Monday, July 25, 2011

Sights of Hanoi

Most of our time in Hanoi was spent wandering its labyrinthine streets and alleys, getting a sense for the rhythms of Vietnamese city life. Below are a bunch of pictures of some of the things we found in our wandering.

Somewhat surprisingly, forzen yogurt is nowhere to be found in Hanoi. Instead, this mush-jellied fruits -and-ice concoction is on every other street corner. You point to which bowls you want added to the cup, and then plop down on one of the tiny plastic stools to enjoy it and watch passers-by.

Night market on Fridays and Saturdays. LOTS of clothes and plastic shoes. Few "Fat Farang" sizes. :)

The old quarter of Hanoi is situation around a smallish lake, which makes navigating the streets easier. At one end is a cool Chinese temple:

Just outside the temple is a globe statue with Vietnam highlighted in red. Look closely though - it's not exactly to scale!

To escape the heat (Hanoi is the hottest city in Southest Asia, not an easy feat!), we ducked into an air-conditioned cafe. I ordered an apple-carrot-ginger smoothie -- delicious!

The cafe was on the fifth floor, with great views...

...especially of Hanoi's relentless traffic, devoid of lights or even lanes. Everyone just goes, threading a path amongst the flow of other motorbikes and a smattering of cars. Honks are strategic here, used to let others know you're there, rather than a way of expressing road rage as they are back home.

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