Last w/e we were in Hanoi.
Yet another interesting place.
Once again, the thing that springs first to mind are all of the motorbikes and cyles / cyclos (tricycle taxi’s with a single (almost double – but not for us) seat in front). Hanoi press talks about traffic jams, but they really mean bike jams, as the number of cars is minimal. Quite funny really.
The city is very memorable though. All of the tourist material tells it like it is, lovely big boulevards, very French colonial architecture, and a quite slow pace of life (compared to other Asian cities, and compared also to Ho Chi Minh / Saigon).
There is also a night street life that feels very “Paris”: cafes, bistro’s and restaurants open onto, and spilling into, the streets.
Interestingly, don’t see many Farangs with the young Vietnamese girls around. There weren’t many in Ho Chi Minh either, but even less here. There are, of course, some Farangs married to Vietnamese women, but they seemed to be business owners running restaurants, the ones we came across.
The traditional dress seems to be holding up, for the women at any rate, with the “Ao Dai” (the long top dress thing over the loose pants), though not so much now that it’s winter (it was about 15 degrees while we were there). The cone hats are very prominent too still.
The street scenes are very interesting as well, as you can see from the picture here (and those in Trish’s blog, if I can get them in).
We went to the Cathedral on the Sunday. Mass in Vietnamese was another experience we will remember.
Also, we visited the Ho Chi Minh museum and mausoleum. The place was full of aged small viet’s, many in old-old uniforms with a medal on, who were obviously doing a memorial trip in from the country (very strong smell of the farm yard).
2 1/2 days wasn’t enough to see everything, but we saw most of what would be interesting for a tourist, though there didn’t seem to be so many of those (tourists) compared with other places we’ve been.
Cambodia next probably.






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *