closed for reno's).

Next stop was the Fine Arts Museum, then a spot of lunch at Cha Ca La Vong, a restaurant famous for serving a single dish - fired monkfish - for over a century. The fish and some accompanying greens were served in a small frying pan of oily marinade, made with galagal, saffron, fermented rice and fish sauce. It was very unusual and tasty! 

For our final night in Hanoi we went back to Indochine for dinner. We tried ordering the streamed crab (US$20) but the waiter explained it was 1kg of crab meat and may be too much for us!! So we settled for a more reasonably sized meal.... It was Mikes turn to pick a drinking spot for a night cap and we headed to an area one street back from the hotel, to the GC bar. After settling in with a beer and having a look around, it struck us that I was the only woman in sight - not counting the two shaved headed 'ladies' sitting near the door. A closer inspection of the other mincing patrons alerted our suspicions and a quick google the next morning confirmed we had been in a gay bar known as the Golden Cock and more interestingly gets raided by the police from time to time.  We finished our beers, minced out of the bar in order to avoid drawing any attention & cheered ourslves up by picking up some cheap DVDs and called it a night .

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