Hanoi!

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Rachel Richards

On Saturday, October 10th, we flew from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. The flight was short and easy, only about 2 hours long and they even served a meal!  Unfortunately however, the food was not exactly what I would call appetizing. Lunch consisted of a hamburger bun, with what looked like slices of Spam on it, some green pea pudding looking stuff, and a small bag of roasted peanuts and dried green peas.

Plane food!
Plane food!

So far, Hanoi has proven to be a great city with lots to offer, explore and experience. Like Ho Chi Minh, traffic is hectic and the streets are very busy! As we walk out of our hotel there are many small shops selling fruits, vegetables and meat. It’s still quite weird to see live fish just laying in a bowl gasping for air, or live frogs in a basket with their legs tied up so they can’t jump out, all waiting to be sold for dinner that night. Sorry, but I won’t be touching them with a ten-foot pole! The fruit on the other hand is sensational!

Market
Some not-so-fortunate fish at the market 
Houses in Hanoi
Houses in Hanoi

Near where our hotel is located in the Old Quarter of Hanoi, is Hoan Kiem Lake, which is a great spot for a morning run or evening stroll.

The lake at night
The lake at night
Lights along the walkway that borders the lake
Lights along the walkway that borders the lake

Just as in the other cities we have visited, the people of Hanoi are friendly and helpful. Although, I’ve noticed they are not quite as concerned or bothered to engage with us, because they are used to having so many tourists around. Whereas the people in smaller cities and towns, such as Danang, made an extra effort to talk and interact with us.

Another interesting detail that I have noticed, especially in Hanoi, is stores that sell the same items, are all grouped and placed on a specific street. Whether it be clothes, tools, fabric,  flowers, toys, souvenirs, sunglasses, coffee, etc. that specific item will be what the majority of stores will sell on that particular street.

Vietnam continues to amaze me with its wonderful people, delicious food, fascinating culture and incredible sights. I look forward to continuing to learn about, understand and appreciate this incredible country and all it has to offer.

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