Archives for posts with tag: Hanoi
Originally published on facebook –  October 1, 2010 at 6:25am ·

HANOI – day 6.

Back in Hanoi, we arrive by train at 5am, rapping on the door and obnoxiously loud Asian music playing, lovely. I search out some crappy coffee on the train and then we have arrived at the station. I meet up with everyone on the platform and we find a taxi large enough to take all 5 of us and our packs to the hostel. It’s raining buckets and we’re all soaked pretty quickly. Reception at the hostel doesn’t open until 6pm so we wait around in the lobby with some other refugees all of us dozing, dazed and dreamy. I wrangle a dorm bed but can’t get into it until 8am, others are not so lucky and have to wait until 11am. Some of us (Andy, Len, Beckie, Nicole, who I have found again, yay! and I) decide to check out the Museum of Ethnology and then go in search of the remains of some B52 bombers that were shot down by the Vietnamese during the war. Nicole is a huge asset as she speaks Vietnamese, her skills come in very useful as we navigate by taxi around town for the day. Everyone falls in love with her as quickly as I did, it’s hard not to.

The Museum of Ethnology is interesting, outside are some buildings with written descriptions, one of which is a tomb or burial preparation room. Outside it is surrounded by wooden carved sculptures which are designed to depict all that is needed to have led a good life as well as the things to take with you to the afterlife. There are a surprising number of erect penises and sexual couplings. Everyone, all ages, get the giggles once they realize what they are looking at. We’re all a little punch-drunk form the early morning and agree that we have a hard time reading let alone understanding the written descriptions of what we are seeing. I basically wander around finding photo opportunities, looking for pretty things. Inside the museum it is the same with lots of displays of different ethnicity’s ceremonial clothing but most is behind glass and difficult to photograph.


We’re all dazed and hungry so decide to cab to the general area of the B52 bombers to get some lunch and then seek them out. we have a fast and cheap lunch at a street stall where we point at what we want to eat and hope for the best, I do well with a bunch of different veggies and some tofu, but the food is just ok. Afterward we set out to find the bombers which are notoriously hard to find. We actually locate the first one quite quickly. It’s sunk into a lake/canal and only looks like a small pile of scrap metal. It’s a bit disappointing as the B52 was a massive machine and these remains don’t do it’s size any justice.


We move on to try to see the next site. I am not a map reader today and am happy to relinquish control to the others. We get lost and it’s super hot but I keep my mouth shut and leave them to figure it out, I follow the group and happily take pictures to amuse myself. Traveling in a pack can be tricky if you are an Alpha so sometimes it’s better to just let go and let others do the figuring which I readily did today.

We find it eventually, it’s some sort of museum. Outside on the grounds are the remains of the B52 bomber and this time you can really get an idea of the scale of the thing. It really is massive, the tail must be about 30′ high. The ruins are just that, in ruins, but there are some impeccably well maintained large scale guns of Vietnamese origin as well as a Mig 21 fighter plane on a large marble pedestal and 2 gigantic ground launch missiles. We take a quick look through the museum but are all so hot and beat by now that we decide to go to a cafe Nicole found overlooking the Hoan Kiem Lake. It has a good breeze on the covered rooftop patio and we all have cool drinks or coffee to help perk us up a bit. Some of us decide we want to see the Water Puppet show which is nearby, some of us have seen it so we head off in our different directions. I went to see the show but unfortunately the showing we wanted was already sold out, we didn’t want to hang out and wait so we headed back to the hostel for a rest and a shower.


Later that night I took Andy, Jan Willem, Manon and another girl we met whose name escapes me right now back to my favorite restaurant, Quan An Ngon. I had to run around with the waiter a few times pointing at things we wanted but he was great and we all enjoyed the food very much. Back to the hostel and I was asleep by midnight having said my goodbyes to Jan Willem and Manon who were heading South and to Len and Andy who were headed back home the next day. Hugs all round the world!

HANOI – day 7.

Headed off to do my own thing for most of the day, a little gift shopping for you lucky folks at home, booked a day trip to the Perfume Pagoda for the next day and arranged to meet up with Nicole to see the 5pm Water Puppet show. I’d heard from a few people that the was “a bit naff” and that’s probably how I would describe it as well. The puppets are neat to look at but there seem to be only 2 stories actually told, with an infinite variety of variation. In story #1, boy (human, dragon, or phoenix) meets girl of same species, he chases her around for a while and she token resists until eventually she relents and love ensues. Story #2 consists of a hunter or fisherman trying to catch his prey. He chases the prey around for a while, hilarity ensues and he finally victoriously, with great fanfare finally catches it, surprise! There was live music played on a wide variety of traditional instruments with Vietnamese singing. I found listening and watching the musicians much more interesting then the puppetry itself.

After the show we went in search of a street shown on our hostel’s map which is known as the Vietnamese food street. I’m not rely sure how it differs from almost any other street with food stalls all over it but we found a great place with indoor seating and A/C. It was called The Hue which after looking at the menu Nicole figured specialized in food from the city of Hue which is on the Central Southern Coast. The food was awesome, service was great and we left stuffed and very satisfied. Off to bed for a good nights sleep I have a big day tomorrow at the Perfume Pagoda.

HANOI – day 8.

My one week anniversary! I’m celebrating by visiting the Perfume Pagoda. My day starts early as I have to catch the bus at 8am. I arrive and hop on the bus as it starts moving, just made it. On the way out of town we have to stop by the side of the road to wait for somebody who missed the bus to get dropped off with us. I meet a girl from Saigon, Kim, who is standing under a tree outside the bus while we wait. She is eating something and I ask her what it is, she points up and there are little pink fruits the size of a large blueberry on the tree. She picks one for me I try it and it’s wonderful, sweet and juicy it tastes sort of like a grape mixed with a watermelon. She tells me they are called fish eyes. The others arrive so we get on the bus and I promptly pass out for the next 2 hours as we travel to My Duc where we transfer onto small river boats. The boats seat 6 plus the oarswoman who is a tiny little creature with the most awesome strength. She kicks butt on the other rowers overtaking quite a few as we work our way up the wide river towards the mountain pagoda. The boat ride takes about an hour. On the ride Kim tells me that the mountain range we can see is called 99 elephants and once I know this I can see why. They really do look like elephants. Apparently 99 of them all face in the same direction while the 100th is facing the opposite way. We see fishermen hauling up bamboo cages (fish traps) from the water and a few tombs alongside the river that are used by families nearby. There are actually road signs at the rivers’ junctions and it makes sense really because it is like a road.


After an hour we land at the base of the mountain. We are given an option to walk up 4km of stairs or to take a cable car up the mountain. We all opt for the ride up and I decide I will walk back down. I am the first person waved into a cable car as I am a “single” and I am placed with 5 South Vietnamese tourists who don’t speak very much English and who appear to be laughing at me, perhaps because of the appalling amount of sweat I can produce.

We are let off at the top and I am ahead of my group which I am happy about as I would rather be own my own here anyways. I walk a bit and find the archway that leads to the many stairs that go down to the mouth of the giant cave of the pagoda. At the entrance is a small shrine where people make an offering of incense and have a quick prayer. I work my slowly into the cave taking it all in. I am fascinated by the limestone formations, the stalagmites and stalactites and the few carvings of what I assume are Vietnamese letter characters that appear to be (and probably are) hundreds if not thousands of years old. Down random carved limestone stairs into the main body of the cave it is still massive the roof must be a hundred feet above my head, I see the odd bat flitting about up there. Ahead of me are a series of shrines. At the main one there is a very large collection of golden Buddhas. One one side of the collection they are depicted as aged and elderly, on the other side they all appear young. I overhear a guide telling his group that this is symbolic of the eternal life, the continual death and rebirth of Buddha, I like that. I am awed by this place and the sense of age and respect that almost palpably hangs in the air. I realize that this has a lot to do with the fact that this is a natural space where “God” was discovered and how different this feels to me opposed to a place that is built for the worship of “God” which sometimes feels like maybe he/she/it took some convincing or was sort of coerced or forced into the place we decided was convenient. People recognized in this place that it was special and so treated it accordingly. I like it very much and feel as though I, if I was inclined, could worship here even (or especially) without any sort of shrine except the natural beauty of the space.




It’s time to start heading down the mountain to meet the others for lunch, I don’t want to miss it as it’s almost 2 pm already and I’m starved. I walk down 4km of stairs and hillside. My knees are wobbly by the time I reach the bottom but I make it in the nick of time for food. I eat quickly as we are only given a short time to check out the man-made but very old pagoda at the bottom of the hill. It ends up being massive and quite beautiful and of course I am fascinated and take forever and end up meeting everyone about 20 minutes late. The guide is calling me “Canada” by now and making jokes that he needs to find me a Vietnamese husband who will teach me how to read a clock. I take a lot of good-natured ribbing in stride and in my uniquely Canadian way I say sorry about a million times. We head back down the river in our boats and I can tell it’s gearing up to rain.

These are two of my all time favorite statues and I found them tucked away under a tarpaulin!



On the boat back we hear a dog yelping and whimpering, this can’t be good. Shortly we see two guys carrying a squirming bag hanging from a stick held between them, the yelps are coming from inside the bag…yup, dog for dinner. Kim tells me that it is common in the countryside for dog to be eaten but being from the city she’s never eaten it and wouldn’t. I’m struggling with it, it’s hard to wrap my head around the idea of eating Fido (or Morgan) but I knew coming here that it happens and I just have to be ok with it, different strokes and all that. We are almost back to My Duc when the sky starts to dump down, lucky for me I have my trusty umbrella this time! On the bus ride home most of us pass out again, we arrive back in Hanoi at dusk, damp and tried but I am very content.

Back at the hostel I meet some new people Andy, Johnny and Alex so Nicole and I take them plus a couple other girls whose names I can’t remember back to “our” restaurant. We arrive late and they warn us that not everything on the menu will be available. We try to hurry to choose our meals it’s hard cause the menu is so big. Then it get’s chaotic, different waiters come running up to us saying that certain dishes are not available but they aren’t telling it to the person who ordered it so everything get pretty confused. We do eventually get food but most of us didn’t get what we wanted but at least we got fed, Poor Nicole was run ragged trying to translate for us and help people figure out options, she told off one of the servers who did eventually apologize but it left us a bit dissatisfied with the experience. By 11pm I am back at the hostel, exhausted and to bed.

Originally published on facebook – September 30, 2010 at 9:18am ·

HANOI – day 3. “The Hanoi Hilton”


Woke up at 8am – construction noises next door. Showered, free breakfast, coffee and I am ready for my day. Nicole and I are going out together today, going wandering. We walked to the Hao Lo Prison, paid about $0.50 admission. It’s quite and old building, originally built by the French in the late 1880’s to house Vietnamese revolutionaries, men and women both. Only a portion (maybe a 1/3) of the original building remains. Originally named Maison Centrale by the French, the big doors near the entrance still have this name.  Hao Lo commonly translates to “fiery furnace” or even “hell hole”, originally from a concentration of stores in the area that sold wood and coal fire stoves  At the top of each thick concrete wall is a massive chunk of raw concrete with tons of shards of broken glass embedded in it. As well there are the remains of what look like electrical wires running around the top.


The first room we enter is large-ish ( approx. 15′ x 40′). This the main prisoners cell. There are raised wooden platforms that run along the long sides of the room with a rail of attached leg irons near the front. They have positioned  quite life like statues of men to show how they were kept, one leg in the irons, the other free. At one end of the room is a raised platform of bricks with a squat hole in it for the toilet. In another room was a full size guillotine. Apparently the heads were caught in baskets and then displayed on the streets afterwards, presumably as a deterrent to other potential revolutionaries. Nice.



The women prisoners without children were kept in four small rooms measuring approx. 8′ x 12′. Probably up to 40 women could be in a room at a time. There is a small window high up from the floor, allowing in some light and a glimpse to sky but nothing else. Women with children were kept in a room approx. 12′ x 15′. Once again 2 wooden platforms were raised off the floor. No leg irons are shown to be in use here and it appears that the women and children were allowed to move freely throughout the space. I have no idea of the number of people that may have been kept here.

In another room are some of the devices used to torture the women prisoners, electrical shock machines and wires, a bamboo cane, and a glass bottle are some of the items on display. In one case there is a jute bag and a pair of boxing gloves, put the bag over the head of the prisoner and they won;t know where the next blow is coming from. Pretty horrific stuff.

Outside the rooms in a portion of what remains of the courtyard there was an Almond tree. Apparently it became a meeting point to pass on information, possibly even to plan escapes. The prisoners ate parts of the tree to help maintain health and fight illness. As well, wood from the tree was used to make pipes and musical instruments. Maybe this helped them to keep morale up.

We moved on to an area dedicated to showing what life was like for the American pilots that were kept imprisoned here after they were shot down. These are the guys who nicknamed it “The Hanoi Hilton”. John McCain is well known to have been a prisoner. A lot is made in this area about how humanely the guys were treated here. Showing pictures of healthy though thin guys playing basketball and soccer. Even making themselves a special Christmas dinner and decorating a tree. The overall tone was definitely to show that, yes, these guys are prisoners but it really isn’t so bad, they get great medical care, can watch movies to learn about our country (read propaganda) and are really healthy and though the food is probably different for them it is plentiful and good. From what I remember reading about the “Hilton” this wasn’t really the case, there was torture, both mental and physical and I don’t think the guys were really having a good time here. The following is an excerpt from Wikipedia that confirms my suspicions….

“The Hanoi Hilton was one site used by the North Vietnamese Army to house, torture and interrogate captured servicemen, mostly American pilots shot down during bombing raids.[12] Although North Vietnam was a signatory of the Third Geneva Convention of 1949,[12] which demanded “decent and humane treatment” of prisoners of war, severe torture methods were employed, such as rope bindings, irons, beatings, and prolonged solitary confinement.[12][7][13] The aim of the torture was usually not acquiring military information;[7] rather, it was to break the will of the prisoners, both individually and as a group.[7][14] The goal of the North Vietnamese was to get written or recorded statements from the prisoners that criticized U.S. conduct of the war and praised how the North Vietnamese treated them.[7] Such POW statements would be viewed as a propaganda victory in the battle to sway world and U.S. domestic opinion against the U.S. war effort.[7][10] In the end, North Vietnamese torture was sufficiently brutal and prolonged that virtually every American POW so subjected made a statement of some kind at some time.[15] (As one later wrote of finally being forced to make an anti-American statement: “I had learned what we all learned over there: Every man has his breaking point. I had reached mine.”[10]) Realizing this, the Americans’ aim became to absorb as much torture as they could before giving in;[13] one later described the internal code the POWs developed and instructed new arrivals on as: “Take physical torture until you are right at the edge of losing your ability to be rational. At that point, lie, do, or say whatever you must do to survive. But you first must take physical torture.”[16]

Regarding treatment at Hoa Lo and other prisons, Communist propagandists countered by stating that prisoners were treated well and in accordance with the Geneva Conventions.[18] During 1969, they broadcast a series of coerced statements from American prisoners that purported to support this notion.[18] The North Vietnamese would also maintain that their prisons were no worse than prisons for POWs and political prisoners in South Vietnam, such as the one on Con Son Island.[citation needed] Mistreatment of Viet Cong and North Vietnamese prisoners and South Vietnamese dissidents in South Vietnam’s prisons was indeed frequent, as was North Vietnamese treatment of South Vietnamese prisoners and their own dissidents.[19]

When prisoners of war began to be released from this and other North Vietnamese prisons during the Johnson administration, their testimonies revealed widespread and systematic abuse of prisoners of war. Initially, this information was downplayed by American authorities for fear that conditions might worsen for the those remaining in North Vietnamese custody.[10] Policy changed under the Nixon administration, when mistreatment of the prisoners was publicized by U.S. Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird and others.[10] Beginning in late 1969, treatment of the prisoners became less severe and generally more tolerable.[7] Following the late 1970 Son Tay prison camp attempted rescue operation, most of the POWs at the outlying camps were moved to Hoa Lo, so that the North Vietnamese had fewer camps to protect.[20] This created the “Camp Unity” communal living area at Hoa Lo, which greatly reduced the isolation of the POWs and improved their morale.[20][10]”

We spent quite a bit of time in the prison, I think much more then either of us suspected we would. We both felt somewhat subdued as we left. Throughout the place there was still an almost tangible sense of oppressiveness, heaviness and foreboding.

Just around the corner from the prison we found the Quan Su Pagoda, This is one of the most active pagodas in Hanoi, and it is the headquarters for the Vietnam Buddhist Association. Dozens of young monks reside in the complex and study in its classrooms. It was lovely and soothing to our frayed nerves. We did a wander through the courtyard and then went inside to kneel with Buddha. I always find this to be a supremely calming thing to do and I think Nicole felt the same. We sat for a bit but hunger soon took us over so we headed around another corner back to our haunt from the night before, the Quan An Ngon restaurant, yum.

We struggled a little more this time, trying to find me something without pork in it. Since shrimp and pork seem to go hand in hand in Vietnamese cooking I struggle a bit to find protein to eat. Nicole has written down for me,  “Tuo cong an thit heo (thit bo)”  translates to “I don’t eat pork (or beef)”. Did I mention she speaks Vietnamese? Handy gal to have around!

After lunch we zig-zagged up towards Ho Chi Minh;s Mausoleum. I knew that HCM himself is in Russia from September to December getting his yearly “face-lift” but we thought we could be able to wander the extensive gardens and maybe visit his residences, cars etc. Unfortunately either due to visiting hours being over or because of the set up for the 1000th year Birthday celebrations of Hanoi City, we couldn’t access any of the areas.

Oh yes, the 1000th Birthday of Hanoi City. There are decorations going up everywhere, and in a big way. Everything is on a massive scale. Flowers are being planted on every spare park space, extra urns of dirt and plantings are being set up along  lit of major streets Platforms are being built, speakers are being set up. Every lamppost and tree is being prettied up with hanging lamps of lotus flowers or silk orbs. All this at a cost of over one million dollars, this is just for the cities birthday, not even the countries. Apparently there will be protests and as trouble seems to follow me I plan to NOT be in Hanoi during the celebrations.


After our miss at the mausoleum we walked to the food street I had found previously. As we went the wind started to pick up and we heard thunder start to roll in. We had a walk through the food market and as we started to turn our attention to getting back to the hostel the storm broke. We ran for it but no luck, soaked. We found shelter in a cafe, mango shake for me and a tiger beer for Nicole. We figured we could just wait it out but after an hour there was no sign of the rain stopping. A woman walked past the cafe selling rain ponchos, we each bought one for a $1.00 us and headed back out into it. We waded (literally) back to the hostel in time for me to pick up my train ticket to Sapa, have a quick dinner and shower, pack my bag and get to the train on time. still raining. Hugs goodbye to the lovely Nicole!


Originally published on facebook – September 26, 2010 at 3:18am ·

HANOI – day one.

So, apparently when your flight leaves at 2:45m on September 21st, you shouldn’t show up at the airport at 11pm on September 21st. Yeah, oops. Fortunately for only $50 cdn I am soon placed on a flight leaving at 3:45am on Sept. 22. Unfortunately this means that instead of a 55 minute layover in Hong Kong airport I now have to kill 6.5 hours until I can catch my connecting flight to Hanoi. Double oops, and no upgrades either this time. However not too unpleasant though as I managed to sleep for most of my 13 hour flight, bringing me into HK airport at 8am, it was almost like starting a regular day. Easy on the jet lag. Little drawback to all this kerfuffle was that instead of arriving in Hanoi at noon I got in at 4:30pm.

I find the airport minibus to take me into Hanoi central, I’m crowded into the far back corner of the bus, this feels familiar I think. I am wide eyed on the ride into town, see my first water buffalo beside the highway and start to experience the craziest traffic possible. It’s indescribable, thousands of scooters, motorbikes, bicycles, cars, everybody’s horns blaring constantly, nobody stays in their lane, nobody seems to signal, everyone acts like this is perfectly normal. I don’t do it justice with words, it must be experienced to understand but I may never complain about Vancouver traffic again.


I am unceremoniously dumped at the bus station near the Old Quarter in Hanoi, it looks like it’s easy to find a hostel on my map so I head out, only a few blocks I think. But apparently I have lost my map skills, it’s gotten dark as I walk, i don’t feel unsafe but I certainly think I should be there by now. A bicycle rickshaw guy sees me, “where you going?” I show him on my map and tell him where I think I am, he laughs, not a good sign and hows me where I actually am. So in the wrong direction it’s laughable. I pay him $3 to take me to the Hostel, oh well at least I tried.

I decide to stay at Hanoi Backpackers (original no?) am given a top bunk in an all girls dorm called “The Nunnery” *chuckle*. I shower and give you all a quick email home to let you know I am safe. Outside the hostel I met a girl from San Francisco, Nicole, she is Vietnamese American and my savior, she “speaks really good food”. We went around the corner for street food, sitting on low plastic stools at a grimy table I have seafood congee which costs me a whooping $1.75 cdn. Very early night to bed and I slept almost 12 hours.

HANOI – day 2.

Up early, 8:30am. Had free hostel breakfast, Nescafe coffee, baguettes with butter and jam and bananas. Started walking…..bought a little gift for my niece Helouise at a very cute shop on Nha Tho, it was made in Sa Pa (or near there anyways). Lot’s of other nice things. Walked to Hoan Kiem Lake, chatted with a couple middle aged South Korean guys who asked me to take their photo and then progressed to asking me to join them for drinks, as it was about 10am, I declined.

Wandered around the area of the lake and headed up towards Dong Xuan Market. On the way I found a street that was selling nothing but shoes, floor to ceiling, wall to wall, shops with shoes, but predominately ugly so was not tempted. I also passed by the Old City Gate without seeing it, oops. Streets around the market are full of food sellers, fruits, veg (many I don’t recognize), meats (no refrigeration). I watched a woman cutting the heads of frogs, they were still jumping around as she threw them, headless, into a basket. Ew. Quick browse through D.X. Market, revealed lots of crap, a million and one small things, candies sold individually, hair ties, a multitude of things I really don’t need. Streets around the market much more interesting. Lots of cooking supply shops, pots, pans, chef jackets etc.



And then I got lost.

Ended up off my very mediocre little map. No panic, just keep walking into the sort of direction I think I should be going to get back onto the map. I end up on a road between the Hanoi Citadel and the Military Complex (these are, perhaps, the same thing). There are big walls on wither side of a very long road, I am stuck heading in this direction. Guys in uniforms blowing their whistles at me, waving for me to cross the road so I don’t walk in front of the entrances, guess I look pretty threatening. Finally I see an English couple headed towards me, they have a better map then me and help me figure out where I am.

Turns out I am very near the army museum, which is actually ON my map, joy! It was closed but from outside I took pictures of various Vietnamese and American planes, tanks and helicopters. Including one massive helicopter that looked to be the size of those Sea King(?) ones we have at home for rescue missions, but maybe even bigger then that, cool.


Right next to the Army Museum was the Hanoi Flag Tower, it was closed also but I could still get a picture. It’s quite old from the looks of it but I have no idea of it’s significance, sorry. Right in front of the Flag Tower was a cafe, hot and sweaty and kinda needing a break. I sit down open the menu and find to my delight…carrot juice! Yay! My body was so happy.

From the cafe I decided to visit the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum. There wasn’t much to my personal taste but it was interesting. A lot of soldier and war themed painting but surprisingly (to me anyways) only one showed a devastating scene of shattered trees, tanks rolling in, bombs exploding and planes dropping out of the sky…completely devoid of bodies or blood though. I sound morbid or something but I suppose I thought there would be more violence in the art of a country with such a violent history. There were a lot of scenes with soldiers in them though, eg: in a mountain hamlet at night, soldier playing with small child etc…. In the basement there was an historical ceramic exhibit, it didn’t excite me but I though Dad would have found it interesting and possibly inspirational however I was not allowed to take pictures.

After the Museum I was starving, had Chicken Pho and Mango juice. Strongly suspect the Pho had pork broth as it tasted sweet and my stomach was unhappy after. It went away soon enough. It’s likely that I will eat pork accidentally while in Vietnam I suppose.

Next I visited the Temple of Literature. It’s the country’s first national university and was built in the style of the 11th century, there are 5 courtyards and a variety of “gates” that you pass through. It was pretty, garden-like with lots of details to look at. There are Stella (statues) of turtles with massive headstone like rocks on their backs, they are representative of certain Doctors from the university. Many, many larger format Bonsai, took pics for Dad. A whole gaggle of art students were scattered around the grounds sketching, pretty talented bunch from what I could tell.


Finally time to go back to the hostel, walked for over 6 hours, nestled into a cafe nearby having veggie spring rolls and a lemon ice with mint, yum!

Back at hostel later ran into Nicole. We hung out for a bit and then went to a restaurant called Quan An Ngon. It was a large open space with tons of shared tables and benches. Around the perimeter of the room were street stall type kitchens,, you could go look at your food. Massive menu. We had shrimp paste around sugar cane sticks, a crepe with shrimp and bean sprouts (bahn xeo), sauteed greens, and shrimp and yam pancakes (kinda deep-fried). This massive meal cost about $4-5 us each. Back to hostel after and exhausted we were both asleep by 10pm.



Random Observations.

– Almost everyone wears a motorcycle helmet, was surprised.

– There are areas or street for certain shops eg: the shoe street, cookware, paint, paint and more paint.

– 1.5 liters of water for $0.50cdn

– Most motorcycles riders are wearing pollution masks.

– As in Latin America, whole families fit onto one tiny scooter, amazing.