Monday, March 24, 2008

Ha noi

It is considered off-season here in Vietnam, but you would never know it walking the streets of Hanoi. There are plenty of tourists out and about; Aussies everywhere, lots of Europeans from various countries, Chinese, etc. Have not run into many Americans, but I am sure they are here somewhere, too. We took a tour of the presidential buidlings, and the guide said that they get mostly aussies, and not many Americans.

But why not...Vietnam is cheap. You want to find somewhere where the dollar still goes far? How does a hotel room in the city with A/C, breakfast, internet for $10-20/night sound? Dinner for two (appetizer, two dishes, dessert and 2 drinks) for $9-10 total?

Hanoi is a pretty sophisticated city; more so than the perception I held before visiting. As most know, the French had a rather big influence on the development of the city, and it shows itself readily in some areas; especially compared to Saigon. I am enjoying it quite a bit...good food, walkable distances and a relatively easy layout always work for me. Even if you have to play frogger to cross most city streets (video added). Lots of street vendors and street kitchens. Bionica has become a bit of a fruit stand junkie, eating any fruit that she has never seen. In the old quarter, you can find anything for sale from silks to snakes. And of course, all the pho you can eat. Every street specializes in a certain good; if you want kitchenware, you go to the kitchenware street, etc.

We found the ice cream street pretty quickly... ;)

(Update - Photos added)


Kaj Bune said...

Cheering you two from 2203 1st avenue...

Anonymous said...

Looks like y'all are having a blast! Enjoy some of that good food and cheap drink for yourself a round! Can't wait to hear stories and see more photos!