Monday, January 11, 2010

Vietnam Backpack - Hanoi (2-3.12.09)

After getting up the night train from Sapa Valley, we reached Hanoi the next morning.

Last leg of our 11-day Vietnam backpack

We got back to Hanoi Guesthouse to check our luggages which we left behind before leaving for Sapa.

We checked in Hanoi Blue Sky hotel as Hanoi Guesthouse was full.

And we were off to explore Vietnam's capital city.

Map of Hanoi - The 36-old-street

Never seen a map like that...

The hustle and bustle of Hanoi

We took a cab to Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the place where Uncle Ho rests.

The Ba Dinh Square, in front of Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

This place was quite heavy guarded, and barricades were set up around it, making all visitors to enter at only one point. We were not allowed to bring in our cameras. We had to hand them over to the authorities and collect them after coming out.

And there he was, Uncle Ho, who is somehow worshiped throughout Vietnam, lying peacefully under the eyes of guards of honour.

There was a sense and aura of power surrounding Vietnam's founding father. It's like, he was still with the Vietnamese people, and was just merely taking a nap, although he had left some 30 years ago.

Everybody, locals and tourists alike, were willing to line up for 1.5 hours just to have a glimpse and pay some respect to the most important and influential leader in modern Vietnam.

It's the place of pilgrim in Vietnam

Beside was Uncle Ho's yellow house

Uncle Ho's pond - A serene environment

Uncle Ho's car

I guess this is where Uncle Ho takes his evening walk

His study - ""Leg house"

The famous pond, where Uncle Ho's fish live - Clap your hands and the fish will flock to you, just as what Uncle Ho used to do

Tree "legs" by the pond

Coming out, there were oceans of kids

I guess saying good morning to Uncle Ho is a noble thing to do.

Then we checked out Uncle Ho's museum

"Welcome all of you"

A briefing to the young soldiers

After that, a short walk brought us to the One Pillar Pagoda.

A mini temple built solely build on one pillar

Next we went to the Literature Temple, the place where students go to university.

The under-reconstruction main entrance

Main Hall

Every university will have their own list of scholars. This one's no different.

A prove that chinese characters were used some 100 years ago in Vietnam

And it seems someone from the Tan family was also a scholar!!!

文庙 - 万世师表

A statue of Confucius

We continued walking all over the Old-Quarter, or better known as the 36-old-street.

This car needs a wash up, or, it just had one?

This is my favourite shop in Hanoi

Desserts by the road

I could hardly believe what I saw!

Mix fruit ice-blended - Nicer than Ipoh's version! But a little unhygienic

That's skill!

In the evening, we soaked ourselves in the middle of the romance of Hoan Kiem Lake, or better known as Lake of the Return Sword.

People everywhere


We checked out the Water Puppet Show, located by the lake

The talented music crew

Puppets controlled behind stage, with lines attached under the water

The fireworks impressed me, really

Back stage crew

Puppets anyone?

Busy street in front of Hanoi's KFC

Christmas was in Hanoi

Introducing this famous restaurant - La Vong

They only have one dish - Cha Ga La Vong

For 3 generations

The main and only ingredient

It's like a hot-plate fried fish

Eaten with some vegetables and noodles

Locals and tourist crowded the small downtown shop. It was a meal of delicacy in Hanoi.

Well we didn't really had the taste-buds that appreciate it, considering the price was:

VND 426,000.00 !!!

Which means, each of us had to pay about RM21.00...

But the businesswomen from Saigon, who sat with us (the third picture above), ate everything clean. It was really nice of her to teach us how to eat the dish correctly.

Then, we were on our toes again, "enjoying" a busy Hanoi night out.

So it's the same old piracy problem in Hanoi - But where's the seller?

Clocks of international time zones at our hotel - 10.35 in Hanoi

What a long day in Hanoi...

We were determined to maximize our last day in Vietnam the next morning, before leaving the city at night.

More exploration around Hanoi with our map

The famous Dong Xuan market

Fabrics and silks sold

This guy look quite free... He was actually...

Loads of jackets for winter

Goods arriving in loads

Going back to Tu Lich Street for mix fruits

RM2.50 per glass

Back at Hoan Kiem Lake

A tree branches above the lake

Center of the lake

Nice pedestrian walk way

Some ancient warrior facing the lake

I would work here if they employ me

Shoe street

Then we were back at our favourite shop.

This time, sitting in the VIP seat

The garlic dumplings - NICE!!!

And its famous ice blended dessert

A few more hours walking around downtown Hanoi was really a priceless experience... You get to see people from all walks life, living in conditions that you never seen before. From those high class malls and dining restaurants to roadside stalls, and backstreet huts, you could see that life isn't always easy and smooth.

It makes you appreciate your life.

We left for Hanoi International Airport to catch our flight back to Singapore, some 3 hours before hand.

Expected hectic traffic during rush hour (Time was 5.30pm)

Hanoi International Airport

Grabbed a tax-free Martel VSOP and DOME

Bye Vietnam

So, that was my 11-day backpack in Vietnam.

Thank God everything went out fine. Our plans came thru as planned. The weather was perfect. There were no rain to disrupt any our plans...

I like Vietnam very much, especially the ancient cities of Hoi An and Hue. I am quite attracted to its culture and life style.

I will come back one day.


Huyen Trang said...

Nice story... I hope u enjoyed ur journey to my place...^^
Sorry didnt have chance to show u around, hopefully still have other chances
And if u want to find me, go to the company which u took picture with. I might work there,:D
Keep in touch

cruSadER said...

Thanks Trang...

Your country is really a nice place, vindicated by the "boomish" tourist industry.

Hopefully, I get the chance to walk around Hanoi with you! Maybe this time, I get to try something really really local, only known by locals like you!

Keep in touch and take care!

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