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Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States

Feb 8, 2012


After spending 4 pleasantly warm days in Siem Reap, Hanoi greeted us with cold and rain.
The day before we arrived and the day after we left, the temperature was at least 10 degrees warmer. It would be nice to visit again and see what Vietnam is like when the sun shines.

Our hotel "The Hanoi Ruby Elegance" was tucked away in an alley. We arrived at 10:30PM. Our welcome drinks were mango smoothies. Unfortunately, Jane who does not like Mango, was wide awake and Elliot, who loves Mango was asleep. The Ruby Elegance, provided a warm comfortable refuge from the wet and cold during our stay. We played the card version of "Clue" (referred to here as Cluedo) and Uno. The kids enjoyed the cartoon network and the Disney channel too. Quite possibly the most memorable experience from Vietnam for Elliot will be the Aglet Song. from Phineas and Ferb, He sang it yesterday.
We use trip advisor when searching for a hotel and have yet to be disappointed by our references.

Crossing the street was an adventure. Even with a green light at a crosswalk, scooters would buzz by and sometimes cars. We read in our tour book that we were to walk slowly and the traffic would move around us. Our application of this, was to move in front of a scooter that would swerve around us and stop in front of a car because it is bigger and would hurt more. The key was not to dart across, if you can remember the Atari game Frogger, it was a bit like that.

Water puppets were traditionally performed by farmers during the rainy season. This theater performs multiple times during the day and sells out frequently. I enjoyed the live music and singing of the performers that accompanied the show. It was presented entirely in Vietnamese but the scenes moved quickly and an English program was offered to let us know what was happening during each scene.

We saw a video about candy street. Vietnam, like China, would often have the same shops clumped together. There are a few candy makers and shops remaining in Hanoi. I was excited to try the traditional O-Mai ginger candy. I love ginger and expected to like it. We tasted about 4 different types of candies, I found them all too strong in flavor for my liking.

Ho Chi Minh's body is actually on display in Hanoi. I find that stuff too creepy and we didn't attempt to visit.

We certainly had to try Pho. The hotel recommend a little place around the corner and for about 80cents we could get a hot bowl of chicken pho. I think even if it had not been cold and rainy, the pho would have tasted just as good, and really, 80 cents? you can't beat that price.

Vietnam for a majority of my life, was just the name of a war that my father fought in. I was glad to have the opportunity to visit the country and learn more about its people and history.

1 comment:

Michelle Roman said...

Another great post and another fun video!! Love it!