Thursday, January 14, 2016

Vietnam: Hanoi

The second half of our trip we spent in the city of Hanoi. The city felt very different any much smaller than Ho Chi Minh City. This could be because we didn't really leave the old quarter, but there was plenty to do and see.
The view from our hotel. There were tall skinny buildings everywhere.
The first thing on our list was find some Vietnamese coffee. We didn't have to go far, but we did. We were in search of a specific place that J had read about. We didn't find it but the place we went to was good.
Our morning coffee view
The view
I liked mine iced and J liked it hot.
The seats at the little coffee shops like this one were Baby O sized.
After coffee we were ready to check out Hoa Lo Prison. Hao Lo Prison was initially used by the French colonist in Vietnam for political prisoners. It was later used by the North Vietnam during the Vietnam War. American prisoners called it the "Hanoi Hilton".
The sign by this said that sixteen political prisoners escaped through this
 underground sewer on December 24th, 1951. Five of them rejoined the resistance.
That evening we attended a Water Puppet Show. Baby O really enjoyed the show too! Well most of it. The show runs about thirty-five minutes and that was about five minutes too long for Baby O. Water puppetry dates back to the 11th century. Traditionally the water puppets were used to entertain each other when the rice fields flooded. Todays puppets are made of lacquered wood on long bamboo rods. The puppeteers are hidden behind a screen.
After the show we went in search of a Pho restaurant, but it turns out Pho is traditionally served for breakfast. We ended up at a nice restaurant with a great view of the lake.
The next two days we spent on a cruise of Ha Long Bay. I am going to write a separate post about this so this one doesn't get too long.

Our last day in Vietnam was good, but not action packed. We of course went for a coffee after breakfast. J had a conference call for work, I repacked, we did a little shopping and we went to the Ethnology Museum. The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology focuses on the fifty-four ethnic groups in Vietnam. The three acre property has an outdoor exhibit showing the many different styles of dwellings. This was my favorite part of the museum because we got to climb into and walk around all the different styles of dwellings.
I believe this guy was on the fertility hut.
Cham House
Ede House
Bahnar Communal House
I loved our trip to Vietnam! The food, the history, the people, it was all so interesting. We only had nine days to explore and it definitely was not enough.


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