Saturday, September 1, 2012

Sat 1 Sep - Hanoi

After hearty breakfast including pho, soup, green beans, omlettes and macaroni cheese, we were read for a day of walking.

Weather hot and steamy but manageable. We expected to sweat - and Di definitely did!

We went exploring near the markets and Long Bien train station. Chatted to some local students waiting for the train. Crazy traffic and traffic cops really seem to have little influence. Maybe they just given up. We don't blame them.

Vietnamese traffic cop
Cute little fellow

The love their gambling here
In the afternoon, we wlaked to Hoa Lo Prison (aka Hanoi Hilton by the Americans during the Vietnam war) which was a bit grim, including lots of dummies of shackled Vietnamese and the guillotine used by French on local compatriots fighting for their country. Massive propaganda, of course, including how well the captured Americans were treated by the Vietnamese during the Vietnam War. They exhibit John McCain's (a one time presidential candidate) pilot suit he was wearing when was captured and interned here.
After that, we wandered some more, found a nice French bakery and some parks. We crossed the train tracks and saw this woman doing... Not quite sure...???
Given the limited amount of time that we have in Vietnam, we booked a 2 nights / 3 days Halong Bay / Cat Ba Island trip (not cheap at $145 each but not luxury either). The same travel broker, Anh, was also doing Sunday morning walking tours at 6.15am for $1. Bargain. We're in.
Dinner was Gourmet Corner recommended by Tripadvisor. Nice and cheap traditional 3 course Vietnamese meal.

However, the air con was not working, which meant dessert was served on the 12th floor terrace. Us no complain. Great views from there.

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