Greetings from her capital Hà Nôi!
With this being a working trip, the weekend was the only time we had to explore the city. And like always, we like to do it on foot. We walked a lot under a scorching sun and sought refuge in an air-con cafe, if we happened to see one.
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
19 May, the birth anniversary of Uncle Ho (who is none other than Ho Chi Minh)
Florist and her cool bicycle
Old City Gate
St Joseph’s Cathedral
We tried the strawberry cone
Lenin Square, opposite Flag Tower
Dong Xuan Market
Chubby dollies in a toy shop
Some imported items are tagged in shops
Pretty teapot + teacups in an amusement park
Around a residential neighbourhood
- Exchange rate from the money changer:
SGD 1.00 = VND 13,200 = USD 0.72
Exchange rate (13,600) offered at the hotel in Hanoi was more favourable.
- Handling money in 10s and 100s of thousands can be mind-taxing! Paying 40,000 (SGD 3) for my daily package lunch/dinner is really something and so is paying 110,000 for a taxi ride. A quick relief from this sudden trauma was to cover up the last four digits on any value to get a rough conversion.
- Rain that fell in the night marks the advent of summer.
- The day brightens up early at 5am. I woke up one day thinking I’ve overslept but it was only 6am.
- Crossing a busy road in Vietnam is liken to entering into warfare. Sometimes I will walk cross the 1-way, or even 2-way (with no clear divider in the middle!) roads like a fearless warrior…not minding about the mingling with traffic at such close proximity. Feels quite cool even. However other times the mere sight of the swam of never-diminishing motorcycles and cars terrifies and hence dreariness + hesitation sets in…
- Some cab drivers don’t like to give way to crossing pedestrians unlike the more disciplined motorcyclists.
- There are several chic and interesting small boutiques on Ba Trieu street.
- Vodka is cheap. And so are roses.
- Some recommended taxi companies: Hanoi Taxi, Taxi CP and Mai Linh
- The conical hat looks very protective against the sun.
- On the plane journey, I watched an episode of Before and After (大改造!!劇的ビフォーアフター) home makeover show. It was truly a fascinating transformation for a really cramp space for a family of 6. Unthinkable!
I’ll sum up my adventure in Hanoi in 2 more posts – Made in Vietnam and Vietnam + publications.
Such interesting places and scenes! I always love the way you see things through the lens. You must have enjoyed yourself thoroughly.
Very nice pictures. I can identify the problem with road crossing but I don’t dare to cross on my own, I need my husband to lead!