17 December 2006

Hanoi - Day Hai

*Pictures Alert - Give up NOW, dial up users*

So, after an early nite, we got up early - it's winter in Hanoi, which means the sun comes out a little later, but sets a little earlier as well. If we were to maximize our time, we'll have to be early.

Turns out that Vietnamese start their day early. By the time we got up at around 7 am, the streets have sprung alive.

On Day 2, the idea is to just walk about Hanoi ... wandering around the Old Quarters, and eventually ending up in the French Quarter, and attending the Water Puppet theater show.

The Old Quarters is about 2000 years old, and was previously a walled compound housing merchants in Hanoi.

The streets are named according to the goods sold on that street, and usually starts with 'Hang', which means good. So, Hang Gai is Hemp Street. Hang Thiec is Tin Street, Hang Bo is where the baskets are sold. Read all about it here. There are more than 36 streets like these selling all sorts of things - it's so nice to just get lost and wander around this whole area.

What's interesting in the Old Quarters?

Well ... Hanoi traffic would be a good start. It's chaos. There's no system. There are no rules. You cross the road when you want. You walk wherever you like. 6 way junction? No problem ... just HONK and keep going. It's madness !!! But it makes the place so full of honks and adventure ...

The amount of different goods sold ...


Preserved and restored buildings - 87 Ma May is a good example ...


Street vendors and street food ...


We eventually wandered out of the Old Quarters to Hoan Kiem Lake (Lake of the Returned Sword), and visited the Ngoc Son temple, which sits in the middle of the lake.


And after that, we wandered into the French Quarters, where the roads are wide, and buildings look ... French. The Opera House looks n i c e .. albeit a little aged !!


One thing you have to do in Vietnam is to try out the food. It's REALLY good.


We had Vietnamese Drip Coffee (take your strongest espresso, multiply that 10 times, and you get Vietnamese Drip Coffee), baguettes (really good), spring rolls (ultra good) ... heck, just about anything we tried was really good.


And at night, the Water Puppet show is totally recommended ...

There are up to 4 shows a night, and the tickets are more expensive for front row seats, which I highly recommend. The shows are totally hilarious, and very well choreographed. The theater is just next to Hoan Kiem lake ...

11 comments:

pelf said...

Turtle tower? Why is it so called? And I love to watch the shows - they always impress me :)

angel said...

Yerrrr u din the kiut2 figurines for me... yerrrr...

A bit ancient hor the place... looks nice...

moz monster said...

pelf:
Pelf, Hoan Kiem lake means "Returned sword" lake. Legend has it that a returning King returned a magical sword to a golden turtle in this very lake, thus the name.

There is at least on giant turtle still in the lake. Read all about it here.

angeliu:
I bought you the dragonfly why ...

Dunch worry ... next trip I buy the figurine for you. OK ?

Jemima said...

Watch out Hanoi! Jemima will defintely visit you.

Thanks, Moz. :)

Applegal said...

I like the lanterns! :D The opera house looks gorgeous :)

may said...

really really nice photos you have of Hanoi! skipped all the words and went straight for the 'eye candy', heheh... and great meeting you on Sat too! have a great week ahead!

Infectioner said...

deer pen*s very short lar :P

Che-Cheh said...

The picts you took are really beautiful...and Hanoi will be in my list of places to visit.

Thanks for sharing with us.

moz monster said...

jemima:
Wait for the other posts ... it gets better ...

applegal:
OK ... understand the hint ... lanterns for applegal in the next trip ... how about a ticket for a show in the Opera House?

It's actually an almost exact replica of the Opera House in Paris, according to my guide book. Supposedly, the glass chandeliers here are the most beautiful in all of Asia. But you'll have to pay for a performance to see em ...

may:
*rolls out red carpet*
*serves mango loh*
Likewise, nice to have met you as well ...

And thanks for the number. Now ... I'll have to learn how to buy 4D ....

infectioner:
So, I take it you have a longer one ?

These are dried ones, so they would have shrunk from the original size ...

che-cheh:
Good idea ... visit it before the mainland Chinese tourists find it !!!

chloe said...

erlack. deer penis sold in packets?? x_x eccentric asian taste buds.

the baguette looks good though, because it looks western. =P

moz monster said...

chloe:
I think the packet is how it was sold to the merchant. They probably sell it by weight, I guess? hehe ... 160 gms of deer penis ???

Vietnam, with it's colonial French heritage, has great western food. And not to mention fusion as well ...