Day 9 & 10 - Shopping in Hanoi Old Quarter

Trip Start Sep 27, 2012
Trip End Nov 06, 2012

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Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  , Vientiane,
Thursday, October 11, 2012

Hanoi day 9

Today was just relaxing after the bus journey back from Halong Bay...lo and behold we were back in the crazy traffic again!! We went out to dinner (Thai express - I had the chicken noodles with cashews and it was really good but a lot of the others found their meals very spicy...Dave said food in Laos and Thailand is v spicy so I have to watch out for that!)

After dinner we went to a water puppet show...the set was cleverly designed with dry ice and all the lights...I have taken a small video to show you :) (not really sure if I was allowed to do that lol).

After the show Meera and I went for a stroll along the lake in Hanoi which was pretty at night and full of couples lol!

Hanoi day 10

9am start today as Dave took us on a walking tour around Hanoi. We did want to go to the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum but apparently they had taken his body which is usually kept there for re-embalming so we missed out on that (I'm not totally sure I would have wanted to see his corpse anyway though!) We visited the presidential palace where which was used during the French occupancy.... Ho Chi Minh did not stay there during his reign due to what it represented and instead lived on a little house on stilts in the grounds of the palace. The palace is now used for state functions/receptions. The gardens of the palace were lovely.

The next stop was the temple of literature..which strangely did not have any books!! Dave said it used to have books in the past though. There were plenty of souvenir shops...the weather was unbearably hot and humid so bought a fancy Vietnamese fan which I'll give to mum later :) We were supposed to see Hao Lo prison but it was too hot and I prefer to be ignorant of depressing places lol so went back to the hotel to relax for a bit.

Justien and I then headed out shopping! Had a funny little incident when Justien went to get some passport photos done for her laos visa...there was a glare on the photo from her glasses and they promised to photoshop it. When we came to collect the photos they had changed the colour of her eyes completely and they were wider apart on her face!! Lol lol Needless to say she had to have them redone lol The shopping in Hanoi is interesting.....each type of product has a designated street...for eg our hotel was located on Toy street and would have been a child's dream!

That evening we met up with two new additions to our group...Adam and Lucy who are on their honeymoon .....absolutely lovely couple from Newcastle. Adam is a physiotherapist and Lucy is a Pharmacist so we talked medicine for a bit and moaned about hospital politics lol. W also met up with another tour group and had a bit night out in Hanoi!

Plan for tomorrow is heading to Laos!
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