More about day two (Hanoi)

We saw a lot of Hanoi yesterday. Coffee in the old quarter (but not Civet coffee, not yet), and then ended up at St Joseph’s Cathedral. Mass was underway, and it was odd to know exactly what was happening despite the huge language difference. Odder still was hearing Western melody and a beautiful pipe organ. Very traditional Catholic.

Hanoi is tidier than, say, Bangkok, but still very different from back home. There are few opportunities for recycling. But we also saw lots of hot water and soap at the food vendor stalls, and like Thailand, a smile gets you a lot.

One of our favorite parts of the day was lunch. Walking around the lake, headed towards the French Quarter, and it was time for lunch. We handily picked a spot that smelled delish and where the staff spoke no English. There was a lot of pointing and we were pretty sure we were going to get chicken. And we did! First came an induction burner with broth and next a freshly chopped chicken, head and feet included. Raw.

Into the broth it went and while we waited for it to cook we had fresh cucumber with coarse salt and lime, and fresh rolls.

The staff was friendly, but not overly so. Turned out that’s because they were focused on making sure we had a great lunch. When we were finishes, there were handshakes, smiles, pantomimes and laughter.

The French Quarter was like being in France. ‘Nuff said. I’ll take the New Orleans version any day. But pretty.

The long walk back let us see a different part on Hanoi – few if any tourists, and a lot of people working: drills, dremels, glue. And food, of course, right out on the street.

My beer/coffee window was in a tug of war, but as we neared the 14 mile mark, the beer won! A lager or three near the end of a long walk is a blessing.

We found an outdoor street vendor for a dinner/snack, and some local beer (about .70 cents).

We walked thru the night market to get home – busier than the first night, maybe because it was Saturday night.

Next up is Ha Lang Bay

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One Comment to “More about day two (Hanoi)”

  1. I haven’t come back to my own capital city for 5 years! Glad you had a great time there. Ha Long Bay is amazing I can say. Can’t wait to be back one day!

    Check out my latest post here: http://www.vingnguyen.com/sheikh-zayed-abu-dhabi-bucket-list/

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