This is our second day in Hanoi and I think we are starting to figure out how to get around. The city is quite a mash of streets. Tomorrow we take a 2 night trip Halong Bay so we'll be out of touch for a couple of days but it's sure to be quite the party!!
Oct 11 - Hanoi
We were going to wake up for the walking tour at 9ambut the alarm went off and I said there is no way I'm getting up right now. So we slept till about 11am. Once we got up we walked down the road to a little restaurant. I had fried noodles with beef and Beau had rice with crab. It was quite good. We followed the map we had from the hostel and took a walking tour around the Old Quarter. It was quite interesting. There were streets devoted to different things like shoes, metal, wood, it was crazy. We walked around Hoan Kiem Lake. After walking around for most of the day we ran into a guy, Yan. we met this morning who is also our dorm mate. He had befriended two South African girls. Beau played some Foosball with Yan, we had some beers, it's 2 for 1 beer between 5 and 6 at our hostel. We headed out to find some dinner with our new friends. Dinner wasn't as good as lunch was but it was still okay. Yan and the girls were going to the Water Puppet show around 9pm so we tagged along to see about getting tickets for tomorrow night. There were still tickets available for the late show so we went. It was interesting... it was about farming I think. The music was incredible, there was a unique instrument, the Dan Bau, which only had one string. It makes a unique sound. We did enjoy the experience though. We went to bed pretty early since it had been a long day with the train from China this morning.
Oct 12 – Old Quarter Walking Tour
This morning we got up in plenty of time to catch the Old Quarter walking tour. It covered a lot of the same areas that we had yesterday but we had a guide so the commentary really helped. Hanoi used to consist of 36 streets each was devoted to a specific item. The tour was great. We saw some temples/places of worship and how typical houses in Vietnam are deep and skinny. We were also shown some good places to eat. There is a DIY street which has metal products and wood products. We had lunch at a fish noodle soup places which was quite good. After that we hunted up a place for Beau to get his hair cut. It is very hot and humid in Hanoi. Beau got a very good hair cut for $5, so he is much happier now. We went to the temple at the center of the lake. It is devoted to the tortoise of the lake. The legend has it that a fisherman recieved a sword from the lake, he used the sword to defeat the invading Chinese. He then became king and the tortoise reclaimed the sword for the lake. The lake was then renamed “Ho Hoan Kiem” which translates to “Lake of the Sword Restored.” There is still one giant tortoise left alive in the lake today. Again we meandered through the streets of Hanoi's Old Quarter. We made it back to the hostel for cheap beer and started to organize ourselves for our Halong Bay tour. We met our new dorm mates and spent some time swapping travel stories. We actually have some now! We got dinner at a nice restaurant down the road from our hostel and them picked up some cheaper beers to drink back at the hostel.
|The metal street, these are burners that the Vietnamese use to burn fake money for their ancestors.|
|Mmmmm fish soup|
|Beau's new hair cut!|